I had a method to my madness on this music poll. Honest. But with this week’s crash, I know I wasn’t able to construct the brackets totally from memory. A seasonal song or two was dropped, and I looked at some new polling sites, not recalling all the places I visited setting up this tournament. But since I never posted the brackets, you won’t know the difference. I hope.
Let’s resume the dance with a red regional match up between an NPM top-ten, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” and a “seasonal” offering for all the saints:
Many Catholics are unaware that “Holy God” is a paraphrase of the classic hymn Te Deum. It likely wouldn’t pass muster in the age of Liturgiam Authenticam, but there’s no question it’s one of the top organ hymns in the contemporary Catholic consciousness. Somewhere in my personal music archives, I have a mimeographed copy, barely readable, of a St Louis Jesuit arrangement of the tune. No kidding. The text we know was originally German, and dates to the time of the American Revolution. According to hymnary.org, the Empress of Austria thought German Catholics needed a metrical setting of the Te Deum. Yet another musical priest, Ignaz Franz, published it as one of his forty-seven contributions to the 1774 hymnal, Katholisches Gesangbuch. German immigrants probably did the leg work getting it over to America from there. Clarence Walworth of upstate New York, is credited as “loosely” translating the German text. His life’s story, brief as it is given on the hymnary site, seems fascinating:
Walworth was born into a Presbyterian home. After studying at Union College in Schenectady, New York, he was admitted to the bar in 1841. His interest in theology led to studies for the Episcopalian ministry at General Theological Seminary in New York City, but under the influence of the Oxford Movement he became a Roman Catholic in 1845 and joined the Redemptorist Order. … One of the founders of the Paulist Order, he fought industrial abuses, took up the cause of Native Americans on the St. Regis reservation, and wrote poetry and hymns.
“For All The Saints” may be a lower seed, but it was written by a higher-up, an Anglican bishop, William Walsham How. It was first published during another American war, the Civil. Did you know the full original text has eleven verses? Me neither.
The Vaughn-Williams tune, SINE NOMINE, came about fifty years later, and I’ve never seen another melody attached to this text. It’s not one of V-W’s folk songs, I’m pretty sure. It has that modernish fanfare tone of many Anglican tunes. It’s also hard to find full SATB harmonizations.
Oh, and a note about one up-in-the-air poll from several days’ back. Since I wasn’t able to close the curtain on a strict 72-hour window, I find that Silent Night and Salve Regina are so close so as to consider them as going to “overtime.” I’ll give you voters till the end of today, midnight central time, to nudge the 18-17 result one way or the other.