Song 091 – I Once Saw A Family

By March 26, 2018Songs

This song was used as the music for Psalm 45. I have probably sung this song to others more than any song except Song 054 – The Wooden Shoe. I wrote the music while I was at the University of Utah, sharing an apartment with Riley Skeen, in May of 1973. At the end of that summer, 0n Monday, the 6th of August 1973, we were visiting Marti’s Aunt Betty in Aurora, Colorado (this was a month before Marti and I were married), I was left alone on the back porch, and I wrote out the words to the hope in my heart and what I saw in our future in my mind’s eye. Each life goes through stages. As I approach the Great-Granddad stage, I see the words I wrote 45 years ago quite differently. It is almost as though I was seeing across time and space to where I am now. I love our Grandkids Science Summer Camps, and the time we spend sitting around the fire pit eating, talking, and sometimes the grandkids and kids even put up with my singing. It is my way of recalling stories told before. I watch them sing and play, and dance the time away, living their lives like a perfect rhyme. I always think big, and so I want all mankind to be a big happy family, loving and sharing all of the time. I recalled the cousin sleepouts on Grandma Nelson’s lawn and running through grass short and tall. I recalled Nelson and Hafen Uncles and Aunts talking of when they were young and the things they did to have fun. It was the end of my second summer working in Denver and away from Cedar City, and I was homesick, as I prepared for the most important transition of my life. I dreamed of dinner time, when the family gathered around a long oak table for a feast. Can’t you just see “sister serving, little brother trying to help, and tripping on a dog named Frodo?” Probably my favorite words, which I have written, are “Evening goes and the fire burns down low, with coals that look like children asleep. They all gathered ‘round, in a circle on their knees, expressing thanks for days like these.” So, it didn’t turn out exactly like my “vision.” The photos to the left show it turned out wonderful, with 10 amazing children, soon to be back to 7 astounding in-laws, and 15 stupendous grandchildren.

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