Michæl McFarland Campbell

Always telling the story

Archive for January, 2022

When to the temple Mary went: the music from my youth

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That first piece, When to the temple Mary went by Johannes Eccard was a favourite of mine when I sang in the parish choir of my home parish church of St Patrick, Kilconriola (Ballymena). This evening, I did not expect to be listening to it, let alone writing a blog piece about the music at all. How did this come about?

Well, earlier today I was contacted by a contact with whom I have had no contact for at least eleven years. However, as a result of the contact made on Facebook earlier, this evening I have been exploring some music on Youtube. 

The first piece was Roger Quilter’s Where the Rainbow Ends, played on the piano by John Kersey. 


From there, I moved on to Roger Quilter’s Non nobis Domine, which I know I sang but once, but it brought back so many memories. 

And then Greater love hath no man by John Ireland. This was a great favourite when I sang in my home parish choir from the age of seven until my early twenties. In my time, I had sung the Treble, Bass, and Tenor parts. Each of them came back to me as I heard the music. 

Sumsion’s They that go down to the sea in ships came to mind as well, having sung it on a Royal School of Church Music Choristers’ Course, and then whilst at school, having attempted to learn the organ part. 

Church music has been part of my life since the age of seven. In recent years, I have not had the opportunity to sing any of it as there is no choir in the parish here, and even before that, I was not singing in any choir at all. I must admit that I do miss singing these great pieces, and I wonder if they are still sung in my home parish church, however, I fear that with the current incumbent, this is most unlikely. 

More music that I remember singing in that choir includes:

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in Bb, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C, by C.V. Stanford

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Collegium Regale, by Herbert Howells

Communion Service in F by Herbert Sumsion

Communion Service plainsong by John Merbecke

A Celtic Eucharist by Martin White

Communion Service by William Matthias

Anthems included:

A Gaelic Blessing, John Rutter

Above all praise, Felix Mendelssohn

Ave verum corpus, William Byrd

Ave verum corpus, Edward Elgar

Ave verum corpus, W.A. Mozart

Awake, thou wintry earth, J.S. Bach

Blessed be the God and Father, S.S. Wesley

Call tor remembrance, Richard Farrant

Cantate Domino, Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni, ed. R.R. Terry

Come, Holy Ghost, Thomas Attwood, ed. Lionel Dakers

Come, ye faithful raise the strain, R.S. Thatcher

Evening Hymn, H. Balfour Gardiner

God be in my head, H. Walford Davies

God be in my head, John Rutter

God so loved the world, John Goss

If we believe, John Goss

If ye love me, Thomas Tallis

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, J.S. Bach

King of glory, King of peace, J.S. Bach

Lead me, Lord, S.S. Wesley

Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, [? Thomas] Mudd

Let us now praise famous men, R. Vaughan Williams

Locus iste, Anton Bruckner

Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake, Farrant

My eyes for beauty pine, Herbert Howells

My shepherd is Lord, Harrison Oxley

My soul, there is a country, C. Hubert H. Parry

Never weather-beaten sail, Charles Wood

O gladsome light, O grace, Louis Bourgeois, set by Claude Goudimel, ed. Henry G. Ley

O how amiable, R. Vaughan Williams

O Lord, increase our faith, Henry Loosemore

O Lord, the maker of all things, William Mundy

O Lorde, the maker of al thing, John Joubert

O Saviour of the world, John Goss

O thou, the central orb, Charles Wood

Praise, O praise, Martin How

Pray that Jerusalem, C.V. Stanford

Rejoice in the Lord alway, Henry Purcell

So they gave their bodies, Peter Aston

The strife is o’er, Henry G. Ley

This is the record of John, Orlando Gibbons

Thou visitest the earth, Maurice Greene

Turn back O Man, arranged by Gustav Holst

Turn thy face from my sins, Thomas Attwood

Wash me throughly, S.S. Wesley

When to the temple Mary went, Johannes Eccard

Zadok the Priest, G.F. Handel

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

January 9th, 2022 at 12:35 am

Do gay people celebrate Christmas?

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Having not yet sourced a new emporium from which to acquire the food necessary to feed the three felines with whom I share the house with Andrew, I returned to our old town to buy the requisite bag of cat food from the veterinary surgeon there as we have for the last three-and-a-half years. As I walked from the station to the vet’s, I ran into a former neighbour, who greeted me with:

Happy Christmas, if you celebrate it as I don’t know if gay people do.

I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback at this strange greeting, but managed to respond with:

We celebrate everything as normal. Had you taken the time to get to speak to us properly in the three-and-a-half years we had lived next door, you would know.

Two things can be learned from this exchange. First of all, at least the exchange began with “Happy Christmas”. That is a positive greeting. The latter part may have been that she wanted to learn. Secondly, I can manage to keep a straight face when giving an answer to such a question!

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

January 4th, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Blogging,Christianity

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