The lyrics for this play-along hymn, "The Lily of the Valley," were written by Charles Fry in 1881. Fry was a builder and amateur musician in Salisbury, England. In 1878 the Salvation Army was trying to begin a ministry in Salisbury but were met with often violent opposition as they attempted to preach on the streets. Charles Fry volunteered to serve as a bodyguard for them and showed up at their next meeting with his three sons with two cornets, a trombone, and a small tuba. The four Fry's played music between fighting off the thugs who were trying to stop the preaching. From this one amateur musical family volunteering to play on the street developed the tradition of the Salvation Army Brass Bands that still continues over 130 years later!
Fry took the melody for this hymn from "Little Old Log Cabin In the Lane" written by William Shakespeare Hays in 1871. The tune was also used for many parodies such as "Little Old Sod Shanty on My Claim" and "The Little Red Caboose Behind the Train," as well as for the cowboy song "Little Joe, the Wrangler,"
We're playing with banjo, ukulele, and fiddle here, because that's what was available the night we got together. Have fun with any combination of instruments you come up with. Don't be afraid to experiment. You might discover a combination that sounds great. When you do, send us a video and we'll share it!