Music Pap

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Today’s post was written by Paul.

pap and paul

I promised to share one more “found” video of me and Pap singing. Up until I posted the video on our YouTube channel, the video I’m sharing today had only been viewed by Tipper and me.

I also promised to share a video of the very first time that Chatter (aka Corie) played guitar with me and Pap. Although she isn’t in frame, this is it.

Early on the DVD where this video came from, I am showing Corie (off screen) how to get the chord of F major; not some fancy position for it, just the basic chord itself. So, she was definitely only beginning. While you can’t see Corie in the video, you can spot a cool moment where Pap (who was in happy disbelief that Corie could already keep time with us and go to the correct chords) looks over at her, looks at me, and then gestures with his head toward Corie, as if to ask me, “Are you seeing this!?” (see 1:32​ & 1:40​)

That was a cool moment indeed.

While I was happy to find this video, I also experienced some degree of regret that I didn’t bother to tell everyone the chord changes before we started. Pap didn’t need me to tell him. He already knew, but everyone else needed to know. I also wish that I had taken time to agree with Pap on what verses we would sing and in what order.

This has been one of my favorite hymns since I was a little boy, but for some reason or other, Pap and I never sang it. It’s clear that this is just a wonder-what-that-would-sound-like? moment where we took one half-hearted stab at a song as we were ending our picking session.

Often, we would try something and then forget about it by the next weekend. Still, the harmony is nice in places. I have no idea why I chose to try to play it on the top two strings of the guitar. It should have also been 2-3 frets higher (perhaps G or A) to give Pap room to stretch out his high harmony.

Any way, I hope you enjoy this find. Unfortunately, there probably won’t be many (if any) other videos of Pap and I singing together to upload that you haven’t already seen.

It’s ironic that I’m uploading this song now. Currently, I’m working to record one of Pap’s original songs that he wrote back in the 80’s called ‘What Kind of Friend Has He in You?”

I forgot to add a title screen to the video, but Charles C. Converse composed the melody to this song in 1866, while preacher Joseph M. Scriven wrote the lyrics earlier as a poem in 1855 (according to Wikipedia).


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  • Reply
    lynn legge
    February 9, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    tipper i love this hymn also
    and especially precious as its family treasures preserved.
    sending ladybug hugs on this snowy tuesday……we had about 6 inches…i dont mind as im inside…ha
    love to you all

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    February 8, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Beautiful video. Thanks for showing it and explaining that approving glance Pap gives to the left. How much love for God and family I see there.

  • Reply
    Donna W
    February 8, 2021 at 6:50 am

    When I watch the videos where you folks are singing, I always wish I had somebody to play and sing with. It would be so much fun.
    I’m curious to know how old the girls were when this was made?

    • Reply
      February 8, 2021 at 7:51 am

      Donna-I would guess they were about 12 or 13 years old. If you lived closer you could play with us 🙂

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Wow! This was just beautiful. It is one of my favorite old hymns, too, and I can hardly sing or hear it without crying. The story about Joseph Scriven is incredibly sad (two fiances passed away, his mother sick in his homeland with him being so far from home, him writing the song as a poem for her, the poem being found and set to music so many years later, etc.). I think a lot of the deepest, most comforting writing comes from writers who have drank the cup of such human suffering. It is so often in our moments and seasons of hardest trial that we most experience the precious friendship of Jesus and comfort of the Holy Spirit, and only then can we draw from such deep wells to write such songs. I am SO thankful you found this video and shared it! I am sad that there will be no more, but what a blessing to be able to view all you have shared over the years! We saw the exchange of looks between Pap and you when he noticed Corie’s talent. SO sweet and must be beyond precious to her now. Thank you for pointing that out to us. God bless all of you, dear friends!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 7, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    So beautiful — even when I sang along!!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    One of my favorites from childhood, and I still remember all the words. The old hymns have so much meaning and really speak to me. Thanks for a song well done.

  • Reply
    Cindy Pressley
    February 7, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    So beautiful…I miss him too…such a wonderful man and father…everyone should be so lucky to have a father and grandfather like Pap!

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    February 7, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the video. Great job. One of my favorite hymns. Looking forward to hearing Pap’s song, what kind of friend he has in you. Great question for us to ask ourselves!

  • Reply
    Jan Arthur
    February 7, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Through tears I write to tell you how much I enjoyed hearing y’all play and sing this old song! I’m brought back to a little country church with a loyal congregation, most who now are gone. The alto voice of my grandmama carried the bottom notes…. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    February 7, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Enjoyed the pickin’ and the harmony. Well done. Can’t find a church that still sings those old hymns, and much of the contemporary music, particularly the repetitive praise choruses, makes me think it could have been written on the way to church. But it is worshipful to somebody, so let it be.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Gene, I can’t agree with you more. The old hymns are gospel music. We call the contemporary music dementia music, you say the same words over and over for 10 minutes. My church is a Baptist church that still sings the old hymns and has a preacher that preaches the Bible. He does not mind if his sermons steps on your toes, he is going to tell you what the King James Version of the Bible says. I am not trying to upset anyone, if you like the contemporary churches that is fine but they are not for me.

      If you live anywhere close to southern Greenville county, SC answer back and I will give you the name of my church and you will be welcome to come as long as you don’t sit on my pew, you know us Baptist get upset if anyone else sits in our pew!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 9:29 am

    I had to go back and re-watch Pap smiling as he looks at Corie with great approval. It’s sad to know you will not be uploading any more videos of you and Pap singing. The harmony was amazing in this one! Thank you for sharing and posting it on You Tube.

  • Reply
    Susan C
    February 7, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Beautiful. One of my favorite hymns also, and the birds are singing their praises too on this snowy morning. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 8:14 am

    I can not get enough of listening to the BP&A family sing these old time country hymns. I have listened to these hymns all of my life being sung in my church even now or today. To me this is true gospel music.

    I have told Tipper this before, these videos of Pap, Paul and others remind me so much of my father in law with his friends or daughter sitting around on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon singing and playing like this. Now that all of them have passed on, my wife has trouble watching the videos without shedding some tears.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    February 7, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I REALLY ENJOYED THAT VIDEO!!!! THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY SUNDAY COFFEE PERFECT!!! I did see Pap give Corie an approving nod. I think you favor your papa, Miss Tipper ( and my was he a looker!) The talent in your family runs very deep and you’re all simply wonderful!!! Thanks for adding to my life. Listen to I’m just Waiting on my Ride by the Hoppers. It’ll pep you right up!!! God bless us all!!! PS if and when Galax Fiddlers Convention Amps up, you could walk away with the GRAND PRIZE….

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    February 7, 2021 at 7:53 am

    I love that old hymn too, and I enjoyed watching you three play it.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Lovely way to start a snowy Sunday morning off. I’ll bet each one of those videos are treasured memories.

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