An episode in the recently released second season of Amazon series Transparent ends with a popular church camp chorus.
The premise of the episode, titled “Mee-Maw” (Season 2, Episode 5), and how a church camp chorus ends up being sung in it is nearly impossible to set up if you haven’t seen the show. Suffice it to say that some distant family members come to visit the son of one of the show’s main characters in an RV and as they get ready to leave a couple of their kids are in the back of the RV singing “Humble Thyself In the Sight of the Lord.”
The voices singing continues as the scene changes to the main character Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) laying on the horn of her car to get someone to open the gate so she can leave her ex-wife’s apartment complex. The whole closing sequence is one of the more emotionally gripping moments in a series full of them and one of several examples of incredible song placement.
“Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord,” which has a copyright dating back to 1978, is based on the Bible verse James 4:10 and is often sung a cappella in the round. I remember many a night singing it around a campfire or in the chapel at the Christian summer camp I grew up attending, back when it was still considered a “contemporary” song.
What a pleasant and unexpected surprise it was to see it show up in a series about a Jewish family whose patriarch comes out as transgender.