Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'Stand By Me': A forgotten Masonic promise?

Stand By Me
Lyrics and music by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won't be afraid
No I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Oh, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darling, darling stand by me
Stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Video: John Lennon
Image: From the 1986 film "Stand By Me"

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  1. It is not a forgotten promise. Not at all. I stand by all brothers I deem worthy; in the Blue Lodge or on the Grand Lodge line. Simple as that.

  2. Could be, but I don't know about he darling part...

  3. Quite often -- especially when it comes to feelings and poetry -- I miss the point. I don't really expect you to elucidate for numbnuts like myself, but I do wonder...
    Which promise is forgotten: a promise to "stand to and abide by.."? a promise to "aid and assist"? One or more others in the same context?

    There are times -- the current election cycle comes to mind -- when we have to keep our own counsel and vote for the correct candidate, instead of standing by our brothers who may incorrectly believe they should vote for someone else.

    Standing by a brother in trouble with the law does not mean unwavering belief in his innocence.

    When a brother severs ties with a Grand Lodge, that brother understands why you can't stand by him in certain situations, no matter how much you support his right to pursue his own path.

    So who did what to whom?

    No matter what...all IS right with the world brother.

  4. Bro. Royce: There may not actually be a point. I just found myself hearing that song in my head yesterday, after reading a new, strange blog. The words "and the mountains tumble to the sea" came into my head after reading this bit of Masonic weirdness.

    With the song rattling around my bone box, I hit lyrics.com for the words, which quickly led to the Lennon video, which, lacking any other pressing item I wanted to post on the Taper yesterday (I'm working on a long Masonic-themed article, but it's not ready yet), I then uploaded the video here.

    Outside of the word "darling" (which simply means "dearly beloved" according to most dictionaries), I thought the song exemplified the nature (or desired nature) of Masonic relationships. I hoped the song's presence on this blog would quell some of the tensions that have been flaring in the comments section of the Grand Orient article from a few days ago.

    So there you have it — a mini-version of "Behind the Music," and a glimpse into how I sometimes spontaneously choose what I post.

    Exciting stuff, I know.

    — W.S.

  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful John Lennon video and reminding us of the powerful song written and performed by Ben E. King.
    The concept of "Stand by Me," though, extends beyond Masonry and all other organizational confines. We are one people on one planet with no one better than or no one more powerful than. Equality of personhood is an ideal that many have fought and died for, Lennon included.
    In the words of John Lennon, "There are no problems, only solutions."
    Thanks for being part of the solution, WS, and for being such a wonderful and inspiring writer.
    Sandy Frost

  6. King was a genius, as was Satchmo. It is a great song.


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