Saturday, June 30, 2012


Sacred Heart Church, West Warwick, RI

Entrance: W-764 God of our Fathers (National Hymn)
Psalm 30: I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me (Carroll/Gelineau)
Alleluia: Alstott (No. IV - in A-flat / verse of the day, tone 8G)
Offertory: W-750 Your hands, O Lord, in days of old (Mozart)
Danish Amen Mass (revised, with acclamation B "When we eat...")
Communion: Soul of my Savior (Anima Christi / harm. from the Pius X Hymnal)
Meditation: W-605 O Jesus, joy of loving hearts (Wareham)
Recessional: W-763 America, the Beautiful (Materna)


Sunday, June 24, 2012


#638 in Worship - Fourth Edition

Perfectly fit for an episode of the Wiggles, or the New Zoo Revue (people my age might remember that one), maybe not so much Barney, but damn close.  It also reminds me of an old ditty from Ren and Stimpy that relies on just four words (my wife will kill me for using these words together in one sitting, but for example purposes, I have to - sorry honey xoxo): Happy Happy Joy Joy!

The title enough is goofy.  The rest of the text is equally bad, as is the music (the tune is called ANITA, written by Sally Ann Morris - Worship IV seems to have picked up a lot of her tunes - almost as many as Marty Haugen and David Haas - just as bad, which range from "sing songy" at best to downright ugly at worst, like this tune).

This is yet another "let's praise ourselves" motif gone bad:
- We're the echo of God's laughter, We're the image of God's smile.
- We're the proof of God's good humor, We're the twinkle in God's eye, Made to shine, reflect the glory, Given light and space to fly. (like the Great Space Coaster!  Get on board!)
- We are loved, though so absurd, Human, foolish, chosen people, God still takes us at our word.

Barf-o-rama!  Seriously - the author of this text, Shirley Erena Murray, had to have consulted the Tom Conry book of lyric writing (the song "Anthem" - We are called, we are chosen, we are Christ for one another, We are question, We are creed, We are this, We are that) to write this collection of words that passes for a hymn text these days.

Oh, and let's top this off with verse 3:
- Sarah laughed at God's good timing (huh?!), Mary sang (well, she did sing, or perhaps recited, the Magnificat) and David danced (he wrote Psalms instead - 150 songs to the Lord in many different moods), Jesus smiled and hugged the children -- So is life for us enhanced.

And now the chorus:
- Alleluia, all creation, alleluia everyone! (twice)

Sing a happy alleluia?  Well, I'd hate to sing an angry alleluia.  Sing THIS happy alleluia?  Let's not and say we did.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Just use Auto-Tune!

Learned some things about some of the big "stars" this morning while waiting for my daughter Brittany to emerge from her orthodontist's appointment.  Two of the prime offenders given by my son Brian in the waiting room: Katy "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It" Perry and Lady Ca-Ca.  Their offense: they use this clever little voice alteration tool called "Auto-Tune".  This "Auto-Tune" is what some of the big stars of today use because they tend to sing out of tune without it.  In fact, Cher was one of the first to use the device in her goofy little ditty called "Believe" (I liked most of her music before this ghastly thing that passed for a song came out).

If I would have known I could get away with relying on such a device, I wouldn't have wasted my time in vocal music classes with one of the best high school choral directors in my day.  I wouldn't have bothered to realize that I have perfect pitch.  I would have just let "Auto-Tune" do all the work, and my records would have sold millions, even if I was tone deaf.  WOW!

That just goes to show the disgrace that much of today's music has come down to.  Stolen beats, stolen riffs, fake beats, a synthesizer that plays every damn instrument there is, and now "Auto-Tune" for your tone-deaf vocal chords.

Well, you know what?  I'm extremely thankful for my ability to sing without such a device, my ability to play a few instruments (I started with guitar, taught myself most of what I know on piano and organ, taught myself a little bit of bass guitar, and just enough drums to get by as an emergency fill-in for some rock band missing a drummer), and my ability to write and arrange actual music.  I thank my high school choral director, Mrs. Nectar Lennox, for everything she's taught me.  She may not have been the first to discover my perfect pitch.  My childhood guitar teacher, Peter McNamee, actually discovered it, but to Mrs. Lennox, it was big.  Just three months ago, she told me she only knew THREE people in her life with perfect pitch - Mrs. Lennox herself, the brother of her successor, and yours truly.  I still believe, at almost four dozen years old, that what comes around will go around.  Rest assured, I'm NOT the only one who looks at "Auto-Tune" as cheating in music, just the same as the use of steroids is cheating in most (if not all) sports.

There are still many musicians out there who keep it real.  Many have gotten their due.  Many are due for their due.

Keep it real!

Monday, June 18, 2012


VI-24-12 at Sacred Heart Church, West Warwick, RI

The third of four solemnities this month.  Remember that three of the four Sundays of June this year are solemnities (VI-3 was Trinity, VI-10 was Corpus Christi, and now VI-24 - the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, not to mention our patronal feast, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which fell on Friday VI-15).  Last weekend (VI-17) was the only non-solemnity (simply Sunday XI of Ordinary Time).

Anyhoo, here is the music lineup for the solemnity:

Memorial: Mortem tuam annuntiamus Domine (Jubilate Deo)
Amen: tune: first line of Sanctus VIII

PROPER (Lectionary):
Psalm 71 (Saturday): Since my mother's womb, you have been my strength (Currie/Gelineau)
Psalm 139 (Sunday): I praise you for I am wonderfully made (Alstott)
Alleluia: Marier (verse of the day to tone 5)

HYMNS, etc.
Entrance: H-10 On Jordan's bank the baptist's cry (Winchester New)
Offertory: W-706 By all your saints still striving (St. Theodulph)
- NOTE: The middle verse is the one marked for St. John the Baptist
Communion: Jesu, Dulcis Memoria (Cologne tune arr. by Ted Marier / from the Pius X Hymnal)
Meditation: H-405 I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew (Artavia)
Recessional: H-9 Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding (Merton)


Sunday, June 17, 2012


Its biggest competitor, GIA, took that title away!

In case you're wondering, yes, I'm revisiting Worship - Fourth Edition, GIA's newest "flagship" hymnal.   Or is Gather - Third Edition the new "flagship" hymnal?  At any rate - Worship these days seems to be about half Worship and half Gather, and Gather seems to be about half Gather and half WorshipWorship was the hymnal for hymns, and Gather was the hymnal for sacro-pop.  Now, just about anything GIA puts out is the hymnal for sacro-pop.  Well, Worship does have some of the old standards, and have added some tunes that I'm pleasantly surprised to see, and there are the good old standards.  However, as I have previously mentioned a few months back, there are many new texts, and many altered texts.  And like the OCP Music Issue, you will find good things, but you have to sift through a lot of crap to get to them.

Let's just say, since a friend of mine returned my copy of Worship IV to me after having borrowed it for a bit, I'm finding more flaws in the book now than before. Here's an example I just discovered today:

#615: God, Whose Song Became Creation
None of the first verse makes any sense:
God, whose song became creation, Touch our lips with burning coals.
Free our hearts to sing your praises While your music shapes our souls.
We would sing with other nations, Sing with worlds as yet unknown,
Sing with angels, sing with rivers, Sing with birds and sing with stones.

HUH?  Sounds like something from Dr. Seuss!  (Sing with angels, sing with planets, sing with rivers, sing with a fox, sing in a box...)
I for one would find it hard to sing once my lips hit the burning coals.  I'd be hurting.  Really hurting.  And this thing about singing with worlds as yet unknown, the last time I remember trying to sing with a Martian, the little ******* tried to evaporate me!  And it's very hard to sing with stones.  Let's face it.  I'd be more likely to have stones being thrown at me than stones singing with me.

Now, get a load of this second verse:
Songs so new and yet so ancient, Songs with no geography,
Songs unchanged, yet ever changing, Songs that set their singers free;
Sung on streets and sung in kitchens, Sung in churches, sung in jails,
Sung in silence, sung in chaos, Sung whenever speaking fails.

Songs with no geography?????  Also, each of those places the author mentions in the last two lines all require a different type of song.  So I hope that what I sing in church is not what I normally sing on Central Avenue, I-95, the ACI, and in Chez Page.  Oh, and that Dr. Seuss motif again - sung on streets, with my feet, sung in jail, while reading my mail, etc...

And now, how about the music?  First of all, the melody is unsingable.  Watch this...
Common time, F key signature
C A A C | Db Ab Ab G | Eb c c Eb | Bb Ab G |
C A A C | Db Ab Ab G | Eb c c Eb | Ab G Ab |
c c db c | c Bb Ab Eb | c c db c | Bb Ab G |
C A A C | Db Ab Ab G | Eb c c Eb | Ab G Ab ||
 (NOTE: The capital "C" is middle C, the small "c" is an octave higher.

Not only is it hard to sing, let me remind you that it's in the key of F and the ending note is Ab, and appears to serve as the tonic.  And this from the pen of Hal Hopson, who's penned numerous choral octavos.  WTF?????

I hope to review more "hymns", but this is a start.  So if you want to sing songs with no geography, Worship IV is the book to get (If this is the new Worship, I'd hate to see what the new Gather is like).  If you want books with actual hymnody that makes sense, may I suggest the St. Michael Hymnal or the Vatican II Hymnal.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Sacred Heart Church, West Warwick, RI

The Patronal Feast: The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
6 PM - Friday VI-15-12

Again we'll be joined by the brass trio of Ed (on trumpet), Chris (on flugelhorn), and Jerry (on French horn)

Federico Caudana - Messa Popolare "Laus Tibi Christe" (Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus)
Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine (Memorial Acclamation from Jubilate Deo)
Amen (tune: opening lines of the Sanctus from Mass VIII)

Richard Rice - You will draw water joyfully (Isaiah 12)
Theodore Marier - Alleluia

E: O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine (pew sheet)
O: Cor Dulce, Cor Amabile (source: New St. Basil Hymnal)
C: Cor Jesu Trinitate (source: Pius X Hymnal)  (This is the tune GOTT SOLL GEPRIESEN, with an extended ending.  Some may remember this tune with the hymn "Accept, Almighty Father" from Worship II and the old Monthly Missalette from the 70's)
Outdoor Benediction:
O Salutaris Hostia (Werner) (W-756) / Tantum Ergo (ST. THOMAS) (W-757)
Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (GROSSER GOTT) (W-524)

VI-17-12: Sunday XI of Ordinary Time

The only Sunday in all of June that's NOT a Solemnity!

Mass VIII (Sanctus, Agnus)
Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine (Memorial Acclamation from Jubilate Deo)
Amen (tune: opening lines of the Sanctus from Mass VIII)

Richard Rice - Lord, it is good to give thanks to you (Psalm 92)
Theodore Marier - Alleluia

E: WESTMINSTER ABBEY - Christ is made the sure foundation (W-617) 
O: AURELIA - O Christ, the great foundation (W-618)
C: ANIMA CHRISTI - Soul of my Savior, sanctify my breast (harmony from Pius X Hymnal)
M: ST. AGNES - Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless (W-728)
R: LAUDATE DOMINUM - The kingdom of God (W-615)


Friday, June 8, 2012


Sacred Heart Church, West Warwick, RI

Brass trio on Saturday at 5, and on Sunday at 9 and 11:15
First Communion at 11:15
The trio of me, myself, and I at 7:30
Outdoor Benediction after at least the Sat. 5 and the Sun. 11:15 (possibly also the Sun. 9)

Caudana - Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe" (except 7:30)
Mass VIII (7:30 only)
Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine (all Masses)
Amen adapted from Sanctus VIII (all Masses)

Psalm 116: BMP - I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord
Alleluia: Marier (verse of the day to tone 5)

TRURO - Lift up your heads, O mighty gates
HYFRYDOL - Alleluia! sing to Jesus
Franck - Panis Angelicus
Duguet - O Salutaris Hostia
ST. THOMAS - Tantum Ergo
GROSSER GOTT - Holy God, we praise thy Name