One of my fondest memories of school days is being involved in the music programme. I was fortunate to be able to receive lessons for violin, clarinet and sing in the school choir. I also managed to pass the new (age alert) GCSE qualification in Music.
During this time I sang in a community choir, (Hedingham Choral Society). Traditionally we sang Stainers Crucifixion at Easter.
Here is the first solo and chorus, in keeping with the lastest Lent devotional posts.
What are some of your favourite musical memories?
Let all the world sing.
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?”
Vintage nonsense for a bit of fun this Monday morning.
Hope the sun continues to shine on your day, metaphorically as well as physically.
Legends on tiptoe
There are somethings that just naturally go together
apple pie and ice-cream (custard maybe if you’re British)
toast and Marmite
cold winter evenings, a warm blanket and a film
a good novel read by the fire the list goes on.
For today’s musical contribution I’ve chosen a classic duo Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon.
Why “Diamonds on the Sole of her Shoes”? Because it reminds me of a younger me, at home with the children, foot tapping, singing along, feeling my way through sometimes hard times, but hanging on because of music that delighted, friends that supported, family that loved and my belief in all things positive. It made me feel like I had diamonds on the sole of my shoes, whilst God gave me diamonds on my soul.
Go ahead and crank up the sound, watch on full screen, and enjoy this and feel the excitement of being at a concert even whilst you are at home, perhaps doing the boring stuff, because that’s the power of social media, internet and our modern living.
Feel better now?
Share the love, give it a like and write your thoughts, it is all about connecting the world.
Romance and passion in one beautiful voice
“Blow the Wind Southerly” a traditional Northumbrian folk song, appeared on a link on my Spotify list and I was immediately taken back to Sunday nights; family supper listening to 100 best tunes with Alan Keith. Kathleen Ferrier was a favourite especially when singing this song.
As a romantic teenager, music lover and choir member I longed to have a voice like hers with the skill and artistic ability to bring such mood into her singing.
A more recent by Laura Wright:
Bryn Terfel has included it on his Homeward Bound CD. Lovely voice but I struggle with sentiment hearing this in male voice.
You tube has many more versions. Which one is your favourite? Join the conversations and connect.
Old favourites re-worked
There are many renditions of one of the most well known of the Psalms, The Lord is my shepherd.
This is a re-worked version that I actually like, it retains the peacefulness that the words convey and it honours the great truth,” Your goodness will lead me home.”
In contrast any hip hop rappers out there who can do a passable urban version?
Always looking for new music, styles and suggestions.
Enjoy your day and connect!
The world in which we live
A favourite hymn of mine. One of the first that I learned how to harmonise. I love finding different interpretations artists will have for the same tune and lyrics. This one appeared on my Spotify discover weekly list this morning; I would say picture me singing along with it but probably not. Enjoy it and do sing along yourself!
Be happy, be joyful, be grateful.
Grace and Beauty
I was a violin player in my younger years, perhaps not appreciating the beauty and sound of the instrument as much then as I do now and extended to all string instruments in particular.
Also in music lessons at school we studied Saint-Saëns, The Carnival of Animals. The almost haunting melody of the swan described as slowly gliding around his territory, aloof and alone was my favourite part.
So, today I give you both:
Whilst you are here why don’t you flip over to my journal page to read more about my musings on music for today?
Also don’t forget to comment on these pages as you thoughts, opinions and ideas are “music to my ears”. Ha Ha.