Have you ever had a tune or some lyrics start rolling through your mind and you wonder where they came from?
That happened to me this week when I looked at the calendar and realized the month of May was upon us. For some reason, those lyrics and the melody — “I was strolling through the park one day in the merry, merry month of May” — began forcing their way into my consciousness. Being curious, I wondered, “Who wrote that song and under what circumstances?”
So, I Googled it and discovered the song was entitled, “The Fountain in the Park” and it was written by Ed Haley around 1880. It was first published in 1884.
I didn’t learn anything about the circumstances under which it was written, but it was featured in several films and recorded by many artists over the years.
It was even sung on the moon. When Apollo 17 voyaged to the moon in 1972, Lunar Module pilot Harrison Schmitt and commander Eugene Cernan were taking one of their moonwalks. Schmitt began singing, “I was strolling on the moon one day …” Cernan joined in and used the original lyrics, “in the merry, merry month of May,” but Schmitt substituted “December,” which was the actual month at the time. The astronauts eventually forgot the words and began humming the notes instead.
May is a merry month, to my way of thinking. We hope at least that the frequent showers of April have lessened, and we can expect warmer temperatures along with flowers popping out in greater profusion. Although spring begins in March and gathers steam in April, we expect it to be in full bloom in May.
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven,” according to the wise man (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). I will take May as a time and a season to renew my rejoicing that God, who provides both showers and flowers, also spreads the warmth of his love upon us with daily provisions. And I’m grateful.
— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as the assistant general secretary for the denomination.