it was a stylish congregation you could see they’d been around
and they had the biggest pipe organ of any church in town
but over in the amen corner of that church sat brother ayer
and he insisted every sunday on singing in the choir.
his voice was cracked and broken age had touched his vocal chords
and nearly every sunday he’d get behind and miss the words
well, the choir got so fl-stered the church was told in fine
that brother ayer must stop his singing or the choir was going to resign.
so the pastor appointed a committee. i think it was three or four
and they got in their big fine cars and drove up to ayer’s door
they find the choir’s great trouble sittin’ there in an old arm chair
and the summer’s golden sunbeams lay upon his snow white hair.
said york we’re here dear brother with the vestries approbation
to discuss a little matter that affects the congregation
now it seems that your voice has interfered with the choir
so if you’ll just lay out are you listening brother ayer.
the old man raised his head a sign that he had hear
and on his cheek the three men caught the glitter of a tear
his feeble hands pushed back the locks as white as silky snow
and he answered the committee in a voice both soft and low.
i wonder if beyond the tide that’s breaking at my feet
in that far off heavenly temple where my master and i shall meet
yes, i wonder if when i try to sing the song of god up higher
i wonder if they’ll kick me out of there for singing in heaven’s choir.
a silence filled the little room and the old man bowed his head
the committee went on back to town but brother ayer was dead
the choir missed him for awhile but he was soon forgotten
a few church goers watched the door but the old man entered not.
far away his voice is sweet and he sings his heart desire
where are there no church committees and no fashionable choirs.
let me hide myself in thee…