Monday, April 30, 2007

Bring Flowers of the Rarest

I had to laugh when Gavin mentioned "Bring Flowers of the Rarest" in a recent thread on another site.
So here I am, at my wonderful little church, where the divide between "traditionalists" and "progressives" is as strong as anywhere.
And I have some idea where most of the notable people in the church (or at least those I've met-issues like these don't stay hidden once people meet you and find out you're the MD!)
So when the wonderful lady who helps out around the church doing miscellanious liturgically related stuff handed me a copy of the song she was thinking would be used at all the Masses next weekend for the May crowning and was sure everyone knew, I looked at it and said, "ok, I've never heard of it, but I'll poll the choir."
The song is "Bring Flowers of the Rarest."
So I plunked it out on my piano as soon as I got home, and saw right away that it was some late 19th century___ (fill in the blank.)
I played it for the choir, and about half of them (surprise suprise-those new to the parish!) started singing along. ok, so I guess I will type it out on sibelius, (lower it a minor third!) so the congregation can sing it it with only one voice part so it will fit on one page.
but really...
was this schmaltz from the turn of the century "Catholic Music," in the same way that Haugen/Haas is for us now?
that now it is a nostalgic classic for all of the "traditionalists?" hm...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My theory is that Vatican 2 was intended to FIX things, so liturgy can't have been that great before the '60s. The popularity of Lambilotte's work certainly speaks to that. It's just a matter of "sacred" (but cheesy) styles back then compared with secular styles now.

Anonymous said...

That was Gavin.. I've forgotten my Blogger password :P

Mara Joy said...

who is Lambilotte? That's the name of "Come Holy Ghost" also, isn't it? (Louis Lambillotte, SJ, 1796-1855 according to Ritual Song.) Did he also write "Bring Flow'rs of the Fairest?" (and that would be why you're mentioning him now?) (All of my copies of the song don't have any composer or dates or anything on them.)
If he did write both of them, they sound completely different to me, although it could just be the harmonizations. Maybe Richard Proulx could greatly improve "Bring Flowers" if he harmonized it. Or I could try...

Vox Cantor said...

Louis Lambilotte did not write, "Bring Flowers..." His famous Marian hymn is, "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother." He also wrote a fairly nice Panis Angelicus.

I certainly equate "Bring Flowers..." to be the Pre-Vatican II equivalent of Haughan/Hass.