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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent I: Happy New Year!

Godspell - with Portuguese subtitles, even!

Two of my favorite songs from one of my favorite plays.

More on this, later. For now, just enjoy!


Mark Delcuze said...

Thought this might be of interest to you Mother Elizabeth, I've been doing some research on the texts for Godspell and discovered this about "God Save the People". It's on the wiki, so its got to be true!

Mark +

This was one of Ebenezer Elliott’s last poems. It was written for music in 1847, and was usually sung to the tune "Commonwealth". The People’s Anthem first appeared in Tait’s Edinburgh Review in 1848. The refrain “God save the people!” parodies the British national anthem, God Save the Queen and demands support for ordinary people instead. Despite its huge popularity, some churches refused to use hymn books which contained it, as it can also be seen as a criticism of God. In his notes on the poem, Elliott demanded that the vote be given to all responsible householders. “The People’s Anthem” was a great favourite for many years, and in the 1920s it was suggested that Elliott’s poem qualified him to be designated Poet Laureate of the League of Nations.

The People's Anthem

When wilt thou save the people?
Oh, God of mercy! when?
Not kings and lords, but nations!
Not thrones and crowns, but men!
Flowers of thy heart, oh, God, are they!
Let them not pass, like weeds, away!
Their heritage a sunless day!
God! save the people!

Doorman-Priest said...

The music dates well. A sign of good writing.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Love it, Mark. I remember hearing this years and years and years ago when Godspell first came out. Tucked it away somewhere in the deep recesses of my now addled brain, but this piece from wiki rings true.


Oriscus said...

It's also in the Episcopal Hymnal 1940, at #496 (to Arthur Somervell's tune, "Kendal").

My understanding was that the producers of "Godspell" chose all their texts from "H40," (it being *the* Hymnal every music student in America pretty much had to own) an alarming number of which were ditched in H82 (for various reasons).

Iirc, all the texts were indeed to be found in H40, and, though they were common enough in most of the mainline denominational hymnals current at mid-century, only H40 had them all.

(this is my first comment here, I think - glad you felt safe about opening up comments a little. I understood your reasons, so no prob.)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Gee, I didn't know my comments were "closed" - although there was a period of time when I wasn't getting all comments and (silly me!) didn't know about the "moderation" feature.

Glad to have you come by and leave a comment. Come back any time.