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Victorian hymn revisited

MGM·Lion 16 Oct 15 - 04:45 AM
GUEST 16 Oct 15 - 05:16 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Oct 15 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Oct 15 - 06:00 AM
Richard Mellish 16 Oct 15 - 08:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Oct 15 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Oct 15 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,henryp 16 Oct 15 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 16 Oct 15 - 04:19 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Oct 15 - 05:16 PM
Joe_F 16 Oct 15 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 16 Oct 15 - 07:13 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Oct 15 - 04:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Oct 15 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Dave 17 Oct 15 - 02:59 PM
Richard Mellish 17 Oct 15 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Oct 15 - 09:53 AM
Will Fly 18 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Oct 15 - 01:13 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 15 - 04:21 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Oct 15 - 05:45 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 15 - 01:37 PM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 15 - 04:16 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 15 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Dave 20 Oct 15 - 03:09 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Oct 15 - 03:29 AM
Will Fly 20 Oct 15 - 03:47 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Oct 15 - 05:18 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 15 - 04:20 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 15 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Oct 15 - 06:06 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Oct 15 - 06:24 AM
Marje 21 Oct 15 - 08:05 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Oct 15 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Oct 15 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Oct 15 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Oct 15 - 10:16 AM
Marje 21 Oct 15 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Oct 15 - 10:44 AM
Marje 21 Oct 15 - 12:36 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 15 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Dave 22 Oct 15 - 09:50 AM
Mo the caller 22 Oct 15 - 10:20 AM
Marje 22 Oct 15 - 12:17 PM
Ged Fox 22 Oct 15 - 12:59 PM
Peter the Squeezer 22 Oct 15 - 01:49 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Oct 15 - 01:59 PM
Hrothgar 23 Oct 15 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Dave 23 Oct 15 - 04:45 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Oct 15 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Dave 23 Oct 15 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 23 Oct 15 - 12:14 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Oct 15 - 12:18 PM
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Subject: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 04:45 AM

Do they still make hapless schoolchildren sing Victorian hymns every morning? Certainly did in my time, even up to my own teaching days which ended in the 80s. I used to take particular exception to that piece of transcendental idiocy by Mrs Alexander, "All Things Bright And Beautiful", about how God made all the nice things, "Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings", and then "gave us lips to tell How great is God Almighty Who has made all things well". So I came up with an additional verse of my own:-

The malarial mosquito,
The sucking vampire bat;
He must have made such things as well —
So what do you think of that!


≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 05:16 AM

The Monty Python parody, All Things Dull and Ugly, is here on Mudcat.
The Kipper Family also wrote one called All Things Dark and Dangerous.

Sadly, neither of these is widely sung in school assemblies.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 05:37 AM

Nice things?

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.


All things bright and beautiful indeed!

*

I once did a storytelling gig as part of a Northumbrian church service and wondered what sort of a set-up I'd wandered into when I heard the vicar calling upon his flock to join him in prayer to the god of the spiders and goats.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 06:00 AM

Victorian lyricists and singers were well aware of that discrepancy, and so were mankind of all generations, independent of any particular religion.

In order to achieve anything, humans need a positive spirit. Those who kill themselves for despair about the bad world are dead right, but dead.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 08:04 AM

I have seen it claimed that the line often quoted as "God made them high and lowly" is really "God made them, high and lowly"; which attributes to God the responsibility for their existence but not necessarily for their status. However I agree with Michael: it is illogical to praise one's god for the good things while ignoring the bad things. The "moves in a mysterious way" argument is an admission that God as generally perceived does not make sense to human minds.

Whether that means that God is really
a) so far above us that we shouldn't try to understand, but should just accept,
b) perverse and therefore unworthy of respect, let alone praise, or
c) imaginary
is a question discussion of which on here is unlikely to be productive.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 09:59 AM

it is illogical to praise one's god for the good things while ignoring the bad things

One is reminded of such heretical sects as the Albigenians of medieval Languedoc who were massacred in their countless thousands by the Holy Roman Catholic Church for the rather Gnostic belief that all material creation is the work of the despotic demiurge they equated with both satan and the God of the Old Testament. Thus all things are inherently evil, and the only Godly thing is the human soul, herein enslaved in this hellish realm from which, through the purification of bodily discipline and successive incarnations, it might, at last, escape the torments of toothaches, wild beasts, biting bugs, brigands, inquisitors, lusts, diseases, poverty, injustice, Catholics and other such afflictions which are the very punishments of the devil.

An attractive idea, as the only way is up! Easy to see why it caught on and the Church felt so threatened as to instigate a persecution of such brutality the Vatican has yet to reveal the full extent of the thing.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 02:17 PM

The wish to praise something as good and almighty, and the observation that this takes some stretching of logic, seem to be as old as mankind. The problem certainly predates monotheism, and can also be observed in cultures without any (anthropomorphic) deities. For example, Leninism praised the ever victorious Working Class as inevitably bringing forth progress. Ideological Darwinism praises the wisdom of evolution.

We must accept this as a psychological a priori. Best we can do is insist that it be separated from science and real politics.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 02:32 PM

David Attenborough said;

When creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind.

And [I ask them], 'Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child's eyeball? Because that doesn't seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 04:19 PM

Not sure mr A is correct in saying that creationists claim God created every separate species, although ultimately we would believe he is creator of all in the sense that all derived from him. Certainly those of us who believe the bible as most of the church has done historically, point to an original perfect creation , that was marred following Adams fall. That does give an explanation biblically though of course still leaving questions.....especially emotionally. As to whether the harm in nature is inconsistent with a GOD OF MERCY , that is a theological discussion that encompasses quite a lot. I very much doubt the hymnwriter was unaware of the bad stuff , but affirming probably the original perfect creation, and the beauty and good that still persists, despite the bad.            Btw john, I did go and see little witchingham and got a few notes out of the harmonium.....but not as well as your field recording there.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 05:16 PM

You have to pump really hard, Pete!


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 05:56 PM

"And filled their hearts with hate" was the way I used to rewrite the last line.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 07:13 PM

Well anyway, I was suitably impressed !.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Oct 15 - 04:07 AM

Getting back on topic...

When I was there (St. Faith, Little Witchingham) it was raining rather heavily. In that lush green remote & anciently sacred woodland place I was reminded of a poem by Reiner Kunze :

Hier
ruft nur gott an

Unzählige leitungen läßt er legen
vom dach des leeren kuhstalls
aufs dach des leeren schafstalls
schrillt aus hölzerner rinne
der regelstrahl

Was machst du, fragt gott

Herr, sag ich, es
regnet, was
soll man tun

Und seine antwort wächst
grün durch alle Fenster

(Here,
only God calls.

He lays countless lines between heaven and earth.
From the roof of the empty byre
onto the roof of the empty sheep-pen
the rain shrills from the wooden gutter.

God asks - what are you doing?

Lord, I reply,
it is raining, what should one do?

And his answer grows green
through all the windows.)


St. Faith, Little Witchingam, Norfolk, May 2015


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Oct 15 - 04:17 AM

PS - It wasn't raining a few days later when I went back. My wife stayed in the car listening to Radio 4 (Mark Steel's In Town - the episode from our home town of Fleetwood!) whilst I went in the church to take more pics of the wall paintings (in better light!) and so was moved to have a go on the old harmonium & take the selfie-shadow that summed it all up:

Saint Faith : 19.5.15


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 17 Oct 15 - 02:59 PM

I think the hymns they sing in school are a bit different now. It is stated by Stainer and Bell that of the six songs most often sung in school assemblies, three were written by Sydney Carter.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 Oct 15 - 06:19 PM

A little addition to my 16 Oct 15 - 08:04 AM posting. When I wrote that I couldn't think of the word I wanted, but it came to me last night. In option b), where I wrote "perverse" substitute "capricious".


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:53 AM

Richard, capricious deities are found in many mythologies, and praised and respected nevertheless. This is how people form their mixed feelings into tales.

In effect, your option a) is correct: we must not try or pretend to make any moral sense of the world. This imperative applies to clergy and doubters alike. Morality is for humans.

For example, when AIDS was in the news, I heard many priests of various religions shout that this is God's punishment for sinners - implying that God gets it wrong in most other cases ...


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM

I remember many of the hymns taught in school (Church of England) 60+ years ago - and recall that, while I really liked many of the tunes, I thought most of the words unbelievably stupid and boring. Still do - like the tunes and dismiss the words.

Tunes like "Bethany" ("Nearer My God To Thee") and "St. Clement" ("The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Has Ended") are great tunes - and my particular favourite chord sequence is in "Melita" ("For Those In Peril On The Sea").


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 01:13 AM

Actually, I always liked Victorian hymns altho an atheist, & loved singing them in school assemblies in my teaching days. Always felt about them rather as Betjeman did about Victorian buildings.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 04:21 AM

Ah yes, those school assemblies, with "There Is A Green Hill Far Away", "Hills Of The North Rejoice", "To Be A Pilgrim", etc.

Did you have a school song, Michel? Ours was "Forty Years On" - always sung on the last day of the summer term in the school hall, organ blaring away and light glowing through the stained glass windows.

I saw the original West End production of Alan Bennett's "Forty Years On", with Bennett and Gielgud in the cast - wonderfully funny - and it transported me back to those school days.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 05:45 AM

We had a school song at my Northampton School, a minor-public/local‚authority cooperative sort of thing founded 400 years before -- which I know becoz the song began "When Thomas Chipsey made this school in 1542": he being a Northampton [centre of the shoemaking trade to this day: Northampton Town still locally nicknamed The Cobblers] shoemaker. I was there 1941-43.

I don't think the grammar school, Hendon County, to which I came back in 1943, had one [Drift alert!: My brilliant family left London at the beginning of the War; came back just in time for the Blitz; went away again, & got back just in time for the flying bombs & rockets, V1 & V2!]; tho it had a potentially distinguished VIth form my year, in which were the future Rabbi Lionel Blue, Radio 4 'Thought For The Day' stalwart, Frank Williams, future Vicar of Dad's Army (wot u might call ecumenical!), & Peter Maitlis, now Emeritus Prof of Organic Chemistry at Sheffield and father of the BBC newsreader Emily. Not bad, eh, for an ordinary local-authority grammar school?

...To carry the drift even further: a coincidence is that Frank played the lead in school play of our last year The Ghost Train, which had been written some years before by Arnold Ridley, who would later become a colleague-actor of his in Dad's Army. I played an amorous young newly-wed, I remember: a part I went for, tho not the best support role, coz it meant I got to repeatedly kiss the second prettiest girl in the VIth form; a consideration at that age innit...

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 01:37 PM

Further drift appreciated - and added to!

Arnold Ridley was the uncle-in-law of one of the members of my London jug band in the 1960s. I met him on a couple of occasions, and a lovely man he was. I saw Arthur Askey in the film of The Ghost Train many years ago, and thought it a hoot at the time. I'm not sure if it's had a modern revival, or how it's stood the test of time - but it was a great success in its day.

We had a sixth-former who made a superb job of playing Henry V in our school play when I was in my second year - a certain I. McKellen.

Wot larks to have gone to school with Gandalf... :-)


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 04:16 PM

Would anybody like to add a verse to All Things Bright and Beautiful congratulating the Almighty on the creation of the bobbit worm?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunice_aphroditois

(BTW people eat the luminescent genitals of its close relative the palolo worm).


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 07:31 PM

"Actually, I always liked Victorian hymns altho an atheist, & loved singing them in school assemblies in my teaching days"

Whenever I have to do the decent thing and attend church services for funerals, I can't be prevented, nor can I prevent myself, from belting out "How Great Thou Art" at the top of my voice. Only that one, mind. At Christmas I'm exceptionally fond of Felix Mendelssohn's "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". You can keep all the others!


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 03:09 AM

Mendelssohn only wrote the tune for that, the words are Charles Wesley. Wesley predated Mendelssohn by over a century, and he wanted that hymn sung to a much duller tune (apparently one of those used for his easter hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today, but I am not sure which). Mendelssohn (and W.H. Cummings whose idea it was to adapt the tune) did Wesley a big favour there.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 03:29 AM

"Immortal Invisible God only wise" has a superb tune, + a wonderful double rhyme-scheme involving both the central & final word of each line; so that is probably my favourite hymn altogether: words by Walter Chalmers Smith, tune "St Denio", originally a Welsh ballad tune.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 03:47 AM

I remember that one, Michael. We shouldn't forget the Old Hundredth ("All People That On Earth Do Dwell"), and Wir Pflügen ("We Plough The Fields And Scatter").

Who says the devil has all the best tunes. :-)


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 05:18 AM

Yes, those two indeed. My late first mother-in-law, a very pious Christian, would never just say that lunch was ready, but always that it was "time to be fed and wateréd By Mum's almighty ". Note also that I always maintain that the final 'e' of "watered" must be pronounced, as I show, so that it rhymes with "fed".

I always also enjoyed boxing the compass with "Hills of the North, rejoice". Also, "O Worship The King, All Glorious Above", a metrication of Ps 104, I think it is. Tho I would always instinctually sing in verse 1 "Incessantly sing His Joy & His love" instead of "O gratefully sing..."

Old Clootie certainly ain't got all the best choonz at that indeed!

Still an atheist, mind. But our Xtian tradition & heritage must not be forgot! There's so much of literature & history which would become absolutely opaque & incomprehensible without it.


≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 04:20 AM

I love some of those hymn tunes, despite the dubious sentiments of some of their words. I like the idea of claiming them - or reclaiming them, in some cases - for non-religious purposes and putting (or restoring) secular lyrics to them, a sort of Vaughan Williams in reverse. Many of the tunes have the melodic structure of simple folk dances or songs and fit well into the traditional repertoire, possibly because they were traditional tunes long before they were hymns.

Existing examples:
All Things Bright and Beautiful: The 29th of May.
Be Thou My Vision: Banks of the Bann
To Be a Pilgrim: A Blacksmith Courted Me
We Plough the Fields and Scatter: John Barleycorn

etc.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 05:40 AM

Given that "The 29th of May" is a celebration of the return of the Stuarts, I would say that "All things b & b" is much less dubious in sentiment.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 06:06 AM

There are other threads on here which suggest that the use of the tune called Slane (Lord of all Hopefullness, Be Thou my Vision) as a hymn tune, predates its use for Banks of the Bann (which seems originally to have had a different tune). Hymnary.org says that it is the tune to "With My Love Come on the Road", in a collection by Patrick W. Joyce. However older than all of these are the Lakes of Shillin/Lakes of Coolfin/Willie Henry/Willie Leonard family of songs, and if you listen to Nic Jones singing The Lakes of Shillin then the melody is very similar.

We Plough the Fields and Scatter is German (Wir Pflugen) and attributed to Johann A.P. Schulz. I have just listened to Martin Carthy singing John Barleycorn on Youtube, and its completely different.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 06:24 AM

But there are dozens of different tunes to John Barleycorn, Dave; and We Plough the Fields is related to one of them. Surely you know better than to thinks any one tune is definitive to any one set of words within tradition.

Thanks for reminder as to what words the tune of Lord Of All Hopefulness carries in traditional versions: "With My Love On the Road". It was one I meant to mention as a favourite hymn in my last post, but the name just wouldn't come to me.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Marje
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 08:05 AM

The Guest several posts back who gave several examples was me, now re-cookied.

Re the 29th ofMay, I haven't heard it sung; I was thinking of its use as a country dance tune, as it appears in various tune collections.

Re John Barleycorn: yes of course there are a number of tunes to this. The hymn tune I mentioned was linked to the JB words by the Songwainers about 40 years ago, and it is now quite widely sung in this version.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 08:13 AM

'All Things Brt & Btfl' to '29th May' not the tune we used back in my day from Montessori school on; but it was the tune given in one of the hymn books in use in my 1960s teaching days, I remember. I think the "Ancient & Modern" tune, probably the best known, is by one Monk.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 09:45 AM

MGM Lion: The statement made was that these were traditional tunes long before they were hymns. "Wir Pflugen" was a hymn tune over two centuries ago, and according to other posts, a traditional (as in folk) set of words was set to this tune about 40 years ago. Another example of the folk tradition borrowing from hymns is "How can I keep from singing". Pete Seegar secularised the words, an extra verse was written by Doris Plenn, and it was made into a hit by Enya, but the tune was written by the Revd. Robert Lowry in the mid-19th century for a hymn, the original words were probably by somebody else writing at about the same time.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 10:05 AM

Another example in Bunessan (the carol, Child in the Manger). Ironically the later Morning Has Broken has found its way into just as many hymn books as the carol, which was translated from the Gaelic. There are posts on here from Neil MacCormick, discussing the possibility that this tune was written by his ancestor of the same name. But it was definitely originally a hymn.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 10:16 AM

Ken Langsbury - of The Songwainers - says that it was his brother's idea to sing John Barleycorn to the tune of We Plough the Fields and Scatter.

The words of the hymn were originally German, Wir pflügen und wir streuen, written by poet Matthias Claudius, published in 1782 and translated into English by Jane Montgomery Campbell in 1861. They were set to music in 1800, attributed to Johann A. P. Schulz.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Marje
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 10:18 AM

Oh, I agree, Guest Dave, the borrowing goes on in both directions. Some tunes that began as folk tunes were turned into hymns, e.g. by RVW in the English Hymnal. Some more examples from this:
Staines Morris: Soul of Jesus, make me whole.
Dives and Lazarus: I heard the voice of Jesus say.
The Bold Fisherman: I think when I read that sweet story of old.
and a number of others.

Similarly, but less often, what started as hymn tunes get appropriated as folk songs, as with that version of John Barleycorn.I'd like to see a bit more if this, as there are some great strong tunes out there, often with rousing choruses, that are at risk of being lost to the collective memory.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 10:44 AM

Kingsfold, which is Vaughan Williams arrangement of Dives and Lazarus/Gilderoy/The Murder of Maria Marten (not Star of the County Down, that postdates Kingsfold) is used as the tune to no less than 58 hymns according to Hymnary.org.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Marje
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 12:36 PM

It's also used for quite a number of other folk songs. "Crooked Jack" was one I heard recently; it's one of the tunes used for "Loving Hannah" (both post Vaughan Williams, I would guess); and Eliza Carthy sings a version of Claudy Banks to a similar tune. It does get around, that tune.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:45 AM

Marje, I don't know of any words original to "29th May," but that tune title refers to the day in 1660 on which Charles II was restored to the throne(s). The day was widely celebrated in England as "Oak Apple Day" or "Royal Oak Day" until the mid-C20th, and still is remembered in a few places.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 09:50 AM

My own personal view is that it was a dark day in English (even British) history. But not everyone shares that view.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 10:20 AM

Speaking of John B. One of the members of a Ceilidh band I called with was an Anglican vicar. We sometimes had booking at harvest suppers. He used to hand out 'hymn sheets' and make people sing JB to the tune of We plough.
Didn't go down well at the Salvation Army.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Marje
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 12:17 PM

I did understand the significance of the 29th of May, but don't think its use as a dance tune title is likely to cause controversy.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Ged Fox
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 12:59 PM

Well, its a great tune and whatever you call it should not cause a controversy. However, celebrating the return of the Stuart kings is no good thing, whereas celebrating the wise and wonderful things that the world is full of (regardless of their origin)is a good and worthwhile thing. I wouldn't raise a riot at your barn-dance, but I'd prefer to dance to "All things bright and beautiful" than to "29th May."

Ged (the cookielss Stuart-disparaging Guest above)


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 01:49 PM

This one is the very worst of Mrs Alexander - almost worthy of William McGonagall


Within the churchyard, side by side,
Are many long low graves;
And some have stones set over them,
On some the green grass waves.

Full many a little Christian child,
Woman, and man, lies there;
And we pass near them every time
When we go in to prayer.

They cannot hear our footsteps come,
They do not see us pass;
They cannot feel the warm bright sun
That shines upon the grass.

They do not hear when the great bell
Is ringing overhead;
They cannot rise and come to church
With us, for they are dead.

But we believe a day shall come
When all the dead will rise,
When they who sleep down in the grass,
Will ope again their eyes.

For Christ our Lord was buried once,
He died and rose again,
He conquered death, He left the grave;
And so will Christian men.

So when the friends we love the best
Lie in their churchyard bed,
We must not cry too bitterly
Over the happy dead;

Because, for our dear Savior's sake,
Our sins are all forgiv'n;
And Christians only fall asleep
To wake again in Heav'n.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 01:59 PM

I think it has a certain force, actually. I recall once getting a distinct nod and smile from an English Faculty academic in the audience when I once did a folksong evening for my late wife's Cambridge college rebuilding fund, on my saying that what I much valued in the poetry of folksong was that knack of just teetering on the verge of doggerel without ever quite falling in. That hymn of Mrs Alexander's seems to me to pull off something of the same feat. What do others think?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: Hrothgar
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 04:34 AM

It is interesting to see a crowd of folkies, most of whom would only be coerced into a church at gunpoint, belting out hymns in the hymn singing session at the Australian National Folk Festival. It is a testimony to how singable they are.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 04:45 AM

In my opinion, again not shared by all, the very worst of Mrs. Alexander is Once in Royal David's City. With all of the magnificant Christmas hymns around, going back to Piae Cantiones and before, why the Kings College lot chhose that one I never know.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 05:05 AM

I think the same applies there, indeed. Mrs A, IMO, was mistress of 'teetering on verge of doggerel' but pulling off not quite falling in; which gives her work a sort of quaint charm to me. Obviously just a matter of taste of which, proverbially, there is no disputing. Of course YMMV!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 05:06 AM

Although Arthur Henry Mann who wrote the music to Once in Royal David's City should probably shoulder an equal portion of the blame.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 12:14 PM

1) Being brought up in York, my father was always a little saddened by the poor Green Hill that was without a City Wall.

2) We always sing "Clementine" to Cwm Rhonda.

Chris B.


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Subject: RE: Victorian hymn revisited
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 12:18 PM

Oh dear. Why, the only song which should be sung to Cwm Rhonda is "Father's pants will soon fit Willie"!

≈M≈


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Mudcat time: 19 October 12:44 AM EDT

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