We have sung some hymns in church set to Welsh melodies lately, and Husband says he gets the shivers whenever he hears them. He attributes this to having some Welsh ancestors, and thinks the melodies tap at some deep primordial aspect of his collective makeup.
I tend to be more opinionated rather than shivery over church music. I like Advent music in church. One isn’t supposed to have Christmas music in church until Christmas. Advent music tends to be quiet and contemplative, which is fine with me. I find my teeth on edge when our church music gets too boisterous or when we sing hymns that have a lot of lyrics in the first person. How Great Thou Art is an example. Our Worship and Music director really dislikes Blessed Assurance, but was gracious enough to sing it the other day at the funeral of a 103 year old parishioner. Our recently retired choir director couldn’t stand Amazing Grace and refused to perform it or sing along when the congregation sang it. We have one song coming up on our December choir schedule that sounds like it should be in an old time western movie. The left hand piano accompaniment rhythm sounds like a horse ambling slowly on the trail. The congregation has loved it when we have sung it other years. I try to think of funny lyrics to it while we practice it, which reduces my irritation.
I really do like to sing in our church choir, and we have some fun performances coming up this month. Husband will play a duet on his cello on Christmas Eve with a flute player. We will do A Festval of Lessons and Carols like they do at King’s College on December 18. We won’t sing How Great Thou Art.
What gives you the shivers? What December music do you like? What December music do you loathe?