Appalachia Music

Angels of Mercy

In memory of Pap
Photos and graphics by Ron Priest

I’ve had Pap strong on my mind ever since Uncle Henry had his stroke. I guess we all have. Granny told me “If your Daddy was still here I know where we’d be going today. We’d be going right down there to see Henry.” The girls have went on and on about how Henry looks like Pap, how he has his hands, his eyes, and some of his mannerisms.

One of Pap’s cousins called Granny this week to tell her she was sorry she didn’t know he’d passed away. In one of those its a small world moments, someone from this area was visiting her church in Gastonia NC and told her Pap had died in the Spring of the year.

After Granny told me about her calling I said “I remember Pap telling me she had been having a hard time and was helping out family.” Granny said “Yes your Daddy called her a good while back, it might have even been before Christmas and talked for hours with her. You know when he was growing up he went out there and lived with her family and worked and he always liked her. She told me when your Daddy called her that day she somehow knew he had called to tell her goodbye and in his encouraging way to tell her everything would be alright one way or another.”

Pap continues to speak to us through our memories and through his songs. I listen to all the songs he wrote with a new ear, a new perspective. It’s been many years since he wrote Angels of Mercy but as I listen to the song now, the change of words between the two choruses shouts out to me.

Angels of Mercy written by Jerry Wilson

Lazarus was hungry, suffering, waiting alone
Outside a gate of plenty, a beggar with no earthly home.
The crumbs were all he asked for, oh such a small thing indeed.
The dogs his only comfort for no man came to his need.

Angels of comfort came from his Father in love.
Angels of Mercy carried Lazarus above.

Sometimes life is a burden.
The body grows weak and tired.
Afflictions weary the traveler, his pathway uncertain and hard.
But as it was with Lazarus, oh so let it be with my soul.
Let Angels of comfort carry me into God’s fold.

Angels of comfort come from my Father in Love.
Angels of Mercy carried me above.

I hope you enjoyed the video, the song is one of the tracks on Pap and Paul’s recent cd Shepherd of My Soul. The cd is now available on CD Baby. You can download the entire cd or pick and choose-only purchasing the track(s) you prefer. Go here if you’re interested. You can also find the cd on Itunes and you can listen to it on Spotify. The cd can also be purchased directly from me-go here for those details.


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  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    September 5, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Tipper, your beloved Pap’s legacy continues to enrich the lives of others. Great job on the singing and picking, Paul. I know it does mine. Thank you

  • Reply
    Tom Lilly
    April 25, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    Ya’ll are Rich with such a heritage. My dad died when I was a baby. Thank God for good men that have shined the light for the next generation.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    September 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    What a lovely post and a lovely song! So happy to hear that your Uncle Henry is doing better. Your Pap was very talented and he raised a very talented family!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    September 6, 2016 at 2:28 am

    ohh tipper I love this song..such love from our Heavenly Father shines through..we can never have too many angels
    the harmoy of those two speak to my soul…im pretty much wore out my cds lol
    sending love and ladybug hugs to you all

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    September 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Continuing in prayer for Uncle Henry.
    In our older days, I think it’s important for the aged members of a family to be together often, even if it means some of them have to move. They can bring each other joy and comfort through the memories they have to share.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 12:22 am

    A beautiful post. Love the photo of your Dad and the singers below. The song is beautiful, also. Such meaningful words. I love reading about your family. In this day of national and worldwide unrest and chaos, it is encouraging to know that such loving families still exist.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    September 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Tipper, this page is beautiful. I love the song (and all the songs on the CD), but I copied the words today and will read them often. Thank you for the good news of Uncle Henry.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    This song is so beautiful. What a talented Dad you had!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    A beautiful tribute and a beautiful song! All of you are still in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Charles Ronald Perry, Sr.
    September 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Outstanding! Heaven gained a jewel.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Angels of Mercy is one of my favorite songs on the CD. As the procession slowly walked in at Pap’s Funeral, I felt so helpless, wishing I could help the Family. I had done been thru this with my parents and some of my brothers, so I knew the feeling. But when Cindy got up and went to the front row to hold Chatter, it made me feel better. I told Hoyt Brown that this was the Best planned Funeral I had ever attended. They marched in to Pap’s song “the musical to New Birth.” God’s blessing to all the Family. …Ken

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    September 4, 2016 at 11:03 am

    This song was one of the group we listened to as Daddy crossed over. The words “Sometimes life is a burden; The body grows weak and tired” followed by “Let Angels of comfort carry me into God’s fold” were certainly right for the moment.
    We see through a glass darkly; they now see face to face.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

    That’s a beautiful picture. Thank you Ron Priest! That is the true sweetness of Pap with children and grand children looking up to him. Truly well done.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    September 4, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Beautiful tribute to your Pap. He’ll always speak to you all in your memories. He left a great legacy behind and he’d be so proud of each of you for caring it on through. I’m so happy to hear about your Uncle Henry and we’re still sending up prayers for him. this song is so beautiful and just what I needed to hear today. God Bless you all.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 4, 2016 at 8:15 am

    What a blessing it is when those leaving us only think of those they are leaving. It is where I hope to be when it is my time. It is also the pattern left by Jesus, Peter and Paul. I have known a few others.
    Your Dad was a much loved man but since charity never faileth, he still is and eternally will be.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    September 4, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Beautiful! Your Pap sure wrote true songs.

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