Monday, 21 December 2009

SNOW and disastrous singing

Here, in our neck of the woods, we're knee deep in snow.

Yesterday evening was our carol service at church. In the afternoon our music group leader rang to ask if he could have a lift as he couldn't get his car out. So when the time came we set a blizzard.

We struggled to get out of the avenue, but we managed. And we slurred and slipped all the way into the village centre. At a mini-roundabout we were nearly wiped out by 4x4 who indicated after turning towards us, we stopped literally an inch from the side of the 4x4.

Anyway, we eventually picked up our music group leader, who after his walk down the hill looked like a snowman with a snow-guitar.

So we arrive at church and I find that I am the only female voice in the music group who has managed to get there...and I missed practice on Thursday...and I have never sung the two songs that the music group are to sing without the congregation. So, I mumbled through one song and sang in the lower range in the second because I was sure that I would sound like a screeching cat if I tried soprano (it was rather high).

Then we sang, 'O Come All Ye Faithful'. LOL we got to the chorus 'O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him'...and totally forgot that the female voices lead the chorus (with male voices joining in after). So when our music group leader didn't sing the first line I stopped...the WHOLE congregation stopped singing and turned in unison to look at me. Scared by this turn of events I turned to look at hubs behind me who urgently wiggled his head in a 'you're supposed to sing this bit' way. And then the penny dropped. So, loudly over the microphone I sang, "OH...ha...Come let us adore Him". Satisfied, the congregation returned their gaze to the front and continued.

Why me? Eh? LOL!!

Interestingly, I've started to watch a programme I'd sky+'d today called The Truth About Carols. Apparently, it is thought that O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles), written by a chap called John Wade, contains a secret message in its original Latin. Its message is apparently the desire to restore a Jacobite king to the English throne and the frustration felt by Wade at the treatment of Catholics in the England of the 1700's.

Professor Bennett Zon, of Durham University said:

"There is far more to this beloved song than meets the eye.

"Fideles is Faithful Catholic Jacobites. Bethlehem is a common Jacobite cipher for England, and Regem Angelorum is a well-known pun on Angelorum, angels, and Anglorum, English.

"The meaning of the Christmas carol is clear: 'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of Angels' really means, 'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of the English' - Bonnie Prince Charlie!"

The Latin version was written by John Francis Wade, an English Catholic who fled the country after the failed 1745 rebellion.
Quote take from this Daily Telegraph article: O Come All Ye Faithful.

I love little tid-bits of information like this, it's why history is so interesting. I know very little about Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Jacobites or even about the civil wars in England, but this has piqued my interest. I may read up on it a bit.

The programme is very interesting as a whole (from what I've watched so far), it details the 'birth' of joyful Christmas carols (as opposed to plain song) attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, how the Tudors celebrated Christmas and their carols, how they were banned by Puritans in the 1600's, and I presume we'll be getting to their revival when I return to watch the rest tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! That carol programme sounds interesting. I'll have to catch up with it on iPlayer.

    My sympathies over the music group experience. As the person who once stopped playing and switched off the organ one verse before the end of a hymn I am well acquainted with confused singing congregation syndrome. Given the weather, I think your congregation should be very grateful that at least some of you turned up and did your best.