Oh dear. Something of a breakdown in arrangement for one of the villages' carol service and they seem to have lost their guest organist and choir. I agreed to stand in, but then discovered there is a young and talented singer who has agreed to sing a solo. Her mother has just sent me the music and there's no possibility of me learning it this week. I would wing it if I could, but there are limits even to my bravado. I've emailed the mother and the Rector, separately, to tell them so, and I hope the difficulties with the organist can be ironed out.
I've been spending most of the evening cursing Word, which refuses to do what it normally does and is cheerily putting up new documents that are the usual width but only 3 inches deep, or long, or whatever you want me to call it. It assures me it's A4, but it isn't. Someone emailed me a document that was a peculiar size and now it's taken it as the norm and I can't find out how to change it.
I've decided I don't like the speech I've written and now I'm too tired to rewrite it. I'm going to bed now (I'll backdate this as it's still Sunday until I've gone to bed, but actually it's half past midnight. I'll go to sleep and then wake an hour or two later and worry for the rest of the night, because that's the unhelpful thing one does, isn't it?
I'm playing the organ for a funeral on Tuesday. I rather hope I'll be told what the hymns are tomorrow. Not that I expect to have time to practise them tomorrow. I trust that they will, at least, be ones I know. I rather hope they won't be any of the ones I hate (All Things B & B, in particular) but at least, if they are, I can rattle them out with my eyes shut.
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What is the stranges thong you have been asked to play at a funeral
I hope you slept well, dear Z
(I'm fairly sure that the Word doc size issue shoud be easy to sort out, but it's so long since I've had anything serious to do requiring Word that I can't think what the solution might be)(good luck with the speech)
Which version of Word? Not that I'm really going to suggest one can sort it out long-distance.
All things bed and breakfast put a whole new slant on the hymn.
In parenthesis may I add ).
Oh, Z. How tiresome, but I'm sure you can busk something for your guest singer. And I bet she'll want to sing it in a different key from the sheet music.
Strangest thing to play at a funeral? I was asked once for The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
I shall be going about all day trying to complete the quatrain
All things bed and breakfast,
With evening meal thrown in...
-unless somebody else does it for me.
All things bed and breakfast,
With evening meal thrown in.
All sheets made of nylon...
....I spark when I get in!
There's been some pretty strange heavy metal music and some mawkish boy band stuff played on CDs, Another organist was asked to play a Rolling Stones number a few years ago, but now we've got a fairly firm policy that if you want anything unusual, you're welcome to have it but please provide the CD. I rather like the thought of the Sugar Plum Fairy though.
04, Dave. It's all right, I'll get Ro to sort it out. I can manage in the meantime and when I'm less agitated I may even work out what to do.
I'm not even trying, Christopher. There's a level of pressure beyond which I'm not prepared to put myself. It's not fair on the girl either.
Now can you all rewrite The Old RC? It starts On a hill far away, if you remember.
You're so demanding, Z. I'd got as far as V.2:
The porridge is thick and lumpy.
The mattress is the same:
No joy in -
and now here you are asking us for something else. I don't know...
Oh no, carry on as you are, Christopher. I had thought that an expectation of the entire hymn was too much to ask for, so I'm gratified to find that you have got well into verse 2.
I am demanding, of course, but I am also entirely reasonable. The Old RC can wait.
The porridge is thick and lumpy.
The mattress is the same.
The landlord is quite grumpy
But the bedbugs are quite tame.
Sorry, too many quites there. Make it 'the landlord's very grumpy'.
I love you all. Carry on.
Carry On, you say. . . ooh, the possibilities are endless!!
(I'm tempted, but I'll resist)
Resist anything but temptation, darling.
Rewriting my speech. Feeling slightly more in control, except for this carol service business.
Can I book you for my funeral?
Not sure what 'Anarchy In The UK' will sound like on an organ but what the hell!....;-)
What the hell, absolutely. Mind you, you're younger than me. I suspect you'll see me out, 4D.
Thank you, Dave. You may have saved my reputation; I was going to continue with something a little more robust.
The loo seat's cracked and rusting,
And won't stay upright long.
Beware, O man, too trusting!
I have to go out now.
It seems to me that The Old RC is beyond parody.
Beautiful insight into a strange culture. I gently ask for some explanations: What is "All things B&B" and what is "The Old RC"? Here the organist normally plays something like "Großer GOtt wir loben Dich" ... "Highway to Hell" is not a common choice and few communities would accept. I guess.
Sorry Mago - All Things Bright and Beautiful is a children's hymn, once popular but now only remembered fondly by a few. It's often chosen for funerals because the people involved remember singing it at Sunday school, quite possibly 70 years ago or more.
The Old Rugged Cross is another old favourite that I don't much like.
Großer GOtt wir loben Dich isn't one I'm familiar with, even in translation, I'm afraid, but it rather better hits the mark. Many people aren't churchgoers and their families choose their favourite music. The minister may try to lead them another way, but most would accept that a funeral is a very important rite of passage, that just-bereaved people aren't always entirely rational and that it's usually kinder to let them do what they want.
It's based on the Te Deum laudamus and via emigrants came to Northern America. The English version is given as "Holy God, we praise thy name". No first choice for a funeral, but a kind of multipurpose weapon ...
Oh my manners - thank you for the explanation! I'm sorry. It was a very long night.
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