Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Christmas Carol...

Many years ago - about 1962, a very young Scrobs was a member of his school choir, and they really took the carol concert seriously...

We started rehearsing the various carols from September onwards, and by December, we were word - and note, perfect, but this particular year, it didn't go to plan...

One of the pieces we sang was 'The Shepherds' Farewell', and every time I hear it, I'm reduced to a dribbling wreck, as it's such a beautiful song, and of course, the Kings' version is always going to be the best!

What happened was this...

Our choirmaster decided that we would sing each verse after the first couple of bars of organ accompaniment (which are so evocative by themselves anyway), and from then on, we'd sing each verse unaccompanied. He'd just play these two bars at the start of each verse, and then we'd be on our own.

But things went very wrong, and whether by natural causes, or some sort of choral gremlin's influence, at the end of each verse, we'd all dropped a semitone, and in one verse, a whole note, so when he played the intro chords for the next verse, we were well out!

It was rather sad really, as there was no reason why he couldn't have played 'sotto voce' behind all our efforts, but anyway, my Dad went and bought the complete Berlioz record on the strength of it all, so things weren't that bad were they...

Here it is, sung properly! (a very young Scrobs sang alto back then)!

13 comments:

A K Haart said...

I was one of a fortunate few who were always sent off to the school library during singing practice.

Thud said...

Truly beautiful

Scrobs... said...

Now that's a shame, Mr H, I'm sure you sing like an angel, like Thud below...

Scrobs... said...

Thud, see comment above...

It is gorgeous though isn't it!

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Oh dear. I take it your organist didn't have perfect pitch then.

Similar thing happened back in my choirboy days - nervous chap singing the solo verse of Once in Royal, dropped a semitone during that one verse. I thought "this is going to be interesting when the organ comes back in" - but my mate Alan, who was playing the organ that day, of course noticed what had happened, and we sang all the rest of it in F sharp.

I often wonder how many of those present were aware of that...Alan, me, and my brother I know of, but there were probably others.

A lucky escape.

Happy Christmas everyone, and may your trebles hold the pitch every time!

rvi said...

Sorry Scrobs, but I found that rendition very dragging and dreary. Maybe it needs pepping up a bit by Whoopie and her nuns!

Anyway, Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to you and your other 5 readers :-)

Electro-Kevin said...

Happy Christmas, Scrobs. To you and all your family.

Kevo

Thud said...

Merry Christmas scrobs to you and family...enjoy your first Christmas of deserved rest.

Michael said...

A lucky escape indeed, Weekend!

That carol is always a good starter, especially with a swaying crocodile of choristers barging down the aisle...

Happy Christmas to you as well - thank you!

Michael said...

Happy Christmas to you and all too Reevers!

Michael said...

Thank you, Elecs, and of course, the compliments of the season to you all as well!

Michael said...

Morning Thud - well you've probably been up about three hours already, so enjoy the rest of you day!

Thank you and a Happy Christmas to you all!

Trubes said...

I love that Carol and I too sang alto in the church choir.

I hope you had a good e Christmas,

Best wishes for the New year.

Di xx