1104) Good Old Summertime

     Temperatures in the upper 70’s these last few days have Minnesotans thinking about summer, even though it is still mid-April.  The first warm days of Spring have people humming the tune of In the Good Old Summertime, which has been a favorite ever since it came out as a big hit in 1902.  Everyone can probably hum a few bars of the tune, and the phrase ‘good old summertime’ has become a cliche.  But most people do not know most of the words.  It is a pleasant little song, and since all the verses are not well known, I am including them here:

There’s a time in each year
That we always hold dear,
Good old summer time.
With the birds in the trees’es
And sweet scented breezes,
Good old summer time.

When your day’s work is over
Then you are in clover,
And life is one beautiful rhyme.
No trouble annoying,
Each one is enjoying,
The good old summer time.

Oh, to swim in the pool
You’d play hooky from school
Good old summertime
You’d play “ring-a-rosie”
With Jim, Kate and Josie
Good old summertime.

Those days full of pleasure
We now fondly treasure
When we never thought it a crime
To go stealing cherries
With faces brown as berries
In good old summertime

In the good old summertime
In the good old summertime
Strolling through a shady lane
With your baby mine
You hold her hand and she holds yours
And that’s a very good sign
That she’s your tootsie-wootsie
In the good, old summertime!

–Music by George Evans, lyrics by Ren Shields


To hear this sung by a one-man Barbershop Quartet, go to:



     There is no mistaking the message:  summer is the best part of the year and there is more time for everything.  The days are a pleasure, the breezes are sweet, and there is plenty of time for swimming, playing outside, or strolling through a shady lane with your tootsie-wootsie.

     There is more time for everything in the summer, except for worship, as Sunday morning attendance goes way down in many churches.  There seems to be two main reasons (seasons?) in Minnesota for missing church on a Sunday morning.  When the weather is bad, many people stay home because it is inconvenient to get out.  And, when the weather is good, and everyone has so many other things to do.

     Remember one thing in the ‘good old summer-time’ this year.   As you are treasuring “those days full of pleasure,” do not forget to give thanks to the One who gives you such pleasure, and who created that good old summertime in the first place–  the One who has given you your life and the days to enjoy such a wonderful time.  It happens all too often that the more God blesses us, the more likely we are to neglect him.  That is what usually happens in the summer at church.  It is in summer, that time of year that Minnesota is most richly blessed by God, that God is worshiped least of all.

     Enjoy the nice days of Spring and then the ‘good old summer-time.’  But also remember to give God your thanks and praise.


Deuteronomy 8:10,11a  —  When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands.

Exodus 20:8  —  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Hebrews 10:24-25a  —  Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.


For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.

Refrain: Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flower,
sun and moon and stars of light.  Refrain.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild.  Refrain.

For yourself, best gift divine,
to the world so freely given,
agent of God’s grand design:
peace on earth and joy in heaven.  Refrain.

–F. S. Pierpoint  (1835-1917)


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