Repeated Redundancies

Repeated Redundancies

For some reason, a couple of redundant song phrases have been going through my mind and brain this evening.

Conrad Cook, who wrote some great, terrific songs, had a song cut by the Rex Nelon Singers in 1983 and again in 1984 by the Sego Brothers & Naomi titled “I Can’t Keep It To Myself.” It’s a fun song overall, but in the first verse there’s a redundant description of Bartimaeus who Jesus healed: “He was blind; he could not see.” When the Segos did this song, I’m not sure why or for what reason, but they swapped the word “and” for “he,” making the redundancy even more unintentionally comical: “He was blind AND could not see.” I’m going to venture a guess that if Bartimaeus had been lame, he also would have been unable to walk.

My first experience playing piano regularly for a church came when I was in the 9th grade, the year after I completed 8th grade. At the little rural, country church where my grandmother attended and graced with her presence, they had a hymnbook with a song titled “Shake Hands With Mother Again.” I think it might have been one of the books from the Songs Of Inspiration series published and printed by the Benson Company. The song title alone is funny enough, but that’s not where the repeated redundancy happens. That jewel is served up in the second verse, which begins: “I’d like to say, Mother, this is your boy, You left when you went away.” I suppose, if Mother had returned, one could also say she came back.

Can you think of more examples? If so, leave a comment and a reply.

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Category Humor

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both and David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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  1. Reply December 05, 08:55 #1 Darrell

    Funny stuff, David. I laughed out loud and chuckled! Oh wait, now I’m repeating myself repeating myself. But seriously though, I tend to pick up on stuff like this, even though I don’t have an example right now. Although I did think of something the other day kind of along the same line. It has to do with the Christmas song “Let It Snow”. The song starts out “Well, the weather outside is frightful….” My thought was, where else would the weather be than outside? If the weather is inside you have serious problems with your house!

  2. Reply December 05, 09:16 #2 JSR

    Our choir sings a song that has the line, “my blinded eyes were closed in agony, I couldn’t see what I was doing.” I’m not sure why it matters if your eyes are closed if you’re blind. It should also be obvious that you can’t see if you’re blind and your eyes are closed.

  3. Reply December 05, 11:39 #3 drlovable

    ” I was in the 9th grade, the year after I completed 8th grade.”

    Yes, I saw what you did there … cute.

  4. Reply December 11, 14:21 #4 Darrell

    This one is from the Christmas song “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”

    Our eyes were blind, we could not see
    We didn’t know who you were

    Methinks if you are blind, it’s pretty obvious you can’t see. But thanks for clarifying that for us. :-)

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