Looking after the organ

The Organ

No one alive now remembers how the organ originally looked. It is hard to think about the organ, and better not to dwell on it too much. The congregation have learned that it is better to accept, and say nothing. Reverend Davies certainly won’t pick up the topic in any substantial way. Ask him about the church organ and he will say things like ‘I think it may need dusting’ and ‘this cold, damp weather plays havoc with the leather.’ He absolutely will not talk to you about what happens when the leather rots away and needs replacing.

Older members of the congregation remember when there were fewer pipes. It is said that the original design had only three pipes and that in the beginning, the organ mostly droned, and this was fine because it’s not like anyone sings actual tunes in Reverend Davies’s church. Occasionally some bold soul will venture a melody, but because no one else knows the tune this just makes the whole thing more raucous than usual. In the beginning, the organ provided drones, and the congregation mumbled its way through hymns with as little reference to notes and words as it could manage.

It is generally understood that enthusiasm is not part of the work of a congregation. Getting worked up is Reverend Davies’s job, as it was the job of Reverend Witherspoon before him. No one remembers any further back than that.

Last week, the leather inside the organ clearly wasn’t in good shape, and some of the notes were unavailable. Last week, the congregation drew lots in somber silence, and having picked the shortest stick, Condolences Jones undertook to dust the organ. The notes are working just fine now, and there are three new pipes for high notes. Shiny, bone white pipes that the congregation tries not to think about. They sounded very shrill during the service in memory of Condolences.


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