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More Inappropriate Wedding Music....


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Guest Cynic
I Played for a wedding yesterday and during the signing, there was a CD of Pavarotti singing - wait for it - Nessun Dorma. Either people are perverse or they just don't speak Italian.

 

Peter

 

 

'None shall sleep?' - maybe quite an apt text for a wedding night!

 

How about one I went to last week? (NB did not play for this) They went out to the James Bond Theme. Not entirely appropriate, I thought, in an enthusiastically Evangelical church. For starters, James Bond girls seem to last out one film if they are lucky!!

Over the years I have resisted certain bridal requests. One 'lady' insisted that she had to be allowed to have the complete Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor to come in to - when I pointed out that it lasts for seven minutes, she said it was her wedding and she was going to have it if she wanted it. I declined to play and offered her another organist.

 

One bride not so long back wanted 'I whistle a happy tune' from The King and I. I managed to dissuade her, one argument being the appearance of the word 'erect' which comes in the second line. The fact that the lyric is all about someone being in a threatening situation did not seem to have occurred to her. BTW, isn't this the case in the Schubert Ave Maria too?

 

Frankly, so often now we have reached the realms of 'Unchurched meets Dumbing Down'. None of us should be surprised at anything that happens in a wedding. Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that certain things are planned a certain way so as to cause amusement/notoriety or produce a suitable contender for some internet competition!

 

However, I think that the following wedding worries me more: Recently, I gather one family spent over £20,000 (twenty thousand pounds) on the flowers at the church!!! I consider this amount truly obscene. They were already in an exceptionally attractive setting (Malpas Parish Church, Cheshire). In order to completely flaunt their affluence (which is certainly the impression given, even if it may conceivably not have been the aim) they had brought not one FRCO but two, (both from out of county) and a complete guest choir. The fact that the church already has a choir was carefully overlooked. One live trumpeter was not enough, they had to have two. Is this a defining moment for 'Competitive Spending' in its bid to be recognised as an official sport?

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However, I think that the following wedding worries me more: Recently, I gather one family spent over £20,000 (twenty thousand pounds) on the flowers at the church!!! I consider this amount truly obscene. They were already in an exceptionally attractive setting (Malpas Parish Church, Cheshire). In order to completely flaunt their affluence (which is certainly the impression given, even if it may conceivably not have been the aim) they had brought not one FRCO but two, (both from out of county) and a complete guest choir. The fact that the church already has a choir was carefully overlooked. One live trumpeter was not enough, they had to have two. Is this a defining moment for 'Competitive Spending' in its bid to be recognised as an official sport?

 

 

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Looking at the last paragraph, I think I mentioned a similar wedding, where the organsit of a Cathedral (as conductor), the assistant organist as accompanist and myself as "supplier of ye voluntaries and hymns" were all crashing into each other in the vestry beforehand, and celebrating our good fortune at the huge fees we were receiving for doing very little.

 

I think the best trick to pull off, would be to moan and groan about the condition of the organ, and then get an obscene donation for the re-build.

 

It remind me of what Dr.Runcie said about a certain Royal Wedding.

 

"It doesn't matter how grand the occasion, or what happens before or after; the couple still get exactly the same prayer-book wedding service as everyone else."

 

As the Beatles pointed out, "Money can't buy me love."

 

Actually, organists are just as guilty, because we tend to play instruments which cost a huge amount of money, and more often than not, were the gift of a single benefactor.

 

MM

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Perhaps the time s coming for there to be a 'recommended music list' for couples... and the organist has the right to refuse anything not on those lists. Still a good 7/8 appropriate pieces for both incoming and exiting voluntarys

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Guest Lee Blick
appearance of the word 'erect' which comes in the second line
:lol:

 

The fact that the lyric is all about someone being in a threatening situation
Could be quite apt on the part of bride, groom, in-laws....

 

To be honest, I don't mind accomodating requests, as long as it is not satanic or Eminem. I have long since stopped pretending a wedding is a sacred sacrament of the church exactly because of the sort of motivation for these things as Cynic describes.

 

If the mother-in-law wants to sing that song from Titanic, no problem. I bring my ear-plugs and let her get on with it on a karaoke CD. If a couple asks for something outlandish, I just increase my fee. If they want to bring in a FARTO, great, I would still get my fee. The couple wants to bring in the Vasari Singers, no problem, the choir gets a nice cash surprise the following Sunday.

 

Weddings seem to be just a show these days or expressions of wealth. The only weddings I do take more seriously are those with members in the congregtation. The rest: it's play, get paid and piss off down the pub...

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As we're on the subject of inappropriate music.....I've just played for a Tridentine (1962) low Mass (I was still on the organ bench 10 mins ago and am using the parish computer!). Started off with a piece by Paul Copeland called Acceptance. Offertory was some Reger (the first bit of Wienachten which I know is hardly seasonal but it is suitably dunkel); at Communion I played the Adagio bit from Franck no. 3 and I sent them home, having played the Salve Regina which they enjoyed singing, to the Thunderbirds theme tune.

 

Lee, I was once asked for the Titanic but I pointed out that a film about a ship sinking with huge loss of life hardly makes for an auspicious start to married life!

 

Peter

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Guest Patrick Coleman

What's important in a wedding? Bride, groom, sincerity of vows (which entails the intention and means to keep them), preferably a priest to bless and two witnesses to make it legal.

 

The rest is irrelevant. Of course it should be in keeping where possible, but why get worked up about it? In a previous parish, a local colleague used to like to use our organist wherever possible because he knew she would be praying for the couple throughout the service, just quietly and with no fuss. If musicians (and God help us clergy) connive in making the whole thing a show and no more, then there is no room for complaint about it being no more than a show.

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Guest Lee Blick
As we're on the subject of inappropriate music.....I've just played for a Tridentine (1962) low Mass (I was still on the organ bench 10 mins ago and am using the parish computer!). Started off with a piece by Paul Copeland called Acceptance. Offertory was some Reger (the first bit of Wienachten which I know is hardly seasonal but it is suitably dunkel); at Communion I played the Adagio bit from Franck no. 3 and I sent them home, having played the Salve Regina which they enjoyed singing, to the Thunderbirds theme tune.

 

Lee, I was once asked for the Titanic but I pointed out that a film about a ship sinking with huge loss of life hardly makes for an auspicious start to married life!

 

Peter

 

I try to avoid playing it, but there is something quite amusing/touching when you get some teenage girl squawking away at it 'cos it's the only thing she can sing on her Wii karaoke. Sometimes it is good for wedding congregations to hear very bad singing, it might put them off asking just anybody for future occasions.

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To be honest, I don't mind accomodating requests, as long as it is not satanic or Eminem.

I'm with Lee, here. It's their wedding. If I had a real issue with whether something was appropriate for use in a church because of its extra-ecclesiastical connotations, I'd run it past the Celebrant: if s/he was happy than I wouldn't have a problem.

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Guest Lee Blick
I'm with Lee, here. It's their wedding. If I had a real issue with whether something was appropriate for use in a church because of its extra-ecclesiastical connotations, I'd run it past the Celebrant: if s/he was happy than I wouldn't have a problem.

 

 

Advising the couple to 'run it past the Celebrant' is a useful get out for music you really would rather not play. A couple wanted a young relative to sing 'Mad World' by Gary Jules to remind them of the grand-father who died around Christmas-time. I am no killjoy, but it really is not appropriate for a joyful occasion and to me it is a horrible dirge anyway. The incumbent tactfully advised against using that music.

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My niece asked me to play for her wedding last December. When I asked her about her selection of music, she gave me a totally free hand to select what I'd like to play. (Dangerous!) A week before the wedding, her minister got in on the act and suggested some repertoire that would be appropriate - in his view. Bridal march? The sinfonia from Bach's cantata BWV 156: "Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe" - I'm standing with one foot in the grave.

 

What did the bride know that none of the rest of us knew?

 

Still, as the only one of five nieces and nephews to decide to marry in a church, hers was the only wedding I was able to play for. Bach recycled the sinfonia in the F Minor (I'm relying on my memory) harpsichord concerto anyhow, so as I sat down at the console, I mentally sat myself at my harpsichord, surrounded by my string playing colleagues, and ignored the title on the miniature score I was playing from.

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I was once asked to play, as the retiring voluntary for a friend's wedding, John William's The Throne Room (from Star Wars) - starting off with trumpet flourish so could initially be confused for Mendlessohn's wedding march. I'll spare the groom the embarressment of further identification in case he's on these forums as he is a cathedral organist!

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I had a wedding last week where the guests were all very quiet and well behaved before the service, sang loudly and well during the hymns, and were again quiet and attentive during the signing of the registers. Can't remember the last time that happened. Normal service had been resumed by this weekend unfortunately.

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Forgive me if I have asked this before - has anybody else experienced this apparent new trend of having two entry processions accompanied by two pices of music - one for groom (with groomsmen, best men and so on) and one for the bride (with whoever is bringing her up the aisle, and bridesmaids/page boys)?

 

Peter

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Guest Lee Blick
Forgive me if I have asked this before - has anybody else experienced this apparent new trend of having two entry processions accompanied by two pices of music - one for groom (with groomsmen, best men and so on) and one for the bride (with whoever is bringing her up the aisle, and bridesmaids/page boys)?

 

Peter

 

My brother wanted this (or rather his vile bride) at his wedding some years ago. I asked him what the point was for it. He said he wanted an 'entrance' for all the different parties. In the end it didn't happen because there was no way to comminicate to me in the organ loft (other than announcing) when to play. Shame. I would have liked to have played L'Elephant from Carnival of the Animals in 'Carry On' style for the mother-in-law to be.

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Forgive me if I have asked this before - has anybody else experienced this apparent new trend of having two entry processions accompanied by two pices of music - one for groom (with groomsmen, best men and so on) and one for the bride (with whoever is bringing her up the aisle, and bridesmaids/page boys)?

 

Peter

 

Hi

 

I think it's an American tradition.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
Forgive me if I have asked this before - has anybody else experienced this apparent new trend of having two entry processions accompanied by two pices of music - one for groom (with groomsmen, best men and so on) and one for the bride (with whoever is bringing her up the aisle, and bridesmaids/page boys)?

 

Peter

 

Played for my stepdaughter's wedding in France (Nice - the place that is, rather than adjectival, although it was! :) ) last week. (And before you ask, not a Cavaille Coll, Aubertin, whatever, in sight - an ancient Viscount! Organ that is, not local nobility! :lol: )

 

There was an entrance procession for the groom and his parents together with best man and the witnesses. Apparently it's normal there.

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Guest Barry Williams

I went to a wedding rehearsal yesterday and learned that the bridesmaids are processingi n before the bride rather than after, as is usual.

 

Is this another 'trend'?

 

Barry Williams

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I went to a wedding rehearsal yesterday and learned that the bridesmaids are processingi n before the bride rather than after, as is usual.

 

Is this another 'trend'?

 

Barry Williams

 

Barry, I think this 'bridesmaids first' may come from the American tradition. Sometimes they have flower girls sprinkling rose petals before the bridesmaids and bride. They also have 'I do' rather than 'I will' ..... To be corrected at the 'walk through' of the service - if not earlier in marriage preparation. And the 'You may now kiss the bride' which is now common - though I change to something like 'You may now kiss each'.

 

Recently I took one where the groom replied not 'I will' but 'I wilt'.

 

And the bride wanted the music from tape (via small ghetto blaster operated by the organist) because she liked the violins rather than organ. Except for the hymns - these of course were the (dreaded?) , 'All things b and b', 'One more step', and believe it or not (at grandmother's insistence) the old hymn with the line 'Be present awful father to give away this bride'.

 

David Wallace

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
Barry, I think this 'bridesmaids first' may come from the American tradition. Sometimes they have flower girls sprinkling rose petals before the bridesmaids and bride. They also have 'I do' rather than 'I will' ..... To be corrected at the 'walk through' of the service - if not earlier in marriage preparation. And the 'You may now kiss the bride' which is now common - though I change to something like 'You may now kiss each'.

 

Recently I took one where the groom replied not 'I will' but 'I wilt'.

 

And the bride wanted the music from tape (via small ghetto blaster operated by the organist) because she liked the violins rather than organ. Except for the hymns - these of course were the (dreaded?) , 'All things b and b', 'One more step', and believe it or not (at grandmother's insistence) the old hymn with the line 'Be present awful father to give away this bride'.

 

David Wallace

 

 

I had a "petal sprinkler" yesterday.

 

Err - perhaps I ought to re-phrase that :)

 

At a wedding at which I played yesterday, a flower-girl sprinkled petals before the bride.

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There's a story about a soldier who was best man at his friend's wedding. He liked one of the hymns so much that he made a note of the number for his own wedding a few months later. What he didn't notice was that the church - a Methodist church - was using the Methodist Hymnal and the church where he was getting married was an Anglican church, using Hymns A&M.

 

The soldier arranged leave for his wedding and made arrangements with the vicar which included the number of this hymn.

 

Just before his bride arrived, the vicar asked him if he really wanted to sing that hymn. The soldier replied in the affirmative. After the bride was played in, the vicar announced the hymn number, the organist begain the playover, and the congregation began singing the hymn. By the end of the first verse, the vicar had to ask the organist to stop playing as the congregation had collapsed in hysterics.

 

Here's the hymn:-

 

Come, O thou Traveller unknown,

Whom still I hold, but cannot see;

My company before is gone,

And I am left alone with thee;

With thee all night I mean to stay,

And wrestle till the break of day.

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