Procol Harum

the Pale 

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On wings like eagles ... at Procol's Fortieth

July 2007: Pastor Gene Deverick, for BtP

BtP presentsProcol Harum's 40th Birthday Celebrations 20 / 21 July 2007

I had passed up Manchester in 2001 and then Guildford two years ago.  Deferring the pleasure of Procol Harum for the busy-ness of life seemed like the responsible, grown-up thing to do.  But now, the news was leaking out.  There would be a Fortieth Anniversary Celebration at St John’s concert hall in London in July.  None of us are getting any younger, I thought.  Life is short enough.  This is the moment to seize the day!   

Now our friends ask, what was the best part of your trip to London?  The answer comes easily.  It was the music!

Every Procol fan will know what I mean when I say: there is something especially powerful about the music.  There is unique strength in each song.  The music lifts us to a higher place.  For me, the fusion of lyrics and melody work on my mind and heart, leaving me hopeful, optimistic and joyful.  There have been a few dark and desperate times in my life over the last four decades.  Procol Harum has always been there to help comfort and raise spirits.

Over the weekend Procol Harum and The Palers treated us to hours of breathtaking music.  (When Gary sang Salty Dog on Friday night, chills ran up my spine.)  We experienced a wonderful immersion in the music we love.  It was a great weekend, a lifetime experience with our brothers and sisters from around the world.  

So why does a 63 year-old church pastor travel 4,000 miles to see a 60s rock group?  May I share a secret with you?  I find worship in the music.  God reveals Himself in many ways.  He speaks to me through the music of Procol Harum.  It helps me find that place of power, hope and promise in my soul.  You see, the music of Procol Harum reflects the power, hope and promise afforded by our Savior.  There is an Old Testament verse from the Book of Isaiah that reminds me of the yearnings prompted by Procol Harum’s music:

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Thank you for allowing me to share my heart.   Marti and I want to thank Roland, Jens, Gary, Keith and all of the other musicians for giving time and talents to feed our addiction to the music of Procol Harum. I salute and congratulate all of you for your service.

We soared on wings like eagles.  

Marti and Pastor Gene Deverick

More about the 40th anniversary celebrations

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