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JTT Origins: Angel Band (38) RE: Angel Band 16 Oct 00

The Stanley Brothers sing it on O Brother, Where Art Thou. They only sing three verses, not including "I know I'm near the holy ranks" or "I've almost gained my heavenly home", sadly. has the soundtrack for sale now, I see. Well worth buying.

Listening again to the verses, I find that some verses are Catholic-hymn-like: "Oh bear my longing heart to him, who bled and died for me; Whose blood now cleanses from all sin, and gives me victory" - the same blood-as-Vim theory carries through to Republican (Irish, not American, that is) thinking). But other verses are very Protestant-sounding: "I brush the dew on Jordan's banks, the crossing must be near". And of course angels don't tend to appear in *legitimate* Catholic hymn, though there are a lot of folk prayers which sue for grace from them, like the Irish children's prayer "Garda na n-aingeal os mo chionn, Dia romhaim agus Dia liom" ("Guard of angels over my head, God before me and God with me") which is traditionally said at sleep time; and by many grownups during time of trial, if the truth were told.

By the same token, Angel Band, with its welcoming of death, is strangely comforting.

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