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Question: Abide With Me

DougR 29 Jun 00 - 12:34 AM
katlaughing 29 Jun 00 - 12:55 AM
Callie 29 Jun 00 - 01:14 AM
alison 29 Jun 00 - 01:27 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 00 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,Mrr 29 Jun 00 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,DW guest 29 Jun 00 - 01:51 PM
katlaughing 29 Jun 00 - 02:12 PM
DougR 29 Jun 00 - 08:08 PM
Amos 30 Jun 00 - 12:31 AM
DougR 30 Jun 00 - 01:02 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM
IanC 30 Jun 00 - 05:51 AM
Banjer 30 Jun 00 - 06:02 AM
DougR 30 Jun 00 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Confection 30 Jun 00 - 06:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jun 00 - 07:27 PM
IanC 03 Jul 00 - 08:43 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 Jul 00 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,JohnB 03 Jul 00 - 09:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jul 00 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Confection 03 Jul 00 - 10:11 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 Jul 00 - 12:09 PM
Ringer 03 Jul 00 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Confection 03 Jul 00 - 07:08 PM
DougR 03 Jul 00 - 07:59 PM
bob jr 03 Jul 00 - 08:31 PM
DougR 04 Jul 00 - 01:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 00 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Confection 06 Jul 00 - 12:56 PM
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Subject: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:34 AM

I searched the database for the lyrics to the old hymn, Abide With Me. I noted that Amazing Grace is there, but not that great old hymn. Is Amazing Grace considered more a folk song than Abide With Me? They are both simple melodies with a great message. DougR


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:55 AM

Interesting question, DougeR. I put "Abide with me" in the SuperSearch and came up with several threads in which people make reference to it as a favourite trad song. It will be interesting to see what folks have to say on this.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Callie
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:14 AM

Particularly as popular mythology has it that the band played "Abide" as the Titanic went down.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: alison
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:27 AM

Wasn't it "Nearer my God to Thee"? supposedly as the Titanic went down....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 03:17 AM

Probably, the main reason "Abide With Me" is not in the Digital Tradition, is that nobody has submitted the lyrics for inclusion in the database by posting the song here in the Forum. I suppose, though, it's more of a traditional anthem - not really something that's found its way into the folk music genre. It's readily available at The Cyber Hymnal - but feel free to post the lyrics if you'd like to see them in our database. I'm sure Dick and Susan would consider including the song.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:33 PM

Everything I heard about the Titanic points to it being Nearer my God to Thee... Abide with Me makes a lot less sense, who wanted to abide there at all? I'd be interested if anyone knows the history... all I know is from folk songs!


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,DW guest
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:51 PM

In fourth grade I played the part of a prince who had to break an evil spell. I needed to sing three hymns to do it. I knew nary a one. My mom gave me the words and music to Abide With Me.The charm worked and the princess awakened!

Abide with me Fast falls the eventide The darkness thickens Lord with me abide! When other helpers fail And comforts flee Help thou the helpless Oh, abide with me.

Maybe there was more to it, but that was enough to rouse the bewitched princess.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 02:12 PM

Mrr, if you go to this website, Midi Singalong Songbook and scroll down a ways, you will find two listings for songbooks of the Titanic, depending on which class one was sailing as. IMO, it is worth the time it takes to load the pages.

I am sure, from what I remember reading somewhere that it was "Nearer My God To Thee"...it stuck in my head because as a member of Job's (as in Biblical Job) Daughters, when I was growing up, we sang that song at every convocation, while kneeling in white robes, pious as all get out!**BG** Any other "Jobies" here?

kat


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 08:08 PM

I believe in the original movie about the Titanic, the one starring Clifton Webb, the band played "Nearer My God to Thee." I don't know if that is based on actual history though.

I posted the question because I think there is a lot of similarity between the two songs. Simple melodies and straightforward lyrics, and one of them,"Amazing Grace" has found a solid place in Folk Music repertoire, whereas "Abide with Me" has not. Both, of course, have a religious base.

DougR


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Subject: ADD: Abide With Me ^^
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 12:31 AM

ABIDE WITH ME
(Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847)

Abide with me,
Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens;
Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail
And comforts flee,
Help of the helpless,
Oh, abide with me.

2. I need thy presence
Every passing hour;
What but thy grace
Can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who like thyself
My guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine
Oh, abide with me.

3. Swift to its close
Ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim,
It's glories pass away;
Change and decay
In all around I see;
O thou who changest not,
Abide with me

4. Not a brief glance I beg,
A passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st
With Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending,
Patient, free.
Come not to sojourn,
But abide with me.

5. Come not in terror,
As the King of kings,
But kind and good,
With healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes,
A heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners,
Thus abide with me.

6. Thou on my head
In every youth didst smile,
And though rebellious
And perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me,
Oft as I left Thee.
On to the close,
O Lord, abide with me.

7. I fear no foe,
With thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight,
And terars no bitterness.
Where is death's sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still,
If thou abide with me!

8. Hold thou thy cross
Before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom,
And point me to the skies;
Heav'n's morning breaks,
And earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death,
O Lord, abide with me.

^^


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 01:02 AM

Thank you, Amos. I just finished writing a screenplay and the main character is named Amos. It must be a good omen.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM

Mr Lyte wrote it as he was going blind. That explains the references to darkness and evening. It isn't really about dying or death at all, it is about losing one of God's greatest gifts, and the realisation that he would need to rely on others for the rest of his life. Of all those, the most steadfast and always present would be his God. He knew he would see again in heaven and that is why he wants to be pointed to the skies - he is asking God to guide his footsteps because he cannot see the way.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: IanC
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 05:51 AM

DougR

I think your remarks about the different status of Amazing Grace and Abide With Me in "folk music" are a very good illustration of the difference between "folk" and "folkies".

It's true that "Amazing Grace" has been widely recorded commercially in the last 20 years or so and that it seems to be sung quite frequently in pub sessions, including my own. However, before the recent commercial revival, it was nearly unknown to most people (including "folkies"). By contrast, almost everyone in my parents' generation in this part of the UK (around Cambridgeshire) appear to know all the 4 verses usually printed in the hymn books by heart and can/will always sing it when asked. It is sung at funerals, as an evening hymn and - in my family at least - as a "travelling" song (i.e. we used to sing it together when going somewhere - either walking or in the car).

Between the 1920s and the 1970s, "Abide With Me" was always sung in the community singing before the (UK) FA Cup Final at Wembley. Up to 100,000 people singing it was quite impressive.

By way of reference to the Alzheimers thread, I recall vividly the last time I sang "Abide With Me" with my dad. He had been diagnosed as having a terminal brain cancer which had reduced his speech to single words and strings of 2 or 3 now and again. We were watching "Songs of Praise" (Sunday evening hymn service on BBC). When "Abide With Me" came on he started singing it and, to his and our surprise, sang the whole thing perfectly. A great joy, but also the occasion of a few tears under the circumstances.

I wouldn't sing "Abide With Me" in a pub session as I think it wouldn't really be acceptable, though I do sing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", which is tolerated.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Banjer
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 06:02 AM

That Midi Singalong Songbook that Kat refers to is quite a worthwile site...Thanks Kat!


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 01:34 PM

IanC: I find your posting very interesting. Thanks for writing it. I'll have to read the Alzheimer thread now. The power of music is amazing.

I would be interested in your reasoning, though, why you find "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" acceptable to sing i a pub session, but not "Abide with Me."

Thanks, too, Liz the Squeak, for passing information that I was totally unaware of.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,Confection
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 06:55 PM

There are lots of hymns that almost everyone who's been in a church knows. They can be found in the hymnals of almost every denomination in the US & some also in England. I've seen them a called standard hymns. To me Abide with Me & What a Friend we have in Jesus are 2 of them. Others would include Rock of Ages, All Hail the Power of Jesus Name (to Coronation in the US & Diadem or Miles Lane in UK); A Mighty Fortress; the list could go on and on.

I guess to the the question would be not why is this or that hymn not considered folk, but what is it that makes a particular hymn or song folk? Amazing Grace is a folk hymn because of its roots in the southern shape note books. It is a standard hymn now, but only because singers like Jean Ritchie & Judy Collins made it so popular. (I guess the Scottish bagpipers need a little credit too) Before the hymnal revisions of the 70's & 80's it was not in Episcopal or Lutheran hymnals, it was in Methodist & Baptist, & I'm not sure about Presbyterians.

A couple of years ago I went to the 'gospel sing' at Old Songs on Sunday morning. It may have been the first year it was done. It was strange because of the difficulty of arriving at songs that everyone could join in on. We ended up doing a fair number of easy Sunday School, VBS type songs. I kept thinking if we started singing All Hail the Power of Jesus Name everyone would probably join in, but it did not seem like a folk festival type song to me so I did not suggest it.

I have also noticed there are spiritual songs that get sung as folk songs & are rarely heard in a church. (Although it may be just the ones I go to that don't do them) Some that come to mind quickly are, How can I Keep from singing, Angel Band, I'll fly Away.

As I've been writing this, I've been flipping through Sankey's 1-6 & have some observations on the folk/not folk aspect of well known spiritual songs. It seems to me there are some songs that will be done in a general folk setting & then other additional songs that will be done at a specifically gospel session of a folk event. The first group tend to be those that avoid heavy theological & especially Christological statements. All 3 I listed in last paragraph seem to fit that category. Amazing Grace is actually pretty heavy theologically, but since 'Grace' is never quite defined non-Christians may find they can internally define it how they like. I'd also expect perhaps some Negro Spirituals or really old tunes like Bitter Whithy. A gospel session would probably have more overtly Christian songs and tending toward the ones with perky choruses or that come from childhood. Many of these are not as old as we think & have roots inlate 19th & early 20th century revivals. Oh How I Love Jesus, What a friend we have in Jesus, Blessed Assurance, At the cross.

Others thoughts?

One final note. The number of hymns written is really uncounted I'd say the 100's of thousands. If some spiritual songs are really turning up as used at folk events by all means put them in the DT database. Otherwise, leave them to the hymn sites.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jun 00 - 07:27 PM

First time I ever heard Amazing Grace was at Woodstock, with Arlo Guthrie singing it. Amazing. I think that kind of thing gave it a sort of street cred as folkie. Abide with Me is so universally known it's real folk, and so not really folk clubby - I think Ian C has it right there. But I bet if anyone started it up in a singing pub session anywhere in England the punters would join in, football being a national religion.

"Nearer My God to Thee" was definitely reported in the press at the time as having been played as the Titanic went down. I think this has been denied by revisionists, largely I believe on the spurious grounds that it wasn't on the band's programme. I'd be extremely surprised if people weren't singing or playing it at some time. The way they did it in the big Titanic Movie struck me as very true to life. (I only wished they left it all the crap about those star-crossed lovers having exciting adventures like something ourt of a computer game, and concentrated on the musicians, upper decks and lower decks.)

"Narer my God" deserves to be sung more often - it tends to be overshadowed by "Abide with me", and I prefer it really. That's largely because the lady who wrote it lived and died and was buried in Harlow. Anytime I sing eitther "The Titanic" or "Engine 142", in which it is also mentined, I tend to end up with a verse or so of "Nearer my God", and it never feels out of place in a session.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: IanC
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 08:43 AM

DougR

Re: "What a Friend ...".

It's my general perception that hymns are not really generally acceptable in sessions near me. Non-christians and others turn off if you sing them. However, if they are slightly OTT then they are sometimes acceptable. "What a Friend" just fits into this category, but it was also parodied a great deal in WW1 and 2 so the tune is apparently acceptable also.

Not really my logic, just what I have discovered over the years.

Cheers
IanC


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 09:14 AM

Of course, if you get a jazz pianist who plays merde chaud blues to play 'What a friend' or even 'How great thou art', you are in for some serious singing!! Especially if he puts the 'Blueberry Hill' riffs underneath (the bah bah bah bah bah bah bah's...)

I've been in a church choir for nearly three quarters of my life, but recently when I had to sing a 'religious' song at a Sunday singalong, I found I had none to do!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 09:51 AM

I know a couple people who loathe and despise "Amazing Grace" and refuse to sing it. The basis for this is the prior occupation of it's writer, the captain of a slave ship. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 10:06 AM

That's what the word "Amazing" signifies, John B.

There's hymns and there's hymns. There are two times when "sacred songs" (because it goes wider than hymns as such) in a folk setting can stick in the craw - one is when people are trying to proselytise, trying to sell a message; the other is when people are taking the piss. (Which is really just another way of saying the same thing, you could say, just with a different message.)

When a bunch of people sing Shape Notes, or West Gallery,or Sheffield Carols etc, some of them are singing out of a religious belief, some are singing out of a temporary suspension of disbelief. But either way, they are treating the songs seriously.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,Confection
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 10:11 AM

What an odd objection. The sons & daughters of former slaves sure don't seem to have a problem with it.

The author of Amazing Grace, John Newton, was a slave ship captain before his conversion experience. Afterward he quit and became an opponent of the slave trade. Amazing Grace is an expression of the change that took place in him and turned him away from his occupation. Yes, even a wretch like a slave captain is not beyond redemption!


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 12:09 PM

More hymn trivia:

'Dear Lord and Father of mankind' was written by John Greenleaf Whittier, after observing one of the more energetic indigenous rituals where they get stoned on some local herb and dance around out of their skulls and doing things they wouldn't dream of doing sober. Hence the 'reclothe us in our rightful minds' line that always goes down so well at weddings....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: Ringer
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 01:07 PM

Forgive my ignorance, but what, Guest Confection, is a "southern shape note book"?

On a separate subject, anybody know what folk song Vaughan Williams based his wonderful hymn tune, Kings Lynne on?


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,Confection
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 07:08 PM

I love Kings Lynne, it really has the kind of sound that the shape note hymns have. I'd love to know the source for it as well.

My nutshell definition: The 19th century shape note books were oblong tune books that used 4 different shapes as note heads to help with music reading. The first was published in Philly in 1799. They were extremely popular in the pre-Civil War South and singing from the Sacred Harp has continued to the present. The shape note books such as The Southern Harmony and The Sacred Harp have been recognized as containing many tunes originating as folk tunes. Apart from Amazing Grace the most well known tunes from the books are probably Wondrous Love & My Shepherd will Supply my need.

If you can get that link to Christian Classics Etheral Library to work (I couldn't), look for New Britain and you will see a facsimile of the first time the words for Amazing Grace were published with the tune most of us are familiar with. (Look at the 3rd line) Basically the same tune with different tune names and different words was published in several other shape note books before the 1834 Southern Harmony publication.

You can find lots more about shape note music, especially The Sacred Harp at the FASOLA home page. Follow the 2nd link on the page to see a sample.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 07:59 PM

Interesting postings. Guest Confection, I agree totally with you re the composer of Amazing Grace. It's difficult for me to understand why some folks wouldn't sing it because he was a slave trader since he converted to Christianity and rejected the slave trade. I guess to non-christians conversion means little though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: bob jr
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 08:31 PM

i was in manchester once at old trafford (i hope thats right) and that tragedy in i think it was holland had just happened and all those fans got killed in the stands...the fans decided as a tribute to sing "abide with me" but no one could remeber the words so there was alot (and i mean alot) of mumbling instead..the papers said the next day that in its own way it was a very fitting tribute to the whole mess..


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: DougR
Date: 04 Jul 00 - 01:20 AM

Wouldn't you thing, before somebody suggested that, that somebody would have thought about printing off and distributing the lyrics? Oh well, the thought was good anyway. I guess even humming would get the point across. DougR


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 04:14 PM

Since Amazing Grace has come into the picture, here's a thread about it worth having a look at.


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Subject: RE: Question: Abide With Me
From: GUEST,Confection
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 12:56 PM

I can add some information about the verses for Amazing Grace. What's the protocal, add them here, start a new thread, or revive the old?

CCEL finally connected for me. Here's the Southern Harmony 1834 version of New Britain AKA Amazing Grace. I forgot about there not being an alto part. The tune is on the middle line.

Re the folks who could only hum along on Abide with Me. If singing the song was a spontaneous expression by the fans, why expect someone to bring the words. How many copies would have been needed anyway. It does provide an example of a lot of songs we tend to think everyone knows, only to attempt it & discover it just isn't so. In my earlier post I mentioned several hymns I think most churchgoers at least would know. I think I might have been right 20 years ago, but so many churches have gotten away from even standard hymns that I'm not sure if younger people would know them. There are also just fewer people going to church on a regular basis so while the tune might have been picked up along the way, the words would probably be unfamiliar.

A couple of years ago within just a few weeks I went to 2 very different festivals that had the same result. At workshops at both Old Songs and Falcoln Ridge someone at the end said, "Let's do something we all know, Amazing Grace." The problem was that no one on the stage actually knew more than the 1st verse. So after one verse they started in on a 2nd but forgot how it went before the end. Sort of anticlimactic.


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