Sunday, May 19, 2013

Be Thou My Vision

The song should not be in the slow, pounding 4/4 we always sing it in. Or most recently, the faux Gaelic character of dreamy pensiveness.  It's Irish, centuries old, and the rhythm should be freer.  Before you listen, imagine the hymn you know.  Now imagine it quick and light - add an Irish accent - and sung as an air.

This isn't quite it.  He takes his time getting to the song and you might skip to 2.54, for openers. Chelsea Moon's version is also good, though too slow and pensive. But this may help break the spell of how we've pulled the song out from its roots.  It's one of my favorites anyway. If anyone can do this right, they can sing it at my funeral.  (Yes, I hope to tell everyone how they got something not quite right one more time.)


5 comments:

Dubbahdee said...

I've thought of trying to do it with some of the flavor of shape note singing. That strong stomping driving beat and the all-out voicing with no dynamic range. Singing as if you were a car with a broom stick jammed in the gas pedal. I would do the same with 'Come Thou Fount.'

Wake up the old folks and show the young ones how the ancestors used to rock and roll.

nickbsteves said...

I've never heard it in the driving 6/8 that he played it in, but I've certainly never heard it 4/4. Example?

nickbsteves said...

Ack nevermind. I found one. Blech.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Unforgivable carelessness on my part, responding to the feel instead of actually counting it out.

Texan99 said...

The tune (only slightly different in the third line) is "The Banks of the Bann," which is traditionally done in 6/8. There's a good version by Voice Squad on iTunes and YouTube: http://youtu.be/Bq01OuEGCfA