Music for the Soul

Sing Unto the Lord an Old Song

Please welcome dear friend, guest blogger, and award winning author

Arlene Ledbetter

“I can’t go to sleep, Grandmommy,” complained my four-year-old grandson, Caleb. “Let’s read some more stories.”

“No way, little buddy,” I told him.

“We played at the park and in the backyard. We battled with ninja turtles, played board games, raced cars and trucks, and read five books. I’m tired even if you aren’t. Go to sleep.”

We played at the park….

I covered Caleb with his beloved brown and tan “animal blankie,” which he immediately kicked off. “I can’t stop thinking about all the things I want to do tomorrow,” he complained.

“Focusing on one thought might help. Try counting slowly to 50.”

He did. “Didn’t help,” he told me.

“Recite your ABC’s.”

Caleb scooted closer and sang the ABC song. “No, that didn’t help either. What do you think about when you can’t sleep, Grandmommy?”

“I sing through the alphabet with songs about Jesus. For the letter A, I might sing, ‘Away in a Manger.’”

I sang as much of the old song as I could remember with the hope that Caleb, like Jesus, would “lay down His sweet head.” Instead, he asked, “What do you sing for a B song?”

I ran my fingers through his short dark hair as I sang,“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. O what a foretaste of glory divine.”

Again, I sang as much as I could recall. My grandson’s breathing was deep and rhythmic. Had he fallen asleep?



He kicked off his favorite blankie….

“What do you sing for C?”

“I sing an old song my mama used to sing to me. ‘Oh, come, come, come, come, come to the church by the wildwood, Oh, come to the church in the dale. No spot is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the dale.’”

Caleb loved it. We used our fingers to count off the five “comes” as we sang the chorus over and over.

“Now a D song,” he insisted.

I tried to come up with another old song Caleb would like. “Deep and Wide” isn’t exactly ancient, but I thought he might enjoy it. He did. Too much. His head popped off the pillow like toast from a toaster. He sang the familiar song and performed the “deep,” “wide,” and “fountain flowing” movements. Of course, we had to sing the “wide and deep” version, followed by the let’s-see-how-fast-we-can-sing-and-gesture version. We laughed and laughed.

“Caleb, we really do need to go to sleep now.”

“Just a couple more songs, okay?”

I gave in, of course, but chose calming songs like “El Shaddai,” “Faith of our Fathers,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and “I Must Tell Jesus.”

As I began “Jesus Loves Me,” I was positive my little sweetheart was asleep. I realized he wasn’t when he slipped his hand in mine and sang with me.

“Jesus loves me. This I know, For the Bible tells me so;

Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”

I figured I might have to sing all the way to “Marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion.” But, as soon as we finished “Jesus Loves Me,” Caleb turned over, pulled “animal blankie” around his shoulders, and fell asleep.

Psalm 96:1 tells us, “O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.”

New songs are great, but I don’t think God minds me singing Him some of the old hymns I learned as a child and have loved ever since. Their messages of truth comfort my soul and settle my thoughts. They get my mind off myself and the tasks of tomorrow. Instead, I fall asleep thinking of Jesus, Who He is, and all He has already done.

Caleb and I slept sound in Jesus all through the night.


Grand Times with Grand Kid Caleb

4 thoughts on “Music for the Soul

  1. I sure do enjoy Arlene’s stories. This one is especially touching because it involves her grandson. Oh, how I love the old songs of faith. How I love love her “from the heart stories.” She is my son’s mother in law and what a blessing she is to many.


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