Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” so says Plato. I believe that music can heal, bring communities together and facilitate harmony.
Enter with me into a fascinating combination of beautiful poetry and soulful music that might cheer your spirit enough to sing along.
I remember singing this hymn with only the fervour a young girl of six or seven can bring to a favoured hymn. To sing it in morning assembly would ensure a successful day. Today it resonates with my wish that all may connect in some part in the joy of music.
The simple melody combined with words having the appeal of both rhyme and rhythm delighted. I was intrigued by old fashioned words, “thither” and phrases, “..the heart must bear the longest part”.
Then, the history and author of the song did not matter I just wanted to feel the harmony of word and music and sing aloud, probably quite untunefully.
Now I am delighted to find the original was by George Herbert, entitled Antiphon. Why does this delight? Since revitalising my interest in George Crabbe and reading connections of the two poets, both being both clergy and poets.
The usual tune and the one I remember is Luckington. (Follow the links to access the whole tune.)
The following is taken from Ralph Vaughn Williams work, “Mystical Songs”, which combines four other poems by Herbert
Easter, I got me flowers, Love bade me welcome, The call, and Antiphon is the final praise, culminating in the last chorus sung in fortissimo homophony.
Another version, I like the clarity of this but find the modernity a little jarring.
I found myself wanting a version which was even closer to Antiphon than was the Vaughn-Williams. And here is such
Ending on a quiet note is fitting now as we draw this day to a close. I started with a song in my heart looking forward to the day and the opportunities it would bring. I rest now in the peace of tasks accomplished and the joy of communing in your presence. Thank you for joining me, I close with the wisdom of Michael Jackson: “To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”