Buell Cobb's Like Cords around My Heart is a rich account of some of the people who have kept the Sacred Harp tradition alive well into the twenty-first century. Often fascinating, at times touching, the author's prose powerfully carries the reader along much as Sacred Harp singing carries along its devotees and keeps them coming back again and again.

As one who only knows Sacred Harp from afar, I found myself caught up in its spell as the author took me through the crowd of singers who sit around "the hollow square," introducing this one and then that one. A keen observer of human nature, Cobb gives us insights into the personalities and convictions of these people that only one could give who is both an "insider" and a gifted writer.

Those who go faithfully to the singings will likely find much to cherish about this tribute to their art and to so many intriguing characters, but I can imagine that a few may fuss a bit over someone he left out or some case where their memory is different from his. But overall, my guess is that this book itself will be viewed as a treasured gift by the Sacred Harp community.

Cobb frequently describes the traditional lunch, overflowing with much to delight the palate, always held in the midst of each all-day songfest. In a tip of the hat to the author's adroit use of figures of speech, we have to say this book itself is a veritable feast for those who want to know the characters behind a sustained tradition, as well as for those who just enjoy a well-written book.

Thomas A. Jones
 


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01/05/2017 10:42pm

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03/08/2017 12:48am

I like your review! And I think I will read this book soon ;)

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05/02/2017 11:55am

It's so cool that such traditions are still alive. Thanks to that man, who started all that!

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06/22/2017 12:20pm

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06/25/2017 5:25pm

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