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Your stories now available for Kindle


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I'm sure (those of you who espouse the glitzy technology of kindles, iPads, smartphones and the like) will be delighted to know that your stories and others which I massaged into that infamous tome "Organ-isms: Anecdotes from the World of the King of Instruments", is now available on Amazon for Kindle.


Better still, it will be FREE for download on Saturday, December 1st, from 12am until 11.59pm the same day, Pacific Standard time. That's only one day. The Amazon chiefs warn me it could be a few seconds or hours later starting and stopping, so if it doesn't give you a free download immediately at 12am on that date, try again a little later. For those who don't know, this volume garnered many tales from the people of this forum and John Mander himself, to whom I am deeply indebted for this vehicle in which to extract those delicious stories.


So make sure you get your kindle copy for free if you can. It doesn't have the illustrations of the printed volume, but at least the dog can't eat it and the cat can't wee on it. (There's a story her but I'm not repeating it... :-)

Oh nearly forgot to give the URL. Which is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AEKCTVE. It is also on the German, English, French, Spanish and Italian equivalent websites.


Churchmouse (still looking for other stories for the sequel)

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  • 8 months later...

Here's a tale. It's very old indeed, but possibly not all that well known.


In 1760 a man calling himself John Piper published a book called "The Life of Miss Fanny Brown". Now as every erudite musician knows, John Piper is a pseudonym for Dr John Alcock (1715-1806) and the book is really a thinly-veiled, semi-autobiographical, chip-on-the-shoulder job. On pages 103-4 there is a long footnote in which Alcock/Piper relates what is obviously a personal anecdote. Alcock doesn't identify the church, but, since he says it was "not many years ago", it is almost certainly St Lawrence's, Reading, where he was organist from 1742-50. The other, less likely, possibility is St Andrew's, Plymouth, where there was similarly strong link between the church and the Mayor and Commonalty.


"A certain Organist, of a truly noble Spirit (not many Years ago) was sent to by the Mayor of the Corporation, who accused him of being a Jacobite: The Organist told his Worship, he was neither a Jacobite nor a Presbyterian, but he was a Piper; upon which Mr. Mayor insisted upon his playing him into Church the next Sunday, with the Song call’d God save great George our King &c. Accordingly our brave Hero, as soon as his Worship enter’d the Church, struck up the said Song, and sung every Verse of it as loud as ever he could bawl, and afterwards play’d as many Variations upon it as lasted full twenty Minutes: Whilst he was playing the Song, the Minister, not being appriz’d of the Mayor's Injunction, got up, and sat down again, several Times, and seem’d exceedingly uneasy, which was told the Organist by one that was with him; who replied: Oh, let him get up, and set down again, as often as he pleases, I shan't ha' done these ten Minutes yet. It being a very cold raw Morning, it seems his Worship had so much of his favourite Song at that Time, that he never order’d the Organist to play it any more."


A facsimile of the book is available on IMSLP.

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