Your Least Favourite Hymn Tunes/Harmonizations
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    Ah, LAND OF REST: a nun I once knew referred to that as a "hurdy-gurdy tune".
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    3. ST. CLEMENT
    2. DOWN AMPNEY
    1. LAND OF REST


    Three more I like.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    1. SICILIAN MARINER'S HYMN (O Most Holy One)
    2. ST DENISO (Immortal, invisible, God only wise)
    3. ST FLAVIAN (These forty days of Lent)
  • @JulieColl I believe the tune name is ST DENIO, but maybe it is just one of those stupid publisher mistakes (misteaks)...
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Thanks, I didn't have my reading glasses on. You are correct. The Hymnbook 1982 doesn't have many mistakes that I have seen.
  • Yes, it is St Denio.

    And, yes, Sicilian Mariners is amongst the most vacuous and boring tunes ever foisted off on us. I've thought this from the time I first heard it at something less than ten years old.

    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,639
    On the other hand, I highly doubt Italian fishermen ever had delusions of high art.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 154
    Have all you in the northern hemisphere been spared Elgar's DRAKES BROUGHTON? Down here it is a beloved of more old-fashioned congregations, paired with John Henry Newman's "Firmly I believe and truly". The tune is banal, and congregations insist on singing it at a dirge-like pace, scooping up on every rising note. And while I do dearly love much of Newman's poetry, this one has got to be one of his worst. One might as well sing the creed.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    I like SICILIAN MARINERS, but whenever I type it I imagine what can only be described as ITALIAN PIRATES.
  • 'Firmly I Believe and Truly' is sung smartly up here on the western side of the pond to Nashota House, a grand and artful tune which seems 'tailor made' for it. As for Drake's Broughton, I hope that you keep it down there. We don't want it. You are spot on: it's dreadful!
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  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    This is a truly illuminating thread.

    I wonder how many of the disliked tunes are disliked (subconsciously, of course) precisely because they are popular, and some people (I would never dare say who) take a certain (subconscious, of course) delight in having tastes more refined than that of the hoi polloi.

    I wonder if there is any connection here to my recent observations regarding "boring" music.

    Just wondering.

    For the record: I have bad taste.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW melofluent JL
  • Well, Adam, (with all due respect, plus some extra) what you are 'wondering' is just another version of 'eek! I don't know that, therefore it is elitist, and we don't need any of that uppity stuff around here', and on and on. You know how it goes. I think that what you are wondering is inherently (subconsciously, of course) the sort of thing that balkers and deliberate ignoramuses of all stripes oh-so-predictably toss (c)rudely into the ring the moment they are presented with a steak (not even a Chateaubriand - just an ordinary steak) because they are proud to wallow in hot dogs* or spam (and resent that anyone else would want a steak - just a plain old one, not even filet Mignon). These are the people who would never have permitted us to have the Sistine Chapel ceiling or Palestrina's musical icons. This is what I think (consciously, of course).

    Please do not regard this as a diatribe against you. I think that you are doing this 'wondering' in innocence. But the domination of those who (mindlessly) crucify what they don't like as elitist is what would (consciously, of course) rob all the rest of us of our patrimony (and!, feel glad to have done so).

    *Oh, and by the way, I, too, like hot dogs, though not as much as hamburgers. It is, though, becoming increasingly difficult to find a good, delicious, old-fashioned version of either. The thing now is to gussy them up with blue cheese, portobello mushrooms, unique house dressing, bacon, various artisan buns, plus anything they can muster that drips and oozes, caramalised** peppers, this week's fad veggie or green, and who knows what else. And they call it a 'hamburger'

    **Most anything nowadays that doesn't have caramalised something or other in it is just hopelessly outre.

    (Too, stop wondering if certain hymns and/or tunes are disliked because they are 'popular'. A less than stellar tune or text is what it is, no matter it's popularity or lack thereof. Some tunes are dreadful [Kings of Orient] and are popular- and unliked by your 'some people'. Their popularity doesn't make them, voila!, admirable. Also, some tunes are admirable [Hyfrydol, Es ist ein ros' entsprungen] and, yet, are popular - and liked by your 'some people'. There are some inherent contradictions in your reasoning, which is, I think badly flavoured with an a priori bias [unconscious, of course] which doesn't float. There is no passable formal argument here.)
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641

    'Firmly I Believe and Truly' is sung smartly up here on the western side of the pond to Nashota House, a grand and artful tune which seems 'tailor made' for it. As for Drake's Broughton, I hope that you keep it down there. We don't want it. You are spot on: it's dreadful!


    Pluth suggests SUO GAN for Firmly I Believe and Truly, if my memory serves me correctly. An interesting pairing.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    There are objective characteristics that contribute to tunes being boring:
    - repetition of phrases
    - low rate of harmonic change
    - melodies within a small ambit
  • Pluth suggests...

    Interesting, Matthew! If Pluth suggests it it must be given serious thought. I would never have put the two together unprompted. However, this illustrates beautifully how a text can be given a totally different affect by being paired with two tunes that are fine but vastly different in character. With Nashota House this text is triumphant, has a 'processional character', is inspiring and motivating. With Suo Gan, the text becomes almost opposite, being quiet, reflective, inward, perhaps a little piquant. Thanks for bringing this up. This superb text just became doubly rich.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    Firmly I Believe and Truly has 5 stanzas of 8787 meter. So when it is paired with an 8787D tune like SUO GAN, one of the stanzas will have to be dropped. That's my first problem with the pairing.

    My second problem is that SUO GAN works more like a 44434443D tune than an 8787D one. When paired with Firmly I Believe and Truly there are simply too many melodic breaks in the middle of words or after "and" or a preposition. So, for my taste, it would not be a good pairing, even if the text had six 8787 stanzas.

    1 Firmly I be- / lieve and truly
    God is Three and / God is One;
    and I next ac- / knowledge duly
    manhood taken / by the Son.

    2 And I trust and / hope most fully
    in that manhood / crucified;
    and each thought and / deed unruly
    do to death, as / he has died.

    3 Simply to his / grace and wholly
    light and life and / strength belong,
    and I love su- / premely, solely,
    him the holy, / him the strong.
    --
    4 And I hold in / veneration,
    for the love of / him alone,
    Holy Church as / his creation,
    and her teachings / as his own.

    5 Adoration / ay be given,
    with and through the'an- / gelic host,
    to the God of / earth and heaven,
    Father, Son, and / Holy Ghost.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I wonder how many of the disliked tunes are disliked (subconsciously, of course) precisely because they are popular, and some people (I would never dare say who) take a certain (subconscious, of course) delight in having tastes more refined than that of the hoi polloi.


    Elitists? Musicians? You can't be serious! One would think we have large egos! Why, if we were running the church there would be no such nonsense allowed!

    Thankfully, we are not running the church. The people who are running it are doing an excellent job of screwing things up. They don't need our help.

    I think musicians do look for the new and different, while congregations are often content with the familiar. If I choose a particular hymn for Sunday, the congregation hears it one time. I hear it multiple times at all the masses. No surprise as to who gets bored sooner.

    As to why certain hymns are popular and others not, I have not found a good answer. Is it the music, the text, tempo, all of the above? I don't know. I know which ones I like, but could not tell you why 400 people in the pews go for one hymn over another.
    Thanked by 1bdh
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    I can't take credit for the excellent idea of pairing Suo Gan with Firmly I Believe, although I have definitely advocated for the idea. The idea was generated during a discussion here on the board, and I firmly and truly believe that eft fellow proposed it.

    There's a simplicity to the tune, much of which comes directly through the caesurae in the even numbered lines. (I don't hear nearly such a dramatic pause in lines one and three of each stanza). Right from the beginning you get 2 facts: God is three and. God is one (re-mi-do). So simple, so true.

    Fr. Krisman, is it possible you are omitting the verse that begins And I take with joy whatever? If included, no verse need be omitted under the Suo Gan scheme.

    http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/f/i/firmlyib.htm

    https://books.google.com/books?id=0WzmAAAAMAAJ&pg=PR4&lpg=PR4&dq="and+I+take+with+joy+whatever"&source=bl&ots=-G8-nSC9Qe&sig=qAqV4bfoH0kfwm1MD8__Yduur3c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQj7aB-uPNAhWJ5CYKHSBrD3AQ6AEIIjAD#v=onepage&q="and I take with joy whatever"&f=false
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    There are objective characteristics that contribute to tunes being boring:
    - repetition of phrases
    - low rate of harmonic change
    - melodies within a small ambit


    Those are the things that (might) make a tune boring to a trained musician.

    I am willing to bet that they contribute to tunes being well liked by non-musicians.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    Speculation!

    We could speculate freely about what human characteristics correlate with an affinity to those musical characteristics. Maybe it's not musical training, but something broader. personality (temperament), or general cognitive ability, or shoe size, or language ability.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    or shoe size


    That one.
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  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    - melodies within a small ambit


    As a side note:
    Every time I glance at the screen and see this sentence, I think it says "small armpit."
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    It's "gambit" for me.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    I just sang through something to ABBOT'S LEIGH for the first time yesterday evening.
    I wasn't a fan.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    Pshaw. If only "Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest" had an even number of stanzas, I'd suggest dropping the refrain and singing the stanzas to ABBOTS LEIGH (two stanzas to one run of 8787D).
  • It changes the mood so much if you sing ABBOT'S LEIGH in D major.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    Oh, D is worse than C. It's bad enough in C.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,109
    AUSTRIA vs. ABBOT'S is more like hamburgers and hotdogs than steak, if you ask me.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    Makes me think of something a Catholic food service colleague of my brother once said of a certain common very cheap brand of very bland franks (not Oscar Mayer or Ball Park): The brand is safe to serve for lunch at parochial schools on Lenten Fridays.
  • Why everyone no like me favourite tune?
  • JL
    Posts: 170
    I'm on Team ABBOT'S LEIGH, Noe. Let's stand over here and snark about NICAEA. :)
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Ya but i like NICEA too... lol
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • Ya but!...

    Liking Nicea is not allowed.

    As for Abbot's Leigh, I really can't decide whether I like it or not. It would definitely be very quickly (as in fast) ruined with over-use (which may already have happened). Still, though, with the right text (and so many of them aren't the right texts) it can be quite splendid. Having potentially a very ceremonial air and processional aura about it It definitely must be taken just an excruciating tad too slow. And, if you don't have nice acoustics, just forget it!

    Hyfrdol has already been ruined due to over use. It should now never be sung more than twice a year for at least twenty years.
  • JL
    Posts: 170
    I find RUSTINGTON to be an excellent substitute for HYFRDOL (or AUSTRIA, for that matter), and one that doesn't get enough play this side if the pond.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    I don't like NICEA, but do like NICAEA.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    Is there a NICAEA II?
  • Well it looks like by the number of posts, people dislike hymns more than anthems.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 548
    What about CALON LAN for Firmly I Believe?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    WLP set one of my texts to CALON LAN (BLAENWERN) in their One in Faith hymnal. A new tune to me, and wonderful!
  • Blaenwern is a new favourite of mine. Bravo!
    Let us be careful to not wear these tunes out.
    Like eating too much of a good thing, over use really spoils the appetite for more of the same

    Another excellent and marvellous tune which gets very little attention is Bryn Calfaria..
  • I think that it is really nice that Chonak likes Nicaea, even though it isn't nice; and that, also nice, he doesn't like the not-so-nice (and non-existent [what perspicacity!]) Nicea. Nicely done all 'round!

    (Doing purple is such a chore.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    (Doing purple is such a chore.)


    Purple is a state of mind.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • In the least favorite category: Rathbun, sung to the text, "In the cross of Christ I glory". Much prefer Tomter, written by a former organ teacher of mine.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    Scripsit Jackson:
    I think that it is really nice that Chonak likes Nicaea, and that, also nice, he doesn't like the not-so-nice (and non-existent [what perspicacity!]) Nicea. Nicely done all 'round!

    That's very nice o' ya!

    That Pluth text set to BLAENWERN is also in Seasonal Missalette (issue expiring 7/30/16) at #211.
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 209
    The internet being what it is, a search for BLAENWERN, with which I was previously unfamiliar, eventually led me to this "hymn" text, ostensibly sung (by whom, I wonder?) to PLEADING SAVIOR (though it would seem you have to divide a quarter note into 8ths to make it work). Given the perennial discussions about workplaces and wages, I thought I would share:

    Ev'ryone must make a living
    Ev'ryone must make ends meet.
    Teacher, preacher, entertainer
    Ev'ryone needs food to eat
    Praise to the worker, praise to the job
    Praise to the farmer and the corn on the cob
    Ev'ryone must make a living
    Ev'ryone deserves a job.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Jon, is that from The Secular Hymnal? (I sure hope so.)

    Now I'm going to have to figure out a way to praise corn on the cob besides just standard yummy sounds. Any ideas?
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 209
    It appears so!

    As for praising corn:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBjfLE5uX0A
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    The hymn text most often paired with BLAENWERN is "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." That pairing is especially common in England.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFckP0F93JM
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • I'm really warming to Blaenwern. Thank you for reminding me of it