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- 270 Tracks, 18.16.16
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Written one hundred years ago by former pharmacist, C. Austin Miles, "In the Garden" was (and is) one of the most beloved hymns of protestant churches in the U.S. during the 20th century.
This version is based on 314 in the official Methodist Hymnal. Miles said he wrote it after having a dream of Mary Magdalene as described in John Chapter 20, so it can also be viewed as a lost love song. The part about walking in the garden "while the dew is still on the roses" makes me think of the many young people who died in the influenza epidemic that swept the world shortly after Miles wrote this song.
Though there have been many versions of this song -- by Elvis Presley, Perry Como...it's best know where we live as a favorite of early traveling evangelist and former major league baseball player, Billy Sunday.
We began our recording with Corinne playing from the hymnal in the non-metronomic style that was prevalent in country churches when I was a kid. Then we added guitar, ukulele, a rock flavored organ, etc. It was an interesting project; especially because the music has just a whiff of ragtime, the popular music of the day.
A side note to those of you familiar with the SC group I moderate, Tune Town. The young girl pictured on the crescent moon was Helen Plumber nee Helen Becknell, Corinne's grandmother, at the Bourbon (Indiana) fair. It must have been shot about the same time this song was written. This she claimed as her favorite hymn, though she claimed many as her favorite, and we dedicate our humble efforts to her memory. Enjoy!