Farrell's 'Save Your People'
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    I don't like my hymn selections for this week, so I'm reexamining them before choir rehearsal. Apart from musical and style objections, what would you say to using Farrell's Save Your People as a communion procession this week? The antiphon is Psalm 27 and the readings very centered around forgiveness, but am I completely off the mark here? It IS familiar to the congregation and though not the TRUE antiphon, it seems a decent attempt to adhere to the propers.
    I just question the liturgical judgement of whether or not it should be confined to Lenten liturgy. It IS listed as Lenten in our hymnal and not sure if the "Save Your People" is poignant given the readings talk more about sins that are forgiven rather than sins that are yet to be forgiven.... I guess it comes down to: should we lean more towards the forgiveness we need or celebrate the forgiveness already afforded us?
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    My humble opinion: Don't over think it. The Communion antiphon is psalm 27, which this uses. The Gospel focuses on forgiveness, which this song speaks of.

    Sounds like a very reasonable choice to me - and Farrell is a notch or two above Haugen/Haas in my humble opinion, as well ... so go for it!
    Thanked by 1bkenney27
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 892
    I'm doing "Remember your Love" (Damean 1978!) also based on ps 27.

    The school children used to affectionately refer to it as "the Willy Wonka Song" but ever since the Johnny Depp version came out, the kids don't' know the original movie score. Does that make the hymnal outdated or does the psalm paraphrase get promoted from profane to sacred? :)
    Thanked by 2Kathy Adam Wood
  • What were your other choices?
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    My other choices were generic Eucharistic hymns which missed the point of the Mass, I think.

    The school children used to affectionately refer to it as "the Willy Wonka Song" but ever since the Johnny Depp version came out, the kids don't' know the original movie score. Does that make the hymnal outdated or does the psalm paraphrase get promoted from profane to sacred? :)


    HAHAHAHA! When I learned that in Children's Choir, I thought the exact same thing which is why I try to avoid using it in my parish. But that's a good point. People may no longer associate it with Willy Wonka.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I'm doing "Remember your Love" (Damean 1978!) also based on ps 27.

    The school children used to affectionately refer to it as "the Willy Wonka Song"


    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought that.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • I tend to run away from anything with Bernadette Farrell's name on it -- and since I haven't met her, I haven't had to be rude.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    Most of my students had seen both versions of Willy Wonka. Running seems like a good idea, cgz. I would do the same.
  • musicman923
    Posts: 239
    This is not by Bernette Farrell- I believe it's by Jim Farrell if I remember correctly!
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Yes, sorry. Jim Farrell. I feel similarly about Bernadette, hahaha.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I just remember "Christ Be Our Light." I could visualize the hippo ballerinas from Fantasia thumping around the dance floor in waltz time to the refrain.
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • CharlesW--I can sooooooooooo relate! Yes......little ballerinas with bright colored tutus dancing 1-2-3, 1-2-3...........
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I believe it's by Jim Farrell if I remember correctly!

    Not that it matters, but "Jim Farrell" is one of the pseudonyms Owen Alstott acquired during the period where OCP lost NALR reprint license. IIRC the esteemed signeur Alstott is Ms. Farrells's spouse.
    I think that's quaint and cool.
  • IIRC?

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    IIRC = "if I remember correctly".

    I've added that to the reference list of abbreviations.
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Really?! Interesting indeed. I quite like Alstott's music. I think he has a better grasp on liturgy than most. (That is, if his "Grant Them Eternal Rest" for the Requiem Introit is any indication.) His psalms, however, leave something to be desired.

    But I digress...
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    But I digress...


    Don't we all. LOL. It's our favorite pastime. :-)
  • CharlesW wrote:
    I just remember "Christ Be Our Light." I could visualize the hippo ballerinas from Fantasia thumping around the dance floor in waltz time to the refrain.
    Charles: From your posts on the CMAA Forum, I sense that you're a fine musician. I enjoy your posts, which are filled with common sense and good humor! I also appreciate the words of personal support. So, please understand that my intention here is not to "diss" you. That being said...

    I wonder if your (and Musicteacher56's) experience of Bernadette Farrell's "Christ, Be Our Light" was when you heard someone play the piece badly. The composition is in triple meter, and yes, there is a danger that triple meter can sound "oom-pah-pah." Even "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" could (unfortunately) be played that way, since it is also in triple meter. However, Farrell's written organ accompaniment is quite legato. If the piece isn't done at too fast of a tempo, I think it can sound quite dignified and prayerful. Although "Christ, Be Our Light" is published by OCP, it appears in Worship IV at #584.

    I'm not commenting here to defend all of Bernadette Farrell's compositions. But she has a very prayerful and exquisite version of Psalm 139, "O God, You Search Me." Again, this is published by OCP, but also appears in Worship IV at #580.

    Just my two-cents.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    No offense taken.

    My experience with that piece was hearing a group of middle-schoolers with the requisite relic from the 70s accompanying on guitar. Truly awful!

    My interaction with the Worship series of hymnals ended with Worship II (fine hymnal, BTW). I didn't share in the Worship III experience because we used Ritual Song instead. I still have many copies of Worship II and use it for quick choir numbers in the summer when we don't rehearse much. I am pushing the selection committee to buy Worship IV because I think it would be the best all-around choice for decent hymns, readings, and mostly decent psalms (Haugen excepted LOL). That being said, I don't think I have ever used more than 40 to 50% of the hymns in any hymnal. The Farrell piece would probably fall into the non-used category. I have never programmed it and my congregation doesn't know it.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I don't think I have ever used more than 40 to 50% of the hymns in any hymnal.


    Has anybody ever?

    "O God, You Search Me."


    A great piece. We use the SATB (from Choral Praise) unaccompanied as a choir piece.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    CDub, when you hear "Christ, be our light" sung by adolescents (forget the requisite relic guitarist whose skill level you didn't mention), the first thing that should cross your mind is "Who's responsible for this choice?" Not the kids, guaranteed. Why this question? The tessitura alone requires a tenth. Not quite the National Anthem, but close. That should end this particular critique of that experience.
    What I like about what Fr. Chepponis and others like myself try to do is examine the piece on its own merits off the page, and then evaluate how best to render the piece away from stereotypical impressions such as the "oom PAH pah."
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    Could have been the relic's choice, who knows? All those drugs in the 70s probably damaged his hearing. ;-) It was truly wretched, and the accompanist nearly so. Granted, I have heard far worse pieces of music than this hymn. But I haven't found a good reason to program this for my congregation.
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 417
    IMO it is a good piece but is overused.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "Christ Be Our Light" is a hymn I've never had a problem with. I like it, I think it's noble and worthy music. I also haven't programmed it in about 7 years, and don't terribly miss it. As for tempo, I disagree with Fr. Krisman, and I like it in a swift 1, though it does make the words hard to fit with the tune. I'm not going to fight over this one, but I don't have an issue with it and think it's rather good music.

    Actually, I think B. Farrell is mostly a good composer who wrote some very functional music. I recall fondly a Gloria of hers that we did frequently at the church where I grew up. Noble, simple, to the point.

    I've said before, and think it bears repeating, that perhaps many people's tastes (and some of our ideas as to appropriate/inappropriate) are more based on our first hearing than objective standards. I always heard CBOL (isn't that a programming language?) on organ with choir in parts. Mass of Creation, same thing. Never heard a guitar for "Glory and Praise to Our God", either, so I always thought of it as a good sturdy hymn. On the other hand, my first time ever hearing "Now Thank We All Our God" was when my hated 5th grade calligraphy teacher taught it to us, singing it with such awful tone and tune that all I think of even looking at it is this old hag whining and warbling.

    I still find that hymn hideous, laughable, and utterly unsuitable for anything but a circus. A circus I will not attend. And that's what the power of association did for that hymn for me. I suspect many of us are driven by similar experiences.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I don't disagree. Maybe I will look at CBOL again in the future, but probably not right now. COBOL is the programming language - LOL. I will remember looking for tiny errors in those programs forever.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391
    As for tempo, I disagree with Fr. Krisman

    Gavin, ?????????? What did I say?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Sorry, I meant Fr. Chepponis!!