‘I Was Glad’ at the Traffic Light

So often when I stop at a red light, I find myself beside a vehicle pimped out with bone-shaking audio—always cranked up to the max. I can’t tell what music is being played because only the bass thumps its way to my car.

My response is typically a brief prayer: “Thank you, God, that I am sitting in this car and not that one.” This is only to say that I’m aware of a cultural and generational chasm between people like me and those who like their music played above 100 dB.

C. Hubert Parry
~ C. Hubert Parry ~

When you’re sitting next to the thumping car, it’s pretty easy to assume that the driver is young and the music is rock, or one of the 180 sub-genres of rock that Wikipedia enumerates. Both assumptions seem fairly safe, and I imagine they’re usually right.

And yet, the other day I was the driver of the thumping car. Was I listening to Blackened Death Metal? Psychobilly? Pornogrind? Screamo? J-ska?

Nah. It was C. Hubert Parry’s classic I Was Glad, as recorded in 2002 by our church choir.

It has a huge pipe organ thing going. Those 32-foot pipes will shred speakers with the best that rock has to offer. I had ol’ C. Hubert cranked.

The driver of the car next to me at the red light of course had no idea what I was listening to and was probably imagining one of the 180. He stared at me until I turned and met his gaze. As we made eye contact, his expression changed to something almost quizzical.

He seemed to be asking, “Aren’t you a little old for this?”

One Reply to “‘I Was Glad’ at the Traffic Light”

  1. Much as I dislike “big” organ music, I prefer it any of 180 sub-genres of rock. Where is the Duke of Earl?

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