For the Holy Week Soundtrack

  • Richard L. A. Schaefer

    I mentioned in the Corner in regard to the death of Earl Scruggs the seeming etymological and other connections between the following words: kithara (Greek) and cithara (Latin) for the harp, the guitar, the sitar, the zither and the harpsichord (and a harpsichord that can play soft–piano–and loud–forte–originally given the Italian name for a harpsichord plus the word pianoforte). Whether the instrument played by the mother of the Carter family in this presentation is a zither or is not, that is pretty much what a zither looks like. The words “Oh, oh, oh, oh” are some of the most haunting and piercing words ever sung by a human being. It takes a lot to upstage and exhibit greater devotion than Johnny Cash, but that member of the Carter family did manage to do so in this rendition of the hymn.