Friday, 14 October 2011

CBC Memories: Hymn Sing

My straight-laced grandmother's other favourite CBC program was Hymn Sing, which was on every Sunday afternoon for 30 years. A Manitoba production, the Hymn Sing choir featured lots of wholesome, clean-cut singers from the Mennonite Bible Belt south of Winnipeg. No panty-showing on this program! The choir would sing beloved hymns and other sacred choral works while standing ramrod straight in decorative natural or indoor settings.

The only clip I could find of Hymn Sing is the 30-second promo at the very start of this video (the remaining promos are of other old CBC shows):



A popular part of the show was the "singalong" segment when the hymn's lyrics would scroll by at the bottom of the screen so people at home could join in. Sometimes my grandma and I did. Sometimes we didn't. But we would always belt out "The Old Rugged Cross" if it was the featured singalong because it was my Grandma's favourite hymn.

21 comments:

Emme Toaye said...

One of my favorite hymms next to "Amazing Grace". Thanks for the inspiring memories!

Snap said...

Loving this series of posts.

Lois said...

Another show I managed to miss! My father was a bit of a reluctant christian, having memories of no-play on Sunday, and too much church. I just might put my tomatoes under my bed, but am afraid they might be forgotten! Where did you learn to do that?

Linda in New Mexico said...

I can just picture you and your Grandma singing big and loud. How wonderful to have those memories. Oma Linda

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Such sweet memories of your grandma.. super-lovely!
Have a sparkling wkd...thanks for your visit too, your kind words made my day!
Victoria

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

oh my..my favorite hymn.my mother and grandmother would sing it together and it was beautiful..then they'd go to mass..haha

Jeanne said...

What wonderfully fun memories! :0)
I can remember a 'gospel hour' show (in B&W) which aired on Sunday mornings about 11am. I attribute this show to my love of old (and I emphasize the old part!) gospel hymns.

Tricky Nag said...

Growing up with just one channel we couldn't help but know about Hymn Sing!
The other clips on the video were great too. Oh how I miss the Urban Peasant!

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

In the UK we grew up with "Songs of Praise" - maybe something similar? Our version was filmed in a different church every week and you just knew that all the parishioners had been out to buy a fancy new hat!!

Francie said...

Oh Debra. Hymn sing was my mom's favourite show. I hadn't thought of it in years and this post brought tears to my eyes. She would work in the kitchen and sing along with the hymns. How I miss her.

Jim said...

I remember Hymn Sing but I don't think I ever watched it.
I'm with you about the CBC. I really can't imagine my life without it! And to think that the present government wants to dramatically cut its funds. What are they missing? Or is it me?

A Lunatic Pope said...

never heard of this, but I find it oddly entertaining.

dbs said...

I forgot about Hymn Sing. Thanks for the time travel!

DEZMOND said...

I bet you sang with them too :) r

Liza-Jane said...

Oh my...serious flash back. I LOVED this show, especially the sing along parts. I loved all the women perfectly aligned in their long gowns, holding songbooks just so.I will add it to my mounting list of favorite & influencial CBC programs. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog.
Za

LauraX said...

Such a sweet memory...I remember watching All In The Family with my grandmother...But I also remember standing quietly outside her room in the morning, with the early light streaming through her windows watching and listening as she stood and chanted her morning prayers.

laughingwolf said...

mama had us watch that, too...

Em said...

My grandparents had an ancient black & white TV. They generally watched symphonies being broadcast on public TV and not much else. (Maybe National Geographic.)

Totally missed out on praise TV as I child. I would have liked the sing-a-longs.

sophie...^5 said...

I scooted past Hymn Sing so fast...am I a heathen? Loved the Urban Peasant!!!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

The only think that got BABA to turn off the hymn sing was wrasslin.

Paul Leclair said...

My Dad, God rest his soul, was not a church-going Christian believer, far from it. He was a whiskey-drinking Irish railroader, a bit rough around the edges. But I googled "Hymn Sing" today because I was thinking of him, how on every Sunday, if he wasn't working one of his swing shifts that afternoon, he'd be laying down on the couch in the living, and would want to watch and listen to Hymn Sing on the old television. He really seemed to love that show and the music and singing always made him feel peaceful and warm. Often he would snooze while listening to the show, and my older brother and I would try
to change the channel, or find something more lively on the stereo kept in the same room. As soon as he heard us touching that TV, he'd wake up and , "No, no, you boys leave my show on now. Don't change that. That's my show."

I don't think we ever got to change that when Dad was home on Sunday. And I don't know about my brother, but I kind of liked to hear those hymns too, and still do. They remind me of Pop, and also his Mom, my Grandma, who used to play "The Old Rugged Cross" on her old upright piano.

I grew up in Saskatchewan and to me, those are the memories of being a Canadian, a prairie province Canadian, when family life was at times troubled, but there was always so much love and goodness, even amidst all the troubles.