Over-used hymn tunes and hymns
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 246
    Following on the discussion about Aurelia (which here we sing quite seldom and then quietly and prayerfully to 'O Jesus Christ, remember') what other hymn tunes do people think are overused?
    I would nominate PEARSALL, which seems to be the go-to 7676D tune round here, and MELCOMBE which is the same for LM.
    I also believe that Soul of my Saviour, which many people see as a hymn to stick in as an extra if Communion goes on too long, to be a very powerful hymn which should be saved for Holy Week and maybe one or two other occasions per year.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 162
    I find the following hymns over used at our parish

    Gift of finest wheat
    Hail Mary Gentle Woman
    Jerusalem my Destiny
    Make us true servants
    On eagles wings
    Eat this bread
    How can I keep from singing
    Deep within
    Come Share The Lord
    Taste and See
    Blest are they
    We Remember
    Lord when you come to the Sea Shore
    Return to the Lord
    Lenten Prayer

    I could go on and on. The music has become fairly predictable depending on the church season, Sunday or feast day.

    I would give anything if we could sing O Jesus Christ remember by Caswell, or Soul of My Saviour.

    Thanked by 3oldhymns Viola SarahJ
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 871
    Our parish rarely programmes The Lord is my shepherd to CRIMOND, but it is almost universal at funerals. That and Soul of my Saviour to ANIMA CHRISTI are, I think, the only hymns any English Catholic congregation can definitely sing unaccompanied.
  • Don,

    I'm very pleased to be able to write this: my parish (TLM) uses none of those. Ever.

    I don't keep up with the music of the parish in which my parish lives (under one roof, two parishes.)
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,208
    Don, I use two out of the entire list. I wouldn't use those if the hymnal had a better selection of communion hymns. It doesn't, and most of them are awful.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    We just practiced Soul of My Savior at our last choir rehearsal as we begin preparation for the Triduum. Most of the hymns on that list we do not use and we use a few sparingly. It does all come down to the hymnal, doesn't it?
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 162
    I forgot to add "Shout To the Lord". There are a host of songs they sing for the children's masses. OMG!

    There is a choral arrangement of Adoramus Te by Michael Joncas which mixes together When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, I'm afraid I don't care for that arrangement.

    Perhaps there is a glimmer of light, our choir is learning to sing the Divine Praises by Schloeder as our prayer at the end of choir practice. I recently redid the this in Muse Score and submitted to our music director. I remember singing those at every benediction in my old parish. We pray before and after choir practice. Also, we are practicing the choral arrangement of Adoramus Te Christe arranged by Richard Proulx which is T. Dubois which is much more appreciated.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • In Babilone.

    I can't even get to the end of the first stanza without being dreadfully tired of the needless melismas. Sing through multiple stanzas and the form becomes AABAAABAAABAAABA.

    Gather uses the ill pairing of In Babilone with There's a Wideness in God's Mercy.

    Is God's mercy as wide as these B phrases?
    Thanked by 2StimsonInRehab Viola
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,529
    I think this is a very local thing. Musicians get sick of doing the things that are overdone wherever they are.

    When I was taking organ lessons, my organ teacher was very prone to overdoing LAUDA ANIMA. It took years before I was over my trauma regarding this great hymn. If you do something every week or every other week - it just grows old fast.

    Once I was at a parish that used acclamation based on LAND OF REST. I'm just barely over my anti-LAND OF REST feelings 10 years later.
  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 156
    I find the following hymns over used at our parish

    Gift of finest wheat
    Hail Mary Gentle Woman
    Jerusalem my Destiny
    Make us true servants
    On eagles wings
    Eat this bread
    How can I keep from singing
    Deep within
    Come Share The Lord
    Taste and See
    Blest are they
    We Remember
    Lord when you come to the Sea Shore
    Return to the Lord
    Lenten Prayer

    I could go on and on. The music has become fairly predictable depending on the church season, Sunday or feast day.

    I would give anything if we could sing O Jesus Christ remember by Caswell, or Soul of My Saviour.


    Don9of11, ouch. Blessings and good luck.

    R
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    Unless I missed it, the Heritage Missal of OCP DROPPED Soul of My Savior!!! I am going through one more time to see if it is there, but not in the index of hymns.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,283
    Gather uses the ill pairing of In Babilone with There's a Wideness in God's Mercy.

    Hymnary.org shows that the great majority of recently-published hymnals pair "There's a Wideness" with IN BABILONE. Their editorial committees must not think it is an "ill pairing." Faber's wonderful text seems to work better as a 8787 D hymn, than as 8787.

    Of course, there is always Calvin Hampton's hymn tune ST. HELENA. It is superb, and it works beautifully with "There's a Wideness," but many organists can't handle its difficulty.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYRnRru5T38

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDvxeSNR9-w
    Thanked by 2MarkS CHGiffen
  • We've actually always sung the hymn to COVERDALE, which is a beautiful tune by Maurice Bevan. Works both as an anthem or a congregational hymn.
    Thanked by 1liampmcdonough
  • This CORVEDALE is a beautiful tune, of which I had not been aware. It pairs very well with the text.

    To the defenders of IN BABILONE, I say: to each his own...
    I believe there are dozens of 8787 or 8787D hymns out there which would work better. Perhaps Stainer's LOVE DIVINE or CROSS OF JESUS, or Parry's RUSTINGTON
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • Blaenwern isn't overused.
    It's better even than Hyfrydol for 'Love Divine...', etc.
    Hyfrydol is, of course, over used, which is bad, because it is a superb tune.
    A really good alternative to Hyfrydol for 'Alleluya, Sing to Jesus' is Alleluia, found on the next page in The Hymnal 1940.

    Everyone should 'run out' and start using Blaenwern.
    It's very well known across the Pond and can be heard in several glorious versions on youtube, including at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the funeral of the Baroness Thatcher.

    Then there are those genres of tunes that would be overused had they never been used at all, and, having been used, should not have been. Their very existence is an objective embarrassment to humanity.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Carol Viola
  • While only Sung once a year, but every year, at pretty much every parish/school for the past 25+ Years On Ash Wednesday across North America...hands down, Ashes.
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    I couldn't agree more about "Ashes!" I thought I had made a post here about it, but I guess it was elsewhere. The words are stupid and poor theology, IMHO, but I'm no scholar. Besides, if it is printed in a missallette, it must be okay,right? LOL!
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Viola SarahJ
  • I'm a fan of IN BABILONE, but not for "There's a wideness...", for which there are many better tunes. Don't knock it, though--it works great in other contexts.
  • In Babilone is well matched with 'See, the Conqu'ror Mounts in Triumph' and 'Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus', both found in the 1940. I have seen it matched with some other texts (for instance, in Worship IV) with less (far less) than artful results. One should take great care and even exercise bold reluctance in matching well known tunes to 'new' texts'. One size does not fit all! Even major publishers fail in this test.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Carol KyleM18
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 107
    In addition to those mentioned by Don9of11 above, these are some hymns that are widely overused in my area:

    Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (Hyfrydol)
    Were you there
    Immaculate Mary
    We Gather Together
    Gather Us In
    All are Welcome
    Let us Break Bread Together
    Taste and See
    Eat This Bread
    I Am the Bread of Life
    Here I Am Lord
    How Great Thou Art
    Amazing Grace
    Peace is Flowing Like a River
    All Creatures of Our God and King
    Soon and Very Soon
    The Cry of the Poor

    Soul of My Savior is retained in the 2018 OCP Breaking Bread Music Issue, but it is very rarely used in this area.
    Thanked by 3Carol Don9of11 CHGiffen
  • Many of those are, in my opinion, in the 'overused if used' category, mentioned above.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 136
    Tunes that are overused: LASST UNS ERFREUEN; THAXTED (as in, why put 200 different texts to it?)
    Texts that are overused: Most, if not all, of the OCP/GIA stuff mentioned above and popularly used.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • LASST UNS ERFREUEN will always have Easter connotations to me (That Eastertide with joy was bright) and sounds perpetually strange if used to other texts. It feels like trying to fit "The church's one foundation" to PASSION CHORALE.

    And some tunes are just far more satisfying when they're only brought out once a year; even the best can be demeaned by overuse.
  • With all due respect, Schonbergian, I cannot but think of 'That Eastertide With Joy Was Bright' as anything but a pompous misfit with Lasst uns erfreuen. 'That Eastertide...' belongs with Puer Natus, forming a most gracious wedding therewith. Lasst uns erfreuen (also known as Vigiles et Sancti) is indeed versatile and fits several texts well, most notably 'Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones' and 'All Creatures of Our God and King'. I've never heard it with 'That Eastertide...'. Where did you encounter this mistake?

    By the way, there is a fine descant for Lasst uns...-'Ye Watchers..' in the Oxford Easy Anthem Book. It is by George Oldroyd.
    Very easy but dashingly effective.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 896
    Agreeing with MJO: "That Eastertide with joy was bright" must be sung to PUER NATUS.
  • Perhaps just my upbringing in play, then.

    There is also a fine descant for LASST by Harold Darke in his "Harvest Cantata" [i]The Sower[/i], set to "Ye Watchers...". I'm not sure how well-known it is, though.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 162
    oldhymns, I agree with your list. "Soon and Very Soon" has become a Christmas favorite of our MD. Why when there are so many other beautiful Christmas hymns to sing, I will never know. And what rule says you can only sing Silent Night at night time?

    We also sing the "Borning Cry" typically on Mother's Day. I'm bereft of good Catholic music. So, I really appreciate the Devotional Hymns Project website.
    Thanked by 1oldhymns
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 107
    In my parish, "Soon and Very Soon" was used three Sundays of Advent; yet, on the other hand, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" was not used even once. It doesn't make any sense to me.
    Thanked by 2Carol SarahJ
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,838
    and don't forget Amazing Grace...

    and then there is AMAzing Grace...

    and then there is Amazing GRACE...

    and don't forget Amaaaaaaaaaaaa--ziiiiing Race!
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,208
    I haven't forgotten it, but program it about 4 times a year to keep the peace.
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 107
    It's high on two lists of mine: "awful" and "overused."
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,208
    Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art have an appeal that I just don't get. They are probably the two most requested hymns for funerals, except for Eagle's Wings.
    Thanked by 1janetgorbitz
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,838
    Charles... yea... unfortunately HGTA is right up there... how did we become obsessed with these ditties? Billy Graham and company?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,237
    Tennessee Ernie Ford?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,208
    I don't know, Francis. Sometimes I want to ask, 'Where are you hearing this stuff?"
    Thanked by 1francis
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,392
    Understand that "over used" in terms of funerals and similar ritual Masses is relatively meaningless to the faithful in the pews. They are generally not attending all of those events. Just the ones for their loved ones....

    Musicians ache from a given hymn far earlier than the PIPs. Then again, musicians love hymns that give them interesting things to do that the PIPs may well have no interest in.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,529
    I've not had How Great Thou Art requested for a funeral in 4 or so years. I remember in a former life I would program it each year on Thanksgiving Day and when people would ask for it, I'd tell them to come then... and sure enough, they would.
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    It is interesting that hymns which were once "Protestant" are now popular with Catholics. Was there ever an official proscription against certain hymns or am I mistaken? This harks back to the early sixties.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Carol,

    Some of those hymns which were perceived as Protestant were, in reality, Catholic. Others were Protestant in origin but could be sympathetically received because they contradicted no article of faith. Still others were Protestant and couldn't be received (except that they were in many quarters). Finally (and most iniquitously) there were some which were of nominally Catholic origin which, sad to say, belonged in the Protestant tradition or in no identifiably Christian body.

    Yes, there used to be a prohibition.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 107
    Right--generally speaking before 1964 or so, hymns in the English language used in Catholic services were, for the most part, composed by Catholic musicians and Catholic authors. Most of the Catholic hymnals before this time adhered to this practice almost exclusively as one can see by examining any of the preVatican II hymnals. In 1964, the Gregorian Institute of America published HYMNAL OF CHRISTIAN UNITY (Clifford Bennett and Paul Hume, editors) and dedicated it to "Pope John XXIII whose love for all faiths has inspired this work."

    "Faith of Our Fathers," of course, is an exception since it is found in both Catholic and Protestant hymnals for most of the 20th century. The composer, Father Frederick Faber, was an Anglican convert.
    Thanked by 3Don9of11 CHGiffen Carol
  • SarahJ
    Posts: 48
    So glad OCP kept Soul of My Saviour in Breaking Bread. I’m working at an OCP-using Parish now. I’m dreading that on Good Friday they will want the “Behold the Wood”, where the verses remind me of the theme song to Gilligan’s Island
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    SarahJ, I will try not to think of you and Gilligan on Good Friday, THANKS ALOT!
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 756
    theme song to Gilligan’s Island...may also be used to sing Amazing Grace for the sake of variety!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,237
    There are also overused jokes!
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,791
    Johnny Carson once said he was doing his part for the environment ... by recycling old jokes. :)