Short stories: Alan hears the same song sung three times, over a period of sixty years

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 24th Jan 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

At three times in his life, Alan had heard a particular song being sung. Each time this song was sung to him, it had stopped him dead in his tracks. He was rendered frozen, and inert by the unworldly beautifully sung song.

Each time, it was sung by the same singer. In the end, Alan at last realised what the third and final singing to him of this song meant for him, but it took a heart attack to wake him up to it.

Alan's first hearing of this tune

When Alan was just a young boy of only six years old, he attended his local Sunday school every Sunday.

One Sunday afternoon, there was another boy there called Peter Chapel, who was just a little bit older than Alan was. He was around eleven years old, at that time.

Peter was a good singer already. He had a voice like an angel. It was a beautiful, peaceful, type of a voice, that drew you into each song, that he sung.

On this particular Sunday, Peter sung the song known by the title of, "The Royal Telephone."

He gave a heart-rendering performance of this song, that was once sung by Burl Ives (1909 to 1995), the well-known American folk singer, and actor.

Peter's singing of this song went into every heart in the room. A tear welled up in every eye, on that day. His song meant something to him, and he made it mean something to each one of us listeners that day too!

"The cool wind blew in my face and all at once I felt as if I had shed dullness from myself. Before me lay a long gray line with a black mark down the center. The birds were singing. It was spring."

This is a quote by Burl Ives. This was why he sung. This was how he began his singing career.

Here is another quote from him, describing this same day too.

"I went to my room and packed a change of clothes, got my banjo, and started walking down the road. Soon I found myself on the open highway headed east."

Alan's second hearing of this same tune

It must have been more than thirty five years later, when Alan again heard this same song being sung.

This time it was being sung by a professional singer, who was providing the entertainment factor at his brother's wife's citizenship ceremony, that was being held at the cultural centre in the town of his brother.

The voice of this featured performer seemed eerily familiar to Alan.

Looking in his program to see why he was having a sort of deja-vu experience, Alan saw that the singer's name was Peter Chapel. He was listed as being a well-known professional gospel singer.

After the ceremony was over, Alan went up to Peter, and he asked him if he was the same Peter Chapel, that he had once known in Sunday School. It turned out that this was indeed the case.

The rendition of this old tune, with its touching words was particularly moving that night. It was like Peter was putting his very heart and soul into his performance. It was even as if this was going to be his very last performance of it.

It was too.

Two weeks later, Alan spotted a small paragraph in his local paper that said that local boy made good, Peter Chapel, had unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack, and that he was only 47 years of age.

There are many quotes around that mention the idea of things coming in threes.

Here is just one of these:

"All mankind is divided into three classes: Those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move."

This apparently is an old Arabian Proverb.

Alan's final hearing of this moving tune

Another twenty years had gone by now. Alan had been having pains in his chest, off and on, over the last six months. He had just put it down to his indigestion problems.

One night then, around this time, Alan had a most vivid dream.

In this dream, which was set in a fairly simple setting, Alan was seated in a large bus terminal, with other people, all waiting there, for their buses to arrive.

As they sat there, bored out of their teeth, a man came into the terminal, holding a microphone. He started to sing. The song that he sung, was this very same song, (The Royal Telephone) which begins with the line, "Telephone to Jesus."

Alan listened to his most beautiful angelic voice singing the whole song. Alan was entranced by it, as were all of the other people in the waiting room too.

The man then placed the microphone down onto a table nearby, and then he simply left again.

Alan knew that this man in his dream was again Peter Chapel, although he did look a bit different to him now. For one thing, he looked younger, and he still had hair on his head now too! And also, nobody could ever sing that song like Peter Chapel could!

Alan had awoken from this dream, thinking to himself that this man coming into his dream now must mean something for him. After all, this was the third time that he had heard Peter Chapel sing this particular song.

"Things come in threes."

Alan knew this. This ancient superstition (see this link for one explanation of why this belief is still around) is still believed in by many people even in this scientific age.

Alan knew that it must contain some hidden truth within its simple outer message. "Maybe it was referring to the linking together of karma, and alluding to the way this is usually done", Alan had thought to himself.

Two weeks later though, Alan suffered a massive heart attack himself.

Luckily for him, his heart attack took place inside his local shopping centre. People had come immediately to his aide. He had survived it, but when he was sitting up in the hospital bed, with plenty of time to think things over, it did come to him then, that this dream was some type of a pre-warning, for this coming heart attack.

He had not seen this at the time.

The two week period gave it away. This was the exact same time period from when Peter Chapel had died after that rousing memorial final performance of his at that citizenship service.

"It's funny how a beautiful song could tell such a sad story."

That last quote is from the American writer ,Sarah Dessen.

This too could have ended up a much sadder story, if our hero Alan had died in that heart attack of his!

Even so though, each life that is lived, is part of a beautiful song, that is being sung by us all.

We are all members in God's choir, I feel. This is why singing, and listening to beautiful songs, and music can move us so much, and sometimes they can move us even to tears.

Photo credits:

The photos used in this article were sourced from the free media sites, and Wikimedia Commons.


Repeating Life Messages, Repeating Songs, Short Stories, Short Story, Superstitious Sayings, Things Come In Threes, Things Happening Three Times, Tunes In Your Mind, Warnings Received In Dreams

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author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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author avatar brendamarie
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Yes, I have to say I have hear the things come in threes before and I do believe it. Birth, death, and such have all happen in my family members in threes.

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author avatar spirited
25th Jan 2016 (#)

In Christianity we have the trinity, the father, the son and the holy Ghost.

Then there are the three little pigs, the three stooges, why they even have a name for this phenomenon: Triaphilia.

There seems to be a natural resonance/magnetic pull that somehow mystically links three events together like this.

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author avatar Mariah
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Really ineresting story Spirited it's often said that there is no such thing as coincidence and that things happen for a reason.
Thanks for sharing this.

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author avatar spirited
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Yes, thanks Mariah, I also believe that there are no accidents, and no co-incidences too.

There is a law of threes that says that things that come in threes are linked by some type of an invisible thread.

The three events are connected for a reason.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Thank you for this post spirited.
Yes I believe it could have been a warning ...but a good one .
Jesus loves us so much that He wants us to be in heaven with Him when we leave this old earth ...and as He is the Only way back to the Father ( John 4:16 ) He doesn't want anyone to miss the opportunity ..
I believe both Burl Ives and Peter Chapel are safely Home now with the Lord , and this was to show Alan how to get there also....
On Jesus' telephone line there could be a million talking at the same second , but God hears them all , and He never fails to save those that call on His name , ( John 3:16-17 )
dear spirited the God of the Bible ...The Saviour , the Helper and Friend , and call on Him , then , no matter what comes , all will be well .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar spirited
25th Jan 2016 (#)

At least Alan got another chance. He has survived, and he might yet get the message.

There is hope where there is life, thanks Stella.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Thought provoking Spirited and lovely song too.

Hinduism also has the trinity of Gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are respectively the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe.

There is an underlying connection to what is happening to us but we may not be able to, or do not bother to, connect and so put it down to coincidence - siva

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author avatar spirited
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Yes, thanks siva, but if we miss the connections that are being shown to us continually in our dreams and in life, our life and living it could be a whole lot harder sometimes, we will stub our toes on the rocks, rather than pick them up, and add them to our rock collection, cursing them,, not loving them, in other words...

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author avatar Retired
25th Jan 2016 (#)

A new hero, spirited? Interesting.

Anyway, it is a fairly well-known idea that something must be rpeated three times for it to sink in, such as a telephone number in an ad on the radio. Of course, this has been carried forward to television, too. Also, in baseball, (from the negative side of this phenomenon) "Three strikes and you're out!"

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author avatar spirited
25th Jan 2016 (#)

Yes, the writing is still in me wanting to come out, Christopher.

Alan is of course a part of me too, as was John. We are all brothers in a way.

Mark Twain was said to have said:

"“The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.”

These are also three things here, life, death, and taxes...LOL...

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