Music Pap

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Today’s post was written by Paul.

sunshine behind clouds

Tomorrow, Monday April 19, 2021, will mark the 5th anniversary of when Pap went on to be with the Lord.

I mentioned in a previous upload (I believe around April 2019) that I was lucky enough one day to record Pap singing five classic hymns by himself, just his voice and guitar, no overdubbing, no other instruments. This was when he was in his early 70’s.

The songs were songs that he was in the habit of singing around that time, songs that he really enjoyed lyrically. They’re all great, but the one I’m sharing today is probably the best one.

My original plan was to “release” one per year, culminating with this particular song. However, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, and why not put this up for people to hear now?

Pap and his father, Wade, whom we all called Papaw, had an interesting philosophy when it came to “saving” things. They believed you should use your best first. This applied to food or any other resource. For example, when I was little, if we rented movies to watch, Pap would say that we should watch what we thought would be the best one first.

Pap told me that Papaw told him once, “Use the best you’ve got first, and then from then on, you’ll be using the best you’ve got left,” and “If you don’t use your best first, pretty soon, it won’t be as good as it was.”

At first, I didn’t agree with this perspective. For example, I thought when it came to stored food that it’s best to eat the oldest first and work your way toward the freshest. But over time, I’ve found myself gravitating toward their philosophy more and more because, again, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

That’s why I decided to share what I feel is the “best” one now–not first but second, and definitely not last.

It’s a beautiful hymn with a fascinating origin. According to what I read online, the author was inspired when he looked up the etymology of the word “goodbye” and discovered that its original meaning was “God be with you.”

The first time I heard the song was in an old radio broadcast of Jim Reeves, where he closed the show by singing a verse and chorus.

The writer, reportedly, wrote the song specifically for closing out services.

Reeves’ version is quite a bit different from Pap’s, and the same holds true for pretty much every version I ever heard. When Katie and Corie (aka Chitter and Chatter) graduated from Young Harris College, I felt like I sensed that they were wishing Pap was there to see it. Ironically, the YHC choir sang this very song as the opening hymn in the ceremony. Though their version was very different from Pap’s, it was beautiful. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a version of the YHC choir singing it, but there are tons of other choirs singing it beautifully on YouTube.

This recording of Pap appeared in the closing credits of an original Christian film called Mack. The film garnered some attention in several film festivals, but unfortunately, it never found a distributor and has never appeared in theaters.

The older I get, the more this recording of Pap means to me. It will be on the gospel CD, Lord willing, when I’m finally able to finish it. The audio quality will be much better on the CD than what you hear in an MP4 for YouTube.

Big thanks to Mr. Ron Priest who created the collage for the thumbnail and the “In Memory of Pap” collage that you see at the end of the video. That was very nice of him, and I really appreciate how he arranged the photos of me, Tipper, and the girls as if we’re all looking up toward Pap, because, of course, we did.

Tipper loved this video when I showed it to her, but she recommended that that I remove some photos so that each photo could appear longer. I couldn’t make myself take any out, and each one appears for only 3.5 seconds, but folks can always pause the video, or better yet, watch it again!

I’ll close by saying, that I am so thankful that I was blessed with Pap as my father for more than 40 years. So many children in the world today have no father at all, or perhaps worse, they have one who is cruel and a bad influence. I look forward to the day when we will meet Pap again, just as he sings in this song, and like the song says, I pray that God is with you until that day comes.


Randy’s wife Janice did not recover from complications after surgery. She passed away on Thursday. Randy thanks each of you for your prayers. I would ask that you continue to pray for Randy and his family. You can go here to leave a word of condolence for them.


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  • Reply
    April 25, 2021 at 1:04 am

    I have been holding onto this post in our inbox until I had time to sit down and really absorb it and give it due attention. Needless to say, it brought me to tears. I remember my Mom and Daddy singing this old song, and it always made me so sad to hear it. It really takes on a whole new meaning when your parents are gone, and you are missing them so much. I know you all miss Pap every single day, and I can just tell what a Godly, dear father and grandfather he was to you all. Nothing could testify more to that than the way you all cherish his memory and the legacy he left behind. This was such a beautiful rendition of the song, and I am so thankful you shared it and also the pictures were such a blessing. So glad you wrote this, Paul, and thankful for all of you and the way you keep this dear music alive. May God richly bless all of you and keep you always in His care.

  • Reply
    Helen Jones
    April 19, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Good morning Tipper and family. I enjoyed listening to Pap singing this beautiful song I’ve heard all my life. My condolences to you on this anniversary of Paps passing. Praise God you will meet again.

  • Reply
    Wanda in Rochester
    April 18, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Mr. Wilson had such a beautiful voice; I am so glad you recorded it to share with others. Any family that has musicians or singers in it is very blessed indeed. Sharing the talent with others is an extra blessing.

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    April 18, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    How precious our memories are. Thank you for sharing and what a beautifully sung song. So beautiful.

  • Reply
    rob mitchell
    April 18, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Wonderful, the vocal and the family pictures.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    This is so beautiful, and I really enjoyed the pictures. We always sang this hymn at the close of the afternoon Homecoming service when I was a child. We had a morning service, dinner on the grounds, and an afternoon service. We had special music at both services.
    I am sorry to hear about Randy’s wife.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 18, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    I will always remember the last time I saw Pap. He was wearing his Marine Cap. What a great man singing a great song.

  • Reply
    Betty Brantley
    April 18, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    This touched my heart so! I cannot listen to or watch this without crying! Beautiful memories all of you have!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you! What a lovely accompaniment to a beautiful Sunday morning…

  • Reply
    April 18, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Paul, thank you for sharing this wonderful memory of Pap. It blessed my day. The pictures show hearts filled with love and joy. You will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow, as this five year milestone almost seems unbelievable.

  • Reply
    SusieQ ❤️Donnie Ray
    April 18, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    So beautiful the pictures and the love …..and the song and your Pap especially dear and prayerful …. ❣️ as are all those He so loved

  • Reply
    April 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!!
    My sympathy goes out to Randy. Having lost my dear husband of over 51 years, I do know the heart ache,

  • Reply
    Ron P
    April 18, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Paul, Great job on the video, well done good and faithful servant, and loving son. He would have been VERY proud of your work and your life’s accomplishments.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2021 at 9:24 am

    That is a beautiful tribute, Paul. I miss Pap and I didn’t even know him. He reminded me so much of my daddy that I looked forward to the days Tipper posted things he said or did. Tipper used to allow her readers to ask Pap and Granny questions. I asked Pap how I could get rid of a hornet’s nest in a pear tree. He replied that they would eat me up if I tried to remove them. I loved the way he said that! Pap’s advice played over and over in my head when I got close to that pear tree.
    I pray that God will bless Randy and his family as they go through one of the most difficult times in their life.

  • Reply
    Randall Mark Dockery
    April 18, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Beautifully done Tipper. One day when your time on earth is done, you will stroll up to the gates of Heaven and there on the stoop will be pap and all the rest of our loved ones to greet us. A mile wide smile saying, you done good kid. God bless you Tipper.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 18, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I’d sworn off listening to anything on Youtube, but had to break my vow to listen to Pap. Thank you Paul like anything that Pap sang, it was lovely, but you’d not find anything more meaningful to hold onto than those lyrics. And I agree, that closing collage was pure poetry.

  • Reply
    Andrew DeShaw
    April 18, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Seven years since my dad died, this brings back some lovely memories that I have of him. Really liked that “high lonesome sound” Pap managed to get in his voice during the chorus.
    Thoughts and prayers are with Randy.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    April 18, 2021 at 8:50 am

    What a beautiful song. I am glad you decided to show it now. I am so happy you have so many good memories of your father. Not everyone has those. When I was a child at my home church we would sing Till We meet Again to close the service on special occasions. Hearing that song brings back good memories. Tipper I know tomorrow will be hard for you. I can’t say anything to make you feel better orther all the pleasant memories and knowing how devoted you were to him will bring comfort to you. Also knowing that one day you will meet again. Thank you for sharing this memor with us, Paul did an excellent job wih it.
    Dennois Morgan

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 18, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I remember when we sung this as a benediction at end of services, especially if there were to be another meeting soon. I have not heard it used that way in a long time.

    There are so many things in everyday life that have their roots in faith. It is sad that we lose the connection. A simple example is in the construction of doors. In Colonial times paneled doors were spoken of as single or double cross doors. The framing of the panels created crosses by design because the cross symbol was seen as a blessing on the house. Now, of course, the emphasis has shifted to the panels and doors are called ‘4-panel’ forming a single cross or ‘six panel’ forming two crosses and the cross design, while in plain sight, is not seen.

    I will give thought to the “use the best first” philosophy as it is worthy of thoughtful consideration. For myself, a parallel idea of mine is to always do the worse (most difficult) job first. So how they relate – or if they do – will require mulling over.

    I think the choice of this song on this day is so appropriate. I know that you all know that is how Pap saw the parting 5 years ago tomorrow, a temporary thing soon to be replaced by something worlds better. And I am assured you all see it the same. I have come to believe that the truest measure of a life is by how many and by those how much we are missed. You have given us plenty of evidence that a lot of people miss your Pap very much.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 18, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I enjoyed Pap’s singing this morning very much and I must say the tears have welled up in my eyes. Looking at the photos of different moments captured forever but lived only once, I’m struck by all the loving people Pap loved. He was a wonderful man who was a strong and good man! I’m sorry about his passing but that’s how most of us must get to our eternal home- no way around it. God be with you all and may be fill your hearts with hope and peace in this time. God be with you til we meet again.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 18, 2021 at 8:18 am

    That was a wonderful blessing. Some day I’ll meet my Mom and Dad again and your Pap for the first time.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    April 18, 2021 at 8:13 am

    That was incredibly beautiful. What a legacy of love Pap left when he went home to be with Jesus. My father was like that, and there is not a day that I don’t miss him.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 18, 2021 at 7:42 am

    That’s beautiful, Paul! I miss him too!
    My condolences to Randy, It’s hard to lose your mate.

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