Sunday Music & Souling Song & Kristen Lawrence

This is not my general line of musical preference, but I found it fetching and it really grows on you. Now, this music clip was chosen because it was the best sounding solution to a particular posting dilemma I was having. Explanation below.

So, what posting dilemma, you ask? Well, OK. Bear with me for a minute. Sunday music is kind of a tradition around here. What’s more, I’ve been posting light for the past several months, and when I don’t post much, my routine is to let the Sunday specials sit there as placeholder posts until I do, which obligates me to put up another Sunday music post for any Sunday following any non-Sunday post. Being a creature of pointless, self-imposed habit, that’s just what I do. Consider Sunday music posts to be default mode.

But another tradition around here is linking to Nightsky’s Rocktober Halloween countdown!!!!!!!!!!, which this year is following a “Friday Night Videos” theme, a retro 80s premise in honor of the old music video program. The way it works it that Nightsky hits every Friday in October until he gets to the BIG ONE, Halloween night. But for the past three Friday posts over there, I developed a NEW self-imposed habit, which is to link Nightsky’s Halloween posts in my Sunday music posts, and thus kill two birds with one stone. It was going along OK and there was no huge Friday/Sunday dissonance because it was in anticipation of Halloween. But now, since Nightsky’s Rocktober grand finale falls on Friday, it means that if I link to it in a Sunday music post, Halloween will have been over for two days. So how can I do a Sunday music post in such a way as to link to Nightsky’s Rocktober finale and not be totally off key? Can you see the dilemma now?

Toob search results for terms like “All Souls Day hymn” “All Saints day sacred music” etc. etc. turned up a lot of badly recorded church music, and quite a lot of music by a darkish rock band called All Hallows Eve, a group which Nightsky might possibly approve of but which did not exactly fit the bill for my self-imposed “Sunday obligation” sacred-themed Sunday music posts. I was looking really hard, and I wasn’t turning up much.

Enter “Souling Song”! This Sunday is November 2nd, which is the Feast of All Souls. The day before that is All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, November 1st. And October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve, or, as it has come to be known, Halloween. Now, trick-or-treating has some historical roots in “Souling,” a practice from All Souls Day that was somewhat akin to Christmas caroling. People went around offering prayers for deceased family members in return for “soul cakes.” In this spirit, Kristen Lawrence has done a fine job resurrecting the melody and lyrics of an Olde Englishe “Souling” song, nicely set to organ and church bells, and sung with a nice pure voice. Good job on the music, and kudos to Kristen Lawrence, heretofore unknown to me, for packing so much history and cultural education into a charming and haunting (in a nice way) old song. See her Halloween Carols site here.

Now, I said this was a solution to a posting dilemma, but I didn’t say a perfect solution. While my musical selection does make a nice intersect with Halloween, Friday, and Sunday, it is less easy to harmonize the tenor of our Sunday offering with Nightsky’s October 31 post, which includes such disquieting Metal numbers as “Pimples from Hell” and “Skateboarding to Satan”.

Hey look, I never said I was perfect.

Sunday Music & Liszt & Ave Verum Corpus

Franz Liszt, Ave Verum Corpus (1871), performed by the Stuttgart Südfunk-Chor conducted by Rupert Huber.

Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie,
O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.

Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered, was sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
whose pierced side
flowed with water and blood:
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death.
O sweet Jesus, O pious Jesus,
O Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me. Amen.

At this point, I hardly need to remind you that Nightskyradio in still going strong, or should I say Kyarying on heartily, with his Rocktober COUNTDOWN FRIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!! One! One little Friday! Ha! Two!! Two fabulous Fridays!! Ha ha!! Three!!! Three freaky, phantasmagoric Fridays!!! Ha ha haaa!!! FOUR!!!! Four fabulous, freaky, phantasmogorical Fridays!!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!! . . .

Yeah, things are heating up infernally as Nightsky hits his stride and pulls out all the stops for this penultimate Friday night Halloween knockout.

Four!!!! Four mixed metaphors!!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!!

Marking the Double Nought Milestones

My blogdaddy Nightsky hit 200 posts, for which the only appropriate response is a full length movie.

By uncanny coincidence, Whud Yuhd Faye is also hitting the double noughts at the same time. Five double oh, people. Yes, this post is the big five double-a-rooni. Five. Oh. Oh.

In this epic but pathetically doomed Oedipal struggle, yours truly, the miscreant son, has been trying to outdo Dad with all that manic posting, especially in the initial months of this blogging adventure. Predictably, the results have been questionable in terms of quality . . . but, by gosh . . . THERE’S NO QUESTION AT ALL IN TERMS OF QUANTITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And like Nightsky, we celebrate by playing with numbers. In our case, we will start with five and lay on the zeroes one by one until we get to 500. Let us begin!

OK, I’ve never been a huge Brubeck fan, but he definitely had his moments and this was one of them.

“Take Five,” with Paul Desmond (sax), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums). The album Time Out (1959) was the first jazz album to go past platinum. I just remembered: I was also told Brubeck took a spiritual direction with his music later in life, which is something we’ll have to investigate for our Sunday selections.

Anyway, Wikipedia tells me Dave Brubeck suffered a serious spinal injury after diving into the Hawaiian surf in 1951. (Hey, fifties!) Not good for Dave Brubeck. But who knows what graces came out of it, including a life path that led to the first jazz album to go past platinum? One good thing that definitely came out of that incident, though, is that it gives me a nifty little segue to the next clip, which may be among the top five, certainly the top ten tv show themes EVER!

And now, all we need is one more zero, which we find supplied by none other than Chick Corea and Return to Forever.

“500 Miles High,” from Light as a Feather (1973). Chick Corea (keyboards), Flora Purim (vocals), Joe Farrell (sax), Stanley Clark (bass), Airto Moreira (percussion). (I want you to know that I wrote all that album info from my head, and when I went back to check the only thing I got wrong was that Joe Farrell has two “l”s at the end of his name, not one.)

Let it also be known that my other blog associates, that zany, rollicking hippie commune that has come to be known as The Blog of Funny Names, also hit the big 5-0-0 not too long ago. I’m only a little behind.

Sunday Music & Syriac Aramaic Orthodox Hymn & Haw Nurone

Syriac Aramaic Orthodox Hymn – Haw Nurone – ترتيلة سريانية أرثوذكسية

Images mostly from Lebanon. Remember the persecuted not so far away, in that very troubled part of the world.

The Lord whom the seraphs and cherubs are afraid to behold, In wine and bread, is made manifest, to the faithful on the altar.

The burning ranks of angels are inflamed of His brilliance, if they see Him. Yet the contemptible mortals in confidence receive Him.

The Son’s Mysteries are fire among the heavenly beings. Isaiah bears witness, with us, to have beheld them.

These Mysteries, once in the Divinity’s bosom, are being distributed among Adam’s sons on this altar.

The altar is fashioned like the chariot of the cherubim. And is surrounded by multitudes of the heavenly hosts. On this altar is laid the Body of God’s Son and Adam’s children in their hands administer It. Instead of a man clad in silk, stands the (priest), and distributes alms among the needy. If envy existed among the angels the cherubim would envy human beings.

Where Zion set up the Cross to crucify the Son, there grew up the tree which gave birth to the Lamb.

Where the nails were firmly driven in the Son’s hands, there Isaac’s hands were bound for an offering. Welcome priest who carries his Lord’s Mysteries, and with thy right hand, life is given to mankind.

Welcome priest who bears the pure censer, and with its fragrance makes the whole world sweet and pleasant.

Welcome priest whom the Holy Spirit did raise up, and upon his tongue bears the keys of the House of God.

Welcome priest who binds man on earth below, and the Lord binds him in heaven above, halleluiah.

Welcome priest who unbinds man on earth, and the Lord unbinds him in the highest. Kyrie-eleison.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on this third stone from the sun, it’s the third installment of Nightskyradio’s 2014 Rocktober Countdown!!!!!!!!! There we find an indeterminate answer to the question we never really thought of asking, but should have: does the universe sound creepy, or hauntingly beautiful?

Sunday Music & Aretha Franklin & God Will Take Care of You

From Aretha Franklin, Gospel Greats (1972, re-released 1999 and 2003), with the Southern California Community Choir, directed by Rev. James Cleveland.

Whilst our Sunday offering as always urges this humble blog’s honored readers toward . . . higher matters, I regret that I am compelled, by a damnable oath sealed with drops of my own blood, to link to Nightsky’s (shudder) second Rocktober Countdown!!!!!!!!!!!!! post.

O, do not go there, good friends, I beg you. Or if you do, AVERT YOUR EYES!!!!

Flora Purim & Mountain Train

Over in his quadrant of cyberspace, my blogdaddy Nightskyradio has initiated his second annual Rocktober countdown!!!!!!!!!!!! with a new twist. Back over here, we have not shifted into Halloween mode yet, or even halfway out of our blog hiatus, but I do have a little music lined up which is also a blast from the past. This is a cut from Stories to Tell (1974), which I used to have on vinyl.

Flora Purim (lead vocals), Airto Moriera (percussion), George Duke (keyboards, synthesizer), Oscar Neves (acoustic guitar), King Errisson (congas), Ernie Hood (backing vocals, zither), Larry Dunlap (piano). Some time back, we featured one of the best ever versions of “How Insensitive” from that same album.

Sunday Music & Byrd & Tristitia et Anxietas

I am still taking a big blog break, but in keeping with the wdydfae Sunday tradition, I’m going to let the placeholder post be one of those Sunday specials.

William Byrd, Tristitia et Anxietas (1589), sung by the magnificent Tallis Scholars.

Tristitia et anxietas occupaverunt interiora mea. Mœstum factum est cor meum in dolore, et contenebrati sunt oculi mei. Væ mihi, quia peccavi.

Sed tu, Domine, qui non derelinquis sperantes in te, consolare et adjuva me propter nomen sanctum tuum, et miserere mei.

Sadness and anxiety have overtaken my inmost being. My heart is made sorrowful in mourning, my eyes are become dim. Woe is me, for I have sinned.

But thou, O Lord, who dost not forsake those whose hope is in thee, comfort and help me for thy holy name’s sake, and have mercy on me.

Mr. BoFNgles

Wherein I interrupt my blog hiatus to present my latest over at the Blog of Funny Names. Please check it out!

Otherwise I’m taking time out from all blogging, including the BoFN gig, with apologies to my talented and delightful colleagues there.

I may still be dropping a music post here occasionally if I can get a little mojo working. I wish all readers well!

Ombra Mai Fu & Handel & Mera

Wdydfae will be away from the computer for a bit, and I leave my honored visitors, scattered and few though they be, with the musical selection “Ombra Mai Fu.”

Until now, I only vaguely knew this aria, just by being familiar with the melody. Though it sounds like a typical Sunday selection for this blog, it’s actually from George Frederic Handel’s secular opera Seres, or Xerxes (who was king of Persia).

I stumbled upon it because I got into Yoshikazu Mera’s voice recently and started tracking Mera’s videos across the Toobs. He’s the counter-tenor who sang the theme of Princess Mononoke and was featured in our most recent Sunday post here. I never really paid much attention to counter tenors before, but the unearthly purity of Mera’s voice really turned me around, and he really seems to nail those baroque arias in particular.

Special thanks to the Youtuber who goes by the name asterisk (literally *). In addition to having the smallest Youtube handle I’ve ever seen and matching the music with great visuals, this good servant of humanity also seems to have sneaked in a replay of the song at 2:53 (the aria is indeed a bit too short and does benefit from the replay).   * also worked in a subtle fade out from about 4:15.  I think these are nice touches but others might think * has a lot of gall for doing that.

* has a lot of gall.

Doesn’t anyone get that?