“Mountain Music” by Alabama
40 Days of Country – Song #20 – Lent 2016
With a career that has spanned over five decades, Alabama is one of the most enduring country music groups of all time. Originally formed as the band, “Wildcountry” in 1969, the band’s success began almost as soon as they officially changed their name to Alabama in 1977. With a heavy dose of southern rock accompanied by dueling harmonies, songs like “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle and a Band)” and “Song of the South,” the group really came into their own during the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
One of their earlier hits was the song, “Mountain Music,” off the the album of the same name, which reached the number one position on four different charts in the United States and Canada. Randy Owen, who wrote the song, has stated that it took him three years to write as he desired to paint a picture of what growing up in the south looked like based on his experiences. The song is a celebration of youthful memories and the carefree freedoms of yesterday, as lyrics sing, “Oh, play me some mountain music like grandma and grandpa used to play.”
In the Gospel accounts, Samaria was one particular mountainous region that Jews often avoided, believing the residents to follow an ancient form a Judaism mixed with other regional religions, thus making it blasphemous in the eyes of some. Jesus did not share this opinion, and the Gospel of John records an exchange he had with a Samaritan woman at a well. “19 The woman said, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you and your people say that it is necessary to worship in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you and your people will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You and your people worship what you don’t know; we worship what we know because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth…” Mountains are good. Mountain top experiences are even better. It’s good to remember them, but we can’t always stay there, sometimes we need to “float on down that river,” moving forward in faith on that path that Christ has called us.
God of mountains and valleys, keep us ever mindful of your presence, in our highest of highs, in our lowest of lows, and encourage us to praise you through it all. Amen.