(To learn how to play Where the Soul Never Dies, watch the video at the bottom. To get the free sheet music, click on the menu above.)
To Canaan’s Land I’m On My Way (Where the Soul Never Dies) was written by William M. Golden in 1914, and is in the public domain.
Last post was about “A Beautiful Life”, also by Golden. I was looking for a new gospel song to learn at the time. In a stroke of pure serendipity, decided to learn “Beautiful Life”, only to realize shortly after that it was one we sang during my early teens. While researching the song, and William Golden, I found his other really well-known hymn. Since it was another ‘forgotten treasure’, doing Canaan’s Land next was a no-brainer. Went from one to the next, both old (really old) favorites.
I have mixed feelings about forgetting these songs. You grow up, get older, stay busy living life. There’s new, old, and sometimes things fall to the periphery. It makes me kind of sad that I forgot these songs for so many years. On the other hand, it’s a great joy to rediscover something from my childhood. Especially something that meant so much.
Now I have the pleasure of learning the song all over again. A Beautiful Life was a lot of fun to play, though I had a hard time getting it just right. Been having just as much fun with Where the Soul Never Dies, only this time was far easier. After just a few days, it’s fallen into an arrangement that reminds me vividly of Friel, the uncle that truly inspired me with his piano playing. I’ve picked up bits and pieces through the years from different sources but the heart and soul of how I play, Friel taught me. Wish I could have learned more from him. His playing had subleties mine lacks.
I did manage to learn the best lesson, though. He taught me to love to play. It doesn’t matter how good (or bad) I am. Losing myself in music, letting my hands follow my heart, that’s a lesson worth learning. There are millions of people who play better, and I admire them all. What I do, and I’m the best there is at what I do, is… I love when I play the piano. It’s not about the skill of the musician. It’s about the sheer love of making music.
People tell me I’m good, but that’s not the truth. The truth is, they hear my love of playing. It lets them forgive the liberties taken, the mistakes made. It’s not about being good. It’s about the love.
Hope you enjoy.