Though the Mountains May Fall — D. Schutte
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    This was the recessional ditty today where I was cantor. I have to say that most people stay for the final hymn, but today, half the church was out after the first round of the refrain. I had never heard this Schutte one and prefer if I never hear it again.

    The recessional at the cathedral was “Father, We Thank Thee, Who Hast Planted.” What a gorgeous hymn and tune—splendid on organ.

    I’ll forget TTMMF even happened.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,225
    It's horrid. I never used it - TTMMF, that is. I was told to never use "Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted," at a funeral.
  • Catholic Z09,

    You've been mugged by reality.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CatholicZ09
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,219
    Father, We Thank Thee (Rendez a Dieu) is GLORIOUS!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Mountains.... mountains falling... oh, yea... I remember! Luke 23:40

    Then “’they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!"’
  • MarkB
    Posts: 672
    Many of those St. Louis Jesuits songs should be quietly retired.
    Thanked by 1CatholicZ09
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    irishtenor, I first encountered “Father, We Thank Thee” a couple years ago. I had never sung RENDEZ A DIEU save for one time at my home OCP parish (“When John Baptized by Jordan’s River”). I heard “Father, We Thank Thee” a couple years ago at the diocesan cathedral and immediately marked it mentally as one of my favorites. However, I think Worship IV does a little disservice to the text by replacing “thee” and “thou” with “you” and “your.”

    Still a beautiful hymn and RENDEZ A DIEU is a nice, brisk tune.
  • a little massive disservice to the text (and ordinary English speakers) by replacing “thee” and “thou” with “you” and “your.”
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    It is really hard to explain to people why it is bad music. Many people now see the St. LJ as "Traditional Catholic Music".
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,700
    As music, it is light but not "bad". The lyrics are all good solid stuff from scripture about the strength of God's love. It goes with a nice swing, quite jolly really. I don't see that there is anything intrinsically bad about it. Trying to persuade people that it is "bad" I think is an argument you can only lose. The issue is surely whether it matches the way you want people to feel about Mass, or any specific part of Mass. The depth of God's love for us is at the heart of the Good Friday liturgy. I think most people would instinctively feel that this ditty does not suit the Good Friday Liturgy. Explore that and you may get people to grasp the point about appropriate and inappropriate styles.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 672
    How is it different musically from "How Can I Keep from Singing"?

    I like that song but not "Though the Mountains May Fall" but I can't satisfactorily explain to myself why the former is acceptable but the latter isn't.
  • Mark, as a piece of music, I like both of them. However, I don't think either should be used for mass. In general, I think people make "Do I like a song?" the same question as "Should it be used for mass?"
    Thanked by 1Steve Q
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,694
    In "How Can I Keep From Singing" the things of God are mentioned, but He hardly appears, and the spirituality is individualistic.


    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CharlesW
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,361
    Chonak

    That's the version of the text that Proulx re-worked the tune for. The original version of the text (the original tune for which was in 3/2, not 4/4, and doesn't have a refrain) is more clearly Christological.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,361
    This is the original version of How Can I Keep From Singing in 1869:

    https://hymnary.org/page/fetch/BJSS1869/21/high
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,694
    Someday someone will turn "Though the Mountains May Fall" into music for a bank commercial, and it'll be well suited.
  • It would also make good hold music for a customer service line.
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 241
    Really? This is one of my favourite modern church songs. I find the text very comforting and uplifting. I miss singing it.
  • Steve QSteve Q
    Posts: 101
    It is really hard to explain to people why it is bad music.


    Challenge them to find any 2 people in the congregation who can sing all the silly syncopations in the song the same way (not to mention as written).
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • MarkB
    Posts: 672
    That's really helpful, Steve Q. In my mind I had smoothed out nearly all the syncopations since I haven't sung nor programmed the song for over two decades. When I looked at sheet music for the song, I was surprised to see how often syncopation is used.

    When I listened to this recording of the song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnGnGBlBc1k

    I also realized it exudes a folk music aesthetic very strongly, which isn't the case with "How Can I Keep from Singing".
  • tandrews
    Posts: 103
    Why Do I Keep From Singing?

    /snark
    Thanked by 1francis
  • Steve QSteve Q
    Posts: 101
    MarkB - As a reformed former guitar-strumming hippie from the 60's and 70's, I can tell you that I was never able to get any folk group to sing the rhythms correctly for such songs. Everybody would just make up their own. Then try to teach a song to trained musicians - they would try to do every rhythm so precisely that it would come out sounding ridiculously robotic and unnatural.

    I heard back then that many of the songwriters of the "Glory & Praise" era could not read music - or at least could not write their own arrangements - and that publishers simply transcribed the songs as they were performed on recordings. That's how so many of those songs had seemingly odd rhythms. More examples of this would be Schutte's "Blest Be The Lord"; Dufford's "All the Ends of the Earth"; Landry's "Companions on the Journey"; and O'Connor's "Lift Up Your Hearts". No congregation stood a chance.

    Anyway, by the Reagan administration I was trying my best to keep my guitar out of church - although people kept asking me to play since I had become known as "the guitar guy". By the turn of the century I vowed never to bring my guitar in church again, regardless of how many brides wanted it for their wedding. I am still amazed at how many people still hold on to those songs of the 70's. My millennial kids would just say, "OK, boomer." And I would say, don't worry - we are dying off.

    (Nowadays I prefer to be known as "the chant guy").
    Thanked by 2Carol Jeffrey Quick
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    Steve Q, your theory about the G&P publishers makes sense because those songs never come out/sound as written. The congregation makes its own melody. That’s certainly what happened when we sang Schutte’s song this past weekend. It was a train wreck.

    One of the biggest culprits of this is Dufford’s “Be Not Afraid.” Any accompanist with whom I’ve worked has told me that he/she simply ignores what’s written and goes by the lead of the cantor because no one sings it the same way.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,700
    Surely such songs were all created with a strummed guitar? That is the only sort of accompaniment which suits, the basic beat and a chord structure to keep people in tune. I don't see it makes any sense to try to accompany them on a keyboard.
  • I've never heard Be Not Afraid sing to the written rhythms. I tried once at home, and it justs sounds weird. Though the praise band at the church I grew up at (a pretty contemporary one) has a fairly lax interpretation on rhythms. I remember I was trying to count a rhythm one time, and they told me to just feel it.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,694
    "Just feel it?" I think that means they couldn't sing it as written either.

    Surely such songs were all created with a strummed guitar?

    Some songs from the original SLJ albums are available on the YouTube, so it's possible to hear the style used by the original performers; the commonly available demo recordings from big publishers are often not quite the same.

    In the original versions, the style was often guitar picking, occasionally in a bluegrass style for songs in faster tempos.

    Here are songs from Neither Silver Nor Gold, Earthen Vessels, and May We Praise You.