Music

Where We’ll Never Grow Old

Little White Church In the Valley

I grew up singing the old song Where We’ll Never Grow Old in church. It always touched my heart. As I looked at the elders sprinkled around the congregation I would often think-a place where no one grows feeble with age would indeed be a wonderful place.

James Cleveland Moore wrote and composed the song. He was born in 1888 in Paulding County GA and lived until 1962. The website Hymn Studies had this to say about Moore’s song:

In 1914, while a 26-year old seminary student at Mercer, Moore visited to preach in his home church at Draketown, where his aging father had led the singing for years. The elder Moore’s voice failed him and the son said that he knew he would not be hearing his father sing much longer. Back in school at Macon, James produced the hymn with the incident still fresh in his mind, and wrote, “Dedicated to My Father and Mother.”

Paul and Pap did an outstanding job on the song during our concert at the folk school-even though Paul forgot the words to one of the verses. (

 

When Chatter and Chitter were little they’d sing along with whatever song was being sung-whether they knew it or not. They were about 5 or 6 when I noticed they weren’t singing the right words to the song. One day I asked them what they thought the words to the song were-they both agreed it said ‘where we’ll never grow cold’. Of course I thought the girls singing ‘where we’ll never grow cold’ was the cutest thing ever.

Pap wasn’t feeling the best when we had our concert. Hearing him tell the audience of his hope for a better place where his aches and pains would be no more made our performance of Where We’ll Never Grow Old very bittersweet for me.

Tipper

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 1, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Loved it at the first post and still love it now – though this time I shed a few tears for those who have joined those in The Land Where I’ll Never Grow Old. God Bless and a special prayer for Granny

  • Reply
    Becky
    October 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I can definitely see how that would be bittersweet for you. ***sniff***

  • Reply
    peggy
    October 18, 2012 at 8:04 am

    This is one of my favorite songs. Even though I spent a huge portion of my childhood in Magoffin the first time I heard this song was on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in Niagara county. The singer was a Cree indian from Canada.

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    October 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Such wonderful words, Tipper. I have a spot in my heart for older people; maybe because I’m “almost” one.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    October 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Papa sang that to us grandchildren as we drove up the winding staircase from Greenville to Flat Rock to visit his people. In that old pick up truck with no seatbelts, seems like we slid from side to side in time to the music.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    October 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    The music is gone! What happened?

  • Reply
    sarahsbookreflections
    October 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Nice hymn, nicely sung and reading the girls’ version reminded me of a story my mother used to tell. It wasn’t until she was at least a teenager that she realized the words to another hymn were “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear” rather than “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear.”
    My favorite hymn growing up was “Rock of Ages,” which coincidentally turned out to be my father’s favorite. My father died in WWII when I was almost 3, but he’d left for the Philippines when I was 2 days old. So there was no way I could have known it was his favorite hymn. He and I also shared a deep connection to our Scottish ancestry, as does my great niece, Zoë. His ethnic mix was French, Scottish, English, Welsh, with a smidge of Irish and Cherokee thrown in for good measure. To mine add an healthy dose of German and a smidge of Swiss. To Zoë’s add a larger dose of Irish.
    Keep singing and sharing.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    October 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    tipper i really loved your post.. and as always… the music and harmony touches my soul.. and the story about the girls… was so sweet.. i always thought we should write these things in a book to remember when the days are long past.. i think as we age, we realize that time is fleeting and certain places and songs… well they just get us to thinking of ones here and those we have lost.. and where we will all be together again.. i hope pap is feeling better and know that i send my love and prayers to you all
    xoxo
    lynn

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Tipper,
    Wonderful song and comments…I hope I’ll never grow old or cold either…Seems like I remember a song with a line or title something like, “buried in the cold, cold ground.” I don’t like to think about it, eventhough I know my spirit will not be present for the event!
    I just pray that it ain’t HOT! Sorry, the “devil” made me do it..I got to lighten up a little bit today, “cause it’s so dog-gone gloomy and cloudy. Again, sorry!
    I love to hear you all sing…I didn’t realize it until yesterday morning, when signing in to your blog, that I was humming “Until Then.” I guess my brain was anticipating the music and player being back. Hope it gets fixed soon..
    Have a great day and thanks Tipper,
    PS…When you get the player fixed, have Pap and gang add a seasonal song for each season to the list…I’d love to hear them sing “September Song”, for the Fall season or as some call the song, “Autumn Leaves.” I think I’m having a nostalgia brain trip today…

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Loved the song Tipper! Years ago, my son and daughter were in the car with me, while I was driving home from church and we were singing. The song was “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I noticed my three year old daughter in the back seat was singing something a little different. I listened closely and when we got to the part about “angelic host” she was singing “jelly toast.” It was so sweet.

  • Reply
    Bradley
    October 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Tipper,
    I love your music. The way the little girls made their own words was cute. That’s a keeper for a memory! I’m sure you have quite a collection by now. There was a song they sang at our church years ago called “Too Sacred for mortal eyes” and my little sister told one of the women in our church what her favorite song was “Too scared for mortal eyes.”
    You and your family have such a unique presence; This is what keeps us coming back again and again. It seems you already know what takes most people a lifetime to realize.
    You ALL are the best!

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo aka grandma Sal
    October 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Thanks Tipper, I loved remembering this song from church when I was younger. I thought that was cute that Chitter and Chatter thought it was A Land where we’ll never grow cold. My Uncle Roy Miller had a beautiful singing voice and did many solos for the Methodist Church he attended in West Asheville. He sang at all the relatives funerals. I look forward to hearing him sing again some day, “In A Land Where We’ll never grow old!”
    The Blind Pig Gang did a wonderful job with this song…Thanks again.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I’m sorry I haven’t never seen your family live. I really enjoyed this part of the concert. You are a very lucky woman; your family is so beautiful.

  • Reply
    Ken
    October 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Tipper,
    I can’t add anything more to what
    has already been said. I’m just so
    glad I was there and get to mingle
    with each of you afterwards.
    My two daughters and I use to sing
    Never Grow Old when we were riding
    and I’d add “where we’ll” as they
    sung lead. Both would smile every
    time…Ken

  • Reply
    kat
    October 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Grew up singing that old hymn. One of my favorites and ya’ll did a great job singing it as always.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Tipper–That’s a wonderful old song, and I didn’t know its history until now. Your comment about Pap’s comments is lovingly laden with poignancy.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    October 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

    One of my favorites. I always enjoy your families music. I will bookmark the hymn history page. thanks.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I love that old song and you all did a wonderful job with it.
    With both my parents now passed on it has a special meaning for me. Dad and Mom were in my thoughts alot yesterday because of the changing season I think. They both loved this time of year . It was such a blessing to check in here this morning to find your topic of the day. It made me smile and honestly a wee bit emotional hearing y’all play it. Thanks for all you do!
    Blessings,
    Ron

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Pap’s voice seems to soar so sweetly on this tune and it really stands out – he is truly singing from his heart. Hope he is feeing better.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Cute story about the girls, my granddaughter sings like that too, and she also puts in words that have the most meaning to her.
    Loved the music as usual a great job.

  • Reply
    Rush
    October 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Love the old hymns. Thanks for the video! Sorry to hear Pap was not feeling well.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    October 14, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I was glad to hear this song that night. My Papaw really loved this song later in his life too. I’m very thankful I had him for an example in my life.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    October 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

    The audience affection for Pap was palpable in Brasstown that night.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I was watching Pap when Paul first messed up. He kinda threw back his head and looked around as though to keep from looking right at Paul. Like saying “now son, that ain’t the way I taught you.”
    This is what beings me back here every day. Real people being real people. I can close my eyes and bring them right here into my home. I can sing right along with them. I can’t mess up a verse and nobody worried about who’s going to pay for the studio time.
    I noticed the way Pap pronounces where. That is the way I always heard it growing up and that’s the way it is supposed to be. Don’t give in Pap!
    Lastly, The Blind Pigs music has an extra little ring to it lately. I can’t pinpoint it but there just seems be an extra sparkle, especially from the ladies.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 14, 2012 at 7:41 am

    I swear Tipper, Pap has the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard. The whole concert was wonderful. It was very poignant to have the three generations singing together!

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    October 14, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Love this old song,,, you all done a good job, And we’ll also never grow cold either, ( cute ).

  • Reply
    B F
    October 14, 2012 at 7:31 am

    so like a child to sing the song and change it the way they did
    God bless them
    if only we were more child like and more humble

  • Reply
    Kim Joris
    October 14, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Where We’ll Never Grow Old was sung beautifully. The song, your Pap’s heartfelt words, and watching you and Katie and Corrie together on the stage brought tears to my eyes. A gift of music, tradition and family I won’t soon forget. I didn’t notice that Paul forgot the words. And, I bet nobody else did either.

  • Reply
    Gorges Smythe
    October 14, 2012 at 5:42 am

    The Bible says we’ll have new bodies someday; I’m sure they’ll be better than the ones we’ve got. Meeting old friends will be the best part after meeting Jesus, though.

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