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The Mystery of His Way

(Bob Nolan)

 

When angry storm clouds rise and wild winds sweep the skies,

I’m sure that this must be the myst’ry of His way.

Then comes a glory morn and bright new things are born.

All this that I may see the myst’ry of His way.

 

So climb you to the highest mountain

And look you to the world below.

Living things drink from His fountain

Then, reaching t’ward the sky, they grow and

In choral voice they sing, “This is a wondrous thing!”

And He will find a way to speak with you someday.

He’ll speak with you someday.

 

 

        All his life, Bob Nolan sought after the "mystery of His way" and, according to his daughter, never could find the complete answer. He was convinced that God and Nature were one and the same and we see this theme consistently in his music. Although he did write standard religious songs ("All the Way", "Lighthouse of the Lord" , he told biographer Ken Griffis that he wrote them only for commercial purposes. They did not reflect his own beliefs - but "Relative Man", "He Walks with the Wild and the Lonely" or "Three Friends have I" did.

        In 1952, "The Mystery of His Way" sheet music appeared in the songbook, "Rex Allen - Arizona Cowboy Song Favorites No. 1" by Bob Nolan Music, Inc. In December of 1954, Bob registered a new copyright and it was again published as sheet music, this time with a photo of Bob from the 1944 Republic film, "Hands Across the Border".

       On July 12, 1954, The Sons of the Pioneers recorded the song for Coral with their newest members. On November 23, 1962, The Pioneers finally recorded "The Mystery of His Way" for RCA Victor and it became available on the LPM/LSP recording "Hymns of the Cowboy".

 

Recordings

1952 11 18 RCA Vi20-5127 Bob Nolan

1954 07 12 Coral (unissued) Sons of the Pioneers (Dale Warren, solo)

Smokey the Bear radio transcription (Tommy Doss, solo)

1962 11 23 RCA Sons of the Pioneers (Lloyd Perryman, solo)

Rex Allen, September 21, 1953

Ken Curtis and his Ranch Hands

Lobo Rangers

Robert Wagoner

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS with "The Mystery of His Way"

 

 

       

NOTE: “On the sheet music there was the notation "BN107" and the imprint of the Bob Ross Music Service. It was at their locations off Sunset Boulevard, at Vine Street and Leland Way, that Bob had his music and words put into standard form by transcribers. A sheet with written music and typed words was created which could be reproduced and protected by copyright. Unfortunately it provides no helpful information as to the total number processed by them or any hint to the totality of Bob’s output. Doubly unfortunate is that the firm went out of business in the Seventies and it is unknown whether their holdings were archived or dumped. At least the numbers give some help when combined with copyright dates to achieve a rough chronology." (Lawrence Hopper)

 

Original lead sheet in Bob Nolan's hand

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

 

Lucky U programs courtesy of Larry Hopper

28 March 1952. Transcription Disc TR-302, 303
23 April 1952. Transcription Disc TR-337, 338
6 June 1952. Transcription Disc TR-401, 402
12 June 1952. Transcription Disc TR-409, 410
1 July 1952. Transcription Disc TR-435, 436
2 July 1952. Transcription Disc TR-437, 438
19 August 1952. Transcription Disc TR-481, 482
2 September 1952. Transcription Disc TR-501, 502
10 October 1952. Transcription Disc TR-513, 514
22 December 1952. Transcription Disc TR-614, 615
11 February 1953. Transcription Disc TR-688, 689
18 May 1953. Lucky U Transcription Disc TR-826, 827

 

Smokey the Bear 1955: Show #7