Tune of the Day: The Old Rugged Cross
If you look inside any church, you are likely to find a cross. Typically it is made of stone, polished hardwood or some kind of metal, and occasionally gilded with gold leaf. Very rarely is it a cross of roughly hewn timbers, which is odd because Jesus was not crucified on a cross of polished hardwood or metal, and certainly not a cross gilded with gold leaf.
Around a hundred years ago, an American called George Bennard (nothing to do with George Bernard Shaw) spent quite a while contemplating this anomaly, and came up with a new hymn: “The Old Rugged Cross”.
Hymn writing was one of Bennard's passions, as he wrote over 300 of them. “The Old Rugged Cross” was composed in 1912, and soon became one of the 20th century's most popular songs, with over 20 million copies sold in the first 30 years. The catchy song has been performed by some of the twentieth century's most important recording artists, including Elvis Presley, Al Green, Anne Murray, Johnny Cash and June Carter.