Saturday, February 05, 2005

Notes from the Music Guy XII

There's nothing quite as lovely as an Irish melody.

Did you know that the melody for "Baptized in Water", though perhaps better known as "Morning Has Broken", is actually taken from an old Irish folk tune named "Bunessan"?

In his popular book "Why Catholics Can't Sing", Thomas Day raised the proposition that the spoken mass took a strong foothold in Ireland, where Catholics had to worship quietly for centuries, in constant fear of discovery and persecution. Singing would be the surest way to a quick and painful end the mass.

So it's a bit ironic that the tunes that are helping us find our collective voices - Columcille, St. Columba, Derry, Bunessan, and Wild Mountain Thyme, were all folk songs brought to this country by the same Irish immigrants who brought their non-singing tradition with them.

In coming weeks, you'll hear more Irish music: Our Lenten Gospel acclamation is set to Wild Mountain Thyme, and one of our Good Friday anthems is set to Derry. And in future months, we'll be using an alleluia written by Irish priest Fr. Liam Lawton, a man with a keen ear for a beautiful melody.

A reminder: the St. Clement Choir will be accepting new members at Wednesday night rehearsal, 7pm, through February 23rd. Come for music, prayer, worship and fellowship. As always, the more the merrier.

May Christ be the song in your heart,


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