Monday, 29 August 2016

Can It Be True

There’s this song I really want you to know.

I feel as though I’ve been alive for simply ages, and certainly feel every minute of the age I am, but every now and then something catches me out that shows I’m not keeping up with time passing. This song, for instance. When I was fifteen and first a Christian, everyone was singing it – not least because the large numbers of teenagers learning to play folk guitar found it particularly easy to accompany. “What can you play?” “Well, I can manage Can It Be True?

And I loved it. I thought it was beautiful then, and I still do. It takes me by surprise that nobody else seems to know it any more. I can’t find it anywhere at all on the internet.

Something else I love about it – this has come with the passing of the years – is that it’s written by a Franciscan whose name is given only as Brother William. Those of you who know my St Alcuins series of novels will understand that I inevitably have a soft spot for any Brother William who loves the Lord Jesus.

The copyright of the song belongs to him, and the copyright of the arrangement in Youth Praise belongs to The Venturers. I don’t know who they are.

Youth Praise is long out of print, and the ways of copyright mystify me, so if anyone is reading this who owns the copyright and is cross to see what follows, please contact me and I will take it down. It’s not here for fame or money (as you will realise when you hear me sing it); it’s here because nobody knows or sings Can It Be True any more, and I think they should. The point of copyright is to stop people stealing and making money from other people’s work. The point of this post is to draw attention to the song – so please think of this as publicity not theft.

It’s No 36 in this book.



This is the song.




This is how it goes. I’ve just washed my hair and it looks like old string so I put it up in a kapp to save you that distress. My singing is not good and I’m not impressed by either the sight  or sound of myself, but I remember St Francis saying we must be content not to be good and not to be thought good, so here you are. Oh – and for reasons I cannot fathom, my Mac camera films and photographs like a mirror. I can flip the photos but (so far as I know) not the movies. So everything is back to front. We soldier on. Here goes, then.




Anyone who saw this post the minute I first published it will have been in time to see that I initially posted the WRONG video – my out-take. Uh-oh. Anyway, I showed The Wrong Video to my family and it made them laugh a lot and they said I should put it in. So here it is. Excuse my 'French'.





11 comments:

Rapunzel said...

Well you made me smile twice Pen.

When I was an adult student at university I signed up for French as my language requirtement. My eldest daughter who studied French in high school and had traveled in France gave me this sage advice.
"You should say merde a lot. It makes you sound sophisticated."

Its good that life is not dull.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Mother Hawthorne said...

I can't see any video links, Ember. But I used to play and sing this song looooaaaaads as a teenager!! Didn't know who wrote it though xx

Nearly Martha said...

Oh! Oh! (Puts hand up like school when I knew the answer and neeeeded to let everyone else know)Yes I know it. And yes, I discovered it because I was trying (unsuccessfully) to learn the guitar. How lovely to hear it again. Lovely words and lovely memories.

Pen Wilcock said...

Mother Hawthorne - what d'you mean? What can/can't you see? There should be two boxes with YouTube videos - do you just see continuous writing with no videos, or are the boxes where the videos should be present but nothing on them, or the videos are there but nothing happens when you click on them - or ... ??

Anyone else got that problem?

I clicked on the YouTube logo at the bottom of the video, to 'watch this on YouTube' - it takes me to YouTube but not to that video, and on YouTube when I hover on 'My Channel' it just offers me the opportunity to create a channel - so I can't even give you a direct link to where they are on YouTube. Mystery!

Sorry about that.

:0(

Nearly Martha - yes, it surely is a good one. Treasured memories. x

Mother Hawthorne said...

Aha! Got it! Maybe it was because I was using my ipad before, but all I could see was empty space between paragraphs of writing. Anyway, am on my laptop now and it all works fine. My best friend and I used to 'perform' this at little Christian meetings, and we made a lovely harmony to it. Thankfully, as I sang along with you Ember, you chose to pitch it rather lower than we used to sing it!! ;)

(Btw, you know it's me, Juanita, don't you? xx)

Pen Wilcock said...

You may have noticed from my out-take, pitching it higher no longer works for me . . .

I know only one Mother Hawthorne :0) x

Julie B. said...

I couldn't see this on my iphone or ipad, but have come to my computer now to watch, and went from tearful, worshipful feelings to a loud guffaw when I watched the second video. Thank you for both, dear Ember. :) xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

:0D xx

Anonymous said...


They say we should laugh more ... its good for our health. Can't remember when I gave such a spontaneous delighted bark as when I hit on your aborted video. God bless, Mairin. (Always follow your posts!)

Pen Wilcock said...

:0D

xx