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Daisy Daisy


Peter Clark
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Earlier today one of the assistant priests asked me to phone the daughter of a lady who died last week and is being buried on Friday. She went through the music requirements and then dropped the bombshell - she wants me to play "Daisy Daisy" as the coffin leaves church as her mother was a tap dancer and this was her party piece. I held my breath, swore violently but thakfully inaudibly. I said I would do what I could, making it clear that I felt this to be totally out of place in a church, but then learned that this had in fact been agreed by the officiating priest. You can imagine my thoughts! My parents, and later I, did not spend lots of money on my musical education so I could play "Daisy Daisy" at a funeral. The organ was not designed and built and paid for so that "Daisy Daisy" could propel someone, no mater how devout,into the presence of God.

 

Advice please!

 

Peter

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Earlier today one of the assistant priests asked me to phone the daughter of a lady who died last week and is being buried on Friday. She went through the music requirements and then dropped the bombshell - she wants me to play "Daisy Daisy" as the coffin leaves church as her mother was a tap dancer and this was her party piece. I held my breath, swore violently but thakfully inaudibly. I said I would do what I could, making it clear that I felt this to be totally out of place in a church, but then learned that this had in fact been agreed by the officiating priest. You can imagine my thoughts! My parents, and later I, did not spend lots of money on my musical education so I could play "Daisy Daisy" at a funeral. The organ was not designed and built and paid for so that "Daisy Daisy" could propel someone, no mater how devout,into the presence of God.

 

Advice please!

 

Peter

 

 

If you slowed it right down - new beat being about three times as long as the old one! then played it with one hand on a soft flute and another on ever softer strings, those who wanted to hear it could do so, and everyone else would think it is just soft mood-music. That's what I would do if I didn't want to upset the apple-cart.

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How about the Toccata Nuptiale by Chris Maxim, published by S and B. Its a sort of Vierne like toccata in the manuals, then when the big pedal tune comes in, it is in fact, Daisy Daisy, and you can't miss it. The piece is a good one, and though there are one or twotricky moments, possible to learn in a short amount of time.

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My parents, and later I, did not spend lots of money on my musical education so I could play "Daisy Daisy" at a funeral. The organ was not designed and built and paid for so that "Daisy Daisy" could propel someone, no matter how devout, into the presence of God.

I can see nothing wrong with this; the tune has associations with the deceased, and clearly the mourners feel that the reminder of the deceased is appropriate. I can't see that any tune, in that situation, is offensive in itself either to man or to God; nor that an organ is incapable of playing this one (with perhaps a tinge of solemnity, as far as its character allows).

 

Paul

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If you slowed it right down - new beat being about three times as long as the old one! then played it with one hand on a soft flute and another on ever softer strings, those who wanted to hear it could do so, and everyone else would think it is just soft mood-music. That's what I would do if I didn't want to upset the apple-cart.

Yes, I think that's exactly what I'd do too.

 

Just grin and bear it, and think of the fee. B)

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How about the Toccata Nuptiale by Chris Maxim, published by S and B. Its a sort of Vierne like toccata in the manuals, then when the big pedal tune comes in, it is in fact, Daisy Daisy, and you can't miss it. The piece is a good one, and though there are one or twotricky moments, possible to learn in a short amount of time.

I agree!

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Before I read Guilmant's post I was going to suggest improvising a toccata on it; I'd forgotten someone had already got there first. Excellent suggestion - but I'd clear it with the deceased's family first rather than foisting it on them. It's their day after all and grudges generated on such an occasion can be remembered for a very long time. I still haven't forgiven the tasteless twit of an organist who quite literally waltzed his way through my father's favourite hymn - The day thou gavest - at his funeral. He'd clearly decided he wasn't allowing any maudlin sentiment and b****r everyone else's feelings. No, sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do what has to be done.

 

Of course, what is really needed is some way of incorporating such frivolities into the proceedings outside of the church service.

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The organ was not designed and built and paid for so that "Daisy Daisy" could propel someone, no matter how devout, into the presence of God.

In many ways I admire your response, Peter. I'm much more of the performing seal school-of-musician. Give me a fish and I'll play anything you want any way you want it! That being said I would prefer to play Daisy, Daisy on a more appropriate instrument than a fine pipe organ built on classical principles. Does your church have a piano? I chose the (not brilliant) piano at All Saints, Poplar to play the requested Dambusters March for the funeral of a veteran of WWII, over the less suitable organ.

 

Best wishes in whatever you decide to do.

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Reminds me of the time a friend of mine had to play for a colleague's funeral in Scotland. The deceased had been able to plan his funeral as he knoew it was coming soon, and he wanted to be carried out to 'Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye'. The organists concerned managed to pop the tune in the pedals under a French toccata-like texture. Those in the know heard it, those without a clue, didn't. Seemed the best way all round.

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Earlier today one of the assistant priests asked me to phone the daughter of a lady who died last week and is being buried on Friday. She went through the music requirements and then dropped the bombshell - she wants me to play "Daisy Daisy" as the coffin leaves church as her mother was a tap dancer and this was her party piece. I held my breath, swore violently but thakfully inaudibly. I said I would do what I could, making it clear that I felt this to be totally out of place in a church, but then learned that this had in fact been agreed by the officiating priest. You can imagine my thoughts! My parents, and later I, did not spend lots of money on my musical education so I could play "Daisy Daisy" at a funeral. The organ was not designed and built and paid for so that "Daisy Daisy" could propel someone, no mater how devout,into the presence of God.

 

Advice please!

 

Peter

 

 

====================

 

 

Just play the thing!

 

You're getting paid by the family, presumably?

 

Better still, play the tune in the left-hand, and see if you can arrange a counter-melody with the right-hand.

 

We'll make a theatre-organist of you in no time!

 

B)

 

MM

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As ever, sound advice so far. My only addition, and I realise this will be scant comfort, is that you should be grateful they didn't ask for Barwick Green - yes - The Archers theme, which muggins had to play last year. I know that there are any number of "tasteful" things you can do, but if the people in question don't recognise it, then the object has been defeated! Never again, though. This particalar music is so "in your face" in its jaunty 6/8-ness!

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Some of our best-known improvisers spent a bob or two on their musical education too, and take great pride in turning Old Macdonald and Twinkle Twinkle etc into exciting (well, loud) music. It's a rare skill to be able to take anything and treat it musically and may mean a lot to the people who have asked for it.

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Yes, I think that's exactly what I'd do too.

Just grin and bear it, and think of the fee. B)

I think I'd probably agree with this; grin and bear it and take the fee! I would feel so embarrassed at having to play that though. If the congregation didn't know that's what you had been asked to play on the way out, they might think you'd gone crackers!!!

 

David

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I chose the (not brilliant) piano at All Saints, Poplar to play the requested Dambusters March for the funeral of a veteran of WWII, over the less suitable organ.

IMHO the Dambusters March works very well on the organ, I've used it in recitals and its a popular choice with the punters.

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IMHO the Dambusters March works very well on the organ, I've used it in recitals and its a popular choice with the punters.

 

 

The Dambuster's March doesn't sound so much out of place these days because many people will have heard the tune used to a respectable set of hymn words.

'Daisy,daisy', let us remember, is a text all about '...a bicycle made for two'. Until some born-again would-be poet 'moved with The Spirit' provides something more appropriate for church use, the only words that can possibly come to mind upon hearing the tune are, let's face it, strictly secular!

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Well I've made a three-minute Philip Glass-type arrangement of Daisy......

 

Peter

 

 

=======================

 

 

I'd heard that you had, and I would just like to support your efforts. The way you sneaked in those 3 bars of silent Latin Rhumba was more than clever; it was inspired.

 

I have arranged the same (great minds and all that), in the form of a perpetual fugue without an answering subject.

 

This is what art is all about!

 

MM

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Forgive me if this is straying closer to theology than to music, but what evidence is there that God enjoys the B Minor Mass more than Daisy, Daisy?

 

David Hitchin

 

 

I am convinced of two things:

1. If God exists, he must be pro-music, all music.

2. That our intentions matter.

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