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Peter Clark

The World's Worst Hymns

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Now THAT reminds me of a newspaper article I read about a plan they had somewhere in Scandinavia to recycle released energy from the crematorium into the municipal heating system. The headline read "Put another Lars on the fire, it's getting cool in here".

 

But that, of course, is off-topic. Sorry.

 

:lol:

B

 

What a splendid idea. The whole notion of the crematorium is not going to be around much longer - because of environmental concerns, they're developing ways of freezing you in liquid nitrogen then shaking you into dust. I wonder what happens when you thaw out again?

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I think that the issue here is that many of those things that seem to pass as hymns didn't seem to start out as such. Wasn't "How Great Thou Art" introduced at a Billy Graham Crusade (Haringay? or earlier) as a solo (sung by Bev Shea) with a choir joining in with the chorus? To me it makes far more sense when sung that way. I am sure that The Old Rugged Cross is more a song than a hymn - I don't like it very much, and I am sure that the good Lord JC would have his own thoughts as to whether the Old Rugged Cross was an item to be cherished!! Had I experienced an old rugged cross in the same way as he did, it would perhaps be the last thing I would want to cherish or even see again!

 

Light up the Fire was a pop song in the 70s by a group called Parchment wasn't it? So how on earth it found its way into the hymnal I know not....

 

:lol:

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Guest Paul Isom

Edited by moderator at request of author, 14 December 2006

 

" ... Baaaaaaaaaaah humbug!"

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Just a crumb of comfort: we had a Christingle this morning for four of the local junior schools. Someone (clueless but well-intentioned) had chosen 'Shine Jesus, shine!' as one of the five sing-along-things and (you will be delighted to hear) practically none of the kids knew it. They sung with real gusto the ones they did know, so with a bit of luck that mistake may not be made again. [Particularly if I keep reminding people of the disaster!]

 

It's not Carol Services that bother me most, though, it's weddings. Maybe I should start another topic elsewhere but.....

We've already got to the point where the only hymn a wedding couple may know is 'Colours of day' because nobody (amongst the great unchurched) sings hymns these days after they leave Junior School. The big question is: where would we be without sporting fixtures that ensure that at least Jerusalem and I vow to thee my country stand a chance.

 

For a while, an advert on TV started with a bleeding chunk (sorry, but this is the correct technical expression) of Zadok the Priest. The public dumbing-down of 'religious' music has continued to the point where now all this advertiser uses is a condensed form of the first two choral chords. What with Lurpak Butter giving them bits of Faure Requiem under a comic monologue starring Penelope Keith....!

 

Weddings are (in some cases) the best earnings a parish organist gets in a year. What will happen when we reach the point nobody knows anything at all that they can sing together?

 

Mind you, I suppose we could always fall back on

'Who's the b****** in the black?'

which I suppose could refer either to the groom or the Clergy person (according to local circumstances).

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The worst hymn I’ve ever come across came from 100 Hymns for Today. I can’t remember its name or the tune but the whole hymn was putting across the point that God was everywhere. The words included: - as big as a Tree, as big as a House, as big as a Nuclear Submarine. AARRRRRRGH

 

:P:lol:

That reminds me of the delightful "God of concrete and of steel" which I'd (happily) quite forgotten. As I recall one line ends in ("and of atom bomb"). Not a personal favourite.

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Guest Andrew Butler
Weddings are (in some cases) the best earnings a parish organist gets in a year.

 

I have my own (Catholic) parish, job-share at a nonconformist chapel and an Anglican parish, am on a "rota" in 2 other parishes, and 1st reserve in at least 4 of various denominations.

 

>With all of this my wedding total in 2006 was................... 1 ! :lol:

 

 

It's not Carol Services that bother me most, though, it's weddings. Maybe I should start another topic elsewhere but.....

 

I think there was a thread running a while back, something like "Things that happened at Weddings?"

 

Without wishing to sound pompous or anything, I wonder whether it might be an idea for people to look back over the previous pages in each forum before launching a new topic, as there may well be something suitable that could be resurected rather than start a new one? Also (and i must do it myself!!) there may be topics one hasn't seen, and to which one could add something useful.

 

Sorry, this is slightly off topic, but I hope a useful suggestion!

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Another pet hate! - the Sydney Carter hymn "Sing We A Song of High Revolt" sung to the tune of "The Red Flag" the last verse ends "He calls us to revolt and fight with him for what is just and right, to sing and live Magnificat in crowded street and council flat'

 

Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!

 

NS

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Another pet hate! - the Sydney Carter hymn "Sing We A Song of High Revolt" sung to the tune of "The Red Flag" the last verse ends "He calls us to revolt and fight with him for what is just and right, to sing and live Magnificat in crowded street and council flat'

 

Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!

 

NS

 

Oh my....

 

I did once manage to permanently get rid of "Every star shall sing a carol" with a rather splendid descant... I thought it was entirely in keeping with the spirit of what was there already...

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Guest Andrew Butler
Another pet hate! - the Sydney Carter hymn "Sing We A Song of High Revolt" sung to the tune of "The Red Flag" the last verse ends "He calls us to revolt and fight with him for what is just and right, to sing and live Magnificat in crowded street and council flat'

 

Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!

 

NS

 

My copy of AMNS attributes this hymn to Fred Kaan......... I think SC would have provided his own tune, rather than the rather fine Handel one that is set...

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Oh my....

 

I did once manage to permanently get rid of "Every star shall sing a carol" with a rather splendid descant... I thought it was entirely in keeping with the spirit of what was there already...

 

I had forgotten about this particular “gem” (sarcastically said just in case you didn’t realise). I’ve no doubt that when I take my daughter to the kids carol service I’ll be reminded of a few more.

 

:D:D

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I forgot - most of the hymns I have seen written by Fred Kaan leave much to be desired. He just hasn't quite 'got it' IMHO. If you like his stuff, fine - I'm not keen I'm afraid.

 

Regards to all

 

John

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For a while, an advert on TV started with a bleeding chunk (sorry, but this is the correct technical expression) of Zadok the Priest. The public dumbing-down of 'religious' music has continued to the point where now all this advertiser uses is a condensed form of the first two choral chords. What with Lurpak Butter giving them bits of Faure Requiem under a comic monologue starring Penelope Keith....!

 

Yes indeed Paul. Many years ago Lloyds Bank as then was ran a TV ad with Wachet auf as the background music, accompanying horses galloping away in fields and so on. When I played it after Mass (maybe it was Advent 3 which by pure coincidence is also today) I was asked by a child "why did you play the Lloyds Bank advert today?!

 

Peter

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For a while, an advert on TV started with a bleeding chunk (sorry, but this is the correct technical expression) of Zadok the Priest. The public dumbing-down of 'religious' music has continued to the point where now all this advertiser uses is a condensed form of the first two choral chords. What with Lurpak Butter giving them bits of Faure Requiem under a comic monologue starring Penelope Keith....!

 

 

And what hope is there when Classic FM consistently ruins (amongst others) the Agnus Dei from Faure's Requiem? For whatever reason, they always cut it short immediately before the reprise of "Requiem aeternam". As the piece started in F major and thus finishes on a chord of A major, the effect is of being left high and dry - very unsatisfactory. Even the tone deaf would be offended.

 

Popular Classics indeed.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Yes indeed Paul. Many years ago Lloyds Bank as then was ran a TV ad with Wachet auf as the background music, accompanying horses galloping away in fields and so on. When I played it after Mass (maybe it was Advent 3 which by pure coincidence is also today) I was asked by a child "why did you play the Lloyds Bank advert today?!

 

Peter

 

 

Ah now... it could have been much worse - or at least, even less appropriate.

Kenny Everett used to do a mime sequence almost every week, and (I'm fairly sure) the music for this was always the Jacques Loussier version of Wachet Auf.

 

Actually, I loved the Kenny Everett show....why doesn't some sensible company bring out a DVD or two of episodes. Have they lost the originals or maybe their bottle?

 

We had Wachet Auf as the 'in' music at our wedding many years ago. I think my father was the only one who got the joke. You have to know the text, you see! Do I need to explain?

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We had Wachet Auf as the 'in' music at our wedding many years ago. I think my father was the only one who got the joke. You have to know the text, you see! Do I need to explain?

 

:o

 

Well it was your wedding night I guess.

 

;)

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Ah now... it could have been much worse - or at least, even less appropriate.

Kenny Everett used to do a mime sequence almost every week, and (I'm fairly sure) the music for this was always the Jacques Loussier version of Wachet Auf.

 

Actually, I loved the Kenny Everett show....why doesn't some sensible company bring out a DVD or two of episodes. Have they lost the originals or maybe their bottle?

 

We had Wachet Auf as the 'in' music at our wedding many years ago. I think my father was the only one who got the joke. You have to know the text, you see! Do I need to explain?

 

 

Yesterday at the pre-Mass rehearsal I mentioned the Wachet auf/Lloyds Bank incident and the choir came back witrh a lot more examples:

 

Galaxy chocolate Beethoven Pastoral

Gas fires Bach 565

Old Spice Carmina Burana

Hamlet cigars Bach again (air from suite in D)

Hovis bread Dvorak New World

 

Maybe this is another thread, but how many other examples are there?

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

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Yesterday at the pre-Mass rehearsal I mentioned the Wachet auf/Lloyds Bank incident and the choir came back witrh a lot more examples:

 

Galaxy chocolate Beethoven Pastoral

Gas fires Bach 565

Old Spice Carmina Burana

Hamlet cigars Bach again (air from suite in D)

Hovis bread Dvorak New World

 

Maybe this is another thread, but how many other examples are there?

 

Best wishes

 

Peter

 

I was particularly fond of the ESSO (?) advert which used the nachtmusik from Mahler's Seventh Symphony... Fab!

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Yes indeed Paul. Many years ago Lloyds Bank as then was ran a TV ad with Wachet auf as the background music, accompanying horses galloping away in fields and so on. When I played it after Mass (maybe it was Advent 3 which by pure coincidence is also today) I was asked by a child "why did you play the Lloyds Bank advert today?!

 

Peter

 

I got asked the same question only yesterday. Followed by someone asking me why I had to make so much noise... The christmas tree decorators elected to decorate the tree whilst I was playing my voluntary, clanging around with ladders and shouting to each other. So we had a sudden shift to the tune on full pedal reeds (32/16/8/16) ...

 

When will people realise that the voluntary, no matter how crap it is, is, for us organists, part of the service?

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Sometimes it ends up so in more ways than we might wish. I was deputising in south Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. After the last hymn and dismissal, I launched the voluntary and several pages later realised there was none of the usual hubbub. Very nice, I thought, this is one of the places where they do stay and listen. Some while later, JSB thundered to a conclusion and the vicar stood up with the notices he'd been patiently waiting ten minutes to read...

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Sometimes it ends up so in more ways than we might wish. I was deputising in south Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. After the last hymn and dismissal, I launched the voluntary and several pages later realised there was none of the usual hubbub. Very nice, I thought, this is one of the places where they do stay and listen. Some while later, JSB thundered to a conclusion and the vicar stood up with the notices he'd been patiently waiting ten minutes to read...

 

Oh dear! What a place to put notices. Rousing hymn. Go forth into the world, etc etc, nourished with the Holy Spirit. Oh, and could we have all your empty jam jars by Tuesday, please, and don't forget the knitting for Bangladesh group are having a coffee morning on Wednesday next. Urgh!

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Sometimes it ends up so in more ways than we might wish. I was deputising in south Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. After the last hymn and dismissal, I launched the voluntary and several pages later realised there was none of the usual hubbub. Very nice, I thought, this is one of the places where they do stay and listen. Some while later, JSB thundered to a conclusion and the vicar stood up with the notices he'd been patiently waiting ten minutes to read...

 

I had a similar experience some years ago, when even after the "go in peace" etc one of our NSMs was in the habit of adding a bit more holy wordage. Luckily in those days I used to waft the clergy and choir out with quiet stuff, so it was not a real problem (he just spoke over me). Nowadays, I use the rear view mirror to check that our lady vicar has finished for good, then off I go with something loud, saves time and effort.

 

On a similar thread, I cannot improvise to save my life, so have to judge how long/short an intro to do before they all walk in at the beginning of the service. With the present team I have no problems as they are pretty patient, and I can usually finish off while they get comfortable. But I did once have a visiting priest who just started talkiing while I was getting to the end, even though I had truncated the piece. So I thought, "*** you!!* and just stopped playing on the spot.

 

JE

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But I did once have a visiting priest who just started talkiing while I was getting to the end, even though I had truncated the piece. So I thought, "*** you!!* and just stopped playing on the spot.

 

JE

 

Another good ploy is to start playing the hymn over before they've finished announcing it.

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So I thought, "*** you!!* and just stopped playing on the spot.
I fear the point will have been lost on him. Anyone capable of doing that is probably only going to feel grateful that the organist has done what they consider to be the proper thing. :lol:
Another good ploy is to start playing the hymn over before they've finished announcing it.

Brilliant, David! B) Now why did I never think of that? (Don't answer that one!)

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