Here’s the way it works. We progress through musical brackets voting on two songs at each post. I’ll keep the poll open for 72 hours in this round. So if you have strong feelings, tell your friends to come vote.
In randomizing the brackets below the 6-seeds, I found this intriguing clash of sentiment pitting texts by Saint Francis against Julia Ward Howe. Oh yes, it’s top-ten “Prayer of Saint Francis” versus 1960 Grammy-winner “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Sebastian Temple published his setting of the peace prayer of Saint Francis in 1967. FEL, I think. The liturgical folk music movement was just about to crest. Mr Temple, native South African, then Londoner, has been one of many to set it, mostly after 1967. His setting has, by far, the most traction in the Catholic imagination given its number 9 standing in the NPM poll of a few years back. It was presumably a favorite of Princess Diana, and was a musical selection at her 1997 funeral.
The other piece is much older, the text dating back to the 60’s of the 19th century. The music was originally linked to another set of words. But eventually the abolitionist’s text won out in the public imagination. The wikipedia link above has a boatload of fascinating information.
Julia Ward Howe on the 1861 inspiration of the words:
I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.