The song of the righteous is a prayer unto Him

But maybe this doesn’t count if the song sounds like crap. The noise that came from tonight’s choir practice could not be considered a prayer, I don’t think. If anything, it was like a prank call or some other obnoxious thing, which will probably be met with swift retribution in the form of a plague or drought or similar.

I should tell you I’ve been spoiled this past year by having the best ward (Latter-day Saint congregation, for anyone not familiar w/the lingo) choir director ever. She is amazing and talented and pushed us and expected all kinds of greatness. It was wonderful—we just trusted that she knew exactly what she was doing, and that if we did what she said we would sound amazing. I got all into the Joy of the Voice.

Yeah. The joy, she is gone.

First off, tonight’s practice lasted two hours, which is just wrong. So I had two hours to realize that I was back in civilian land, with all the familiar cast members (the quavery old soprano ladies, the Bossy Butts, the tone-deafs, the choir director who doesn’t know what she’s doing because she’s never actually directed a choir before and just got stuck with it, etc.). I, by the way, fall into the “Alto with no range who can’t always find her notes but knows enough about music to know when things suck, even if she doesn't have solutions” role.

It didn’t help that one of the songs we’re doing is “Consider the Lilies.” I kind of hate that song. I only like it when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings it, and even then it’s a stretch. This is probably because my first exposure to it was at the hands of a Quavery Old Lady ward choir who mangled it and caused an irreversible impression on my mind.

I forget what the second piece was that we practiced, but there weren’t enough copies for everyone, so we had to share. But the lady next to me had this desperate desperate need to look at every single page, even when we weren’t singing. So she kept reaching over onto my lap and pawing through pages, or taking parts of it out of my hand. Now, I don’t care if she is a sweet frumpy English lady. After about the 6th instance, I thought, “Lady, I don’t care if this is the chapel. If you get in my space again you’re getting an elbow to the throat. Also I will gag you with your own scrunchie.” Luckily we finished the song and moved on to the other one before she did it again. And before you ask, no, I could not have just handed her the pages and let her be in charge of them.

When you give in like that, then the terrorists will have already won.


Miss Hass said... [reply]

Oh, goody! Ward choir. I don't participate here since everyone is a professional musician and I feel completely inadequate.

I also hate 'Consider the Lilies'. I'd prefer having bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails than to have to listen to it sung badly.

Other songs I hate (Don't tell me I'm going to hell. I already know.):

'In Our Lovely Deseret'
All the so-called 'Sunshine' songs--Chileans and Peruvians love them and they can't sing.
'Placentero nos es trabajar'--Praise HEAVEN this song isn't available in English because it is painful to listen to. Painful, I say.

Cicada said... [reply]

Oh, honey, I'm sorry. That does all sound very painful and unfortunate.

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

So you know, I am no longer the ward choir director. Such a development brings me all kinds of glee--yes, unmitigated glee--but I have been made the ward chorister during sacrament meeting. Can you say:







Yeah, it was about that slow today because no one watches the chorister.

Savvymom said... [reply]

Why didn't you just give her the music, sheet hog? Then she could get it all out of her system and you wouldn't have to worry about geting groped every 30 seconds?

Desmama said... [reply]

Ward choir--yes, what a joy. TexDad and I are currently trying to avoid joining ours since the new chorister is a crabby [I can't express myself without swearing.] Did I just post that?

Hmm, what other songs are not my fav? I am so glad Miss Hass listed "In Our Lovely Deseret" because I dislike it as well, mostly because it makes me giggle, that "Hark! Hark! Hark" I just think of seals. Not a fan of the Kolob song either, although I know a lot of people love it, so don't stone me.

This post made me laugh, although I'm sad you don't like "Consider the Lilies" because of a bad experience. I can understand.

CoolMom said... [reply]

Our ward choir is working on John Rutter's arrangement of "For the Beauty of the Earth". It's the first song on the "Consider the Lilies" CD. Our peach of a choir director ordered it at my request! We have a very good time, but would probably refuse to sing anything we didn't like. We have ownership!

east said... [reply]

I have a love/hate relationship with ward choir. I want to be a soprano because (a) I cannot figure out the alto line and (b) I was raised on the (dreamy) Phantom of the Opera and between the ages of 4-12 I wanted to be Christine when I grew up. But the harsh reality is that I have an alto voice and so I either have to pretend that I'm singing the high notes when I'm not or sit by someone who sings the alto part really really loud. Not that it ever works because when performance time rolls around they shuffle us around.

SR-- I just got called as the RS chorister and it is a little scary because I am living in my home ward where I know all of the old ladies and know that it is a Big Big Deal if I don't give them the right pace. And I'm pretty sure that I didn't today when we sang "Lord I will follow thee". But I'm not sure if I did or didn't because (did I mention) I don't know the first thing about music. I am beginning to have a negative feeling about this....

Unmanagable said... [reply]

I'm glad eveyone here hates 'In Our Lovely Deseret'. Bless sweet Sister Snow's heart. I recall the first time I ever actually sang it I was about 15 whoever the song picker was loved it. Blegh!! I find that if I sing it backwards, or sing another song altogether, its much more enjoyable. Sure, a few people spin around in the other pews to see who's the heathen, but I dont care. And normally whoever I'm sitting next to gets into the spirit of things too, and we just have a good old time.
I seem to remember though; one of the prophets was quoted saying thay Sis Snow was the sweetest lady whoever lived and that her music was all super-inspired and wonderful. Oh well. See ya'll in hell, heathens.

ps. Why'd you take me off the A-list, buttface?

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

Co-worker and I were on the same flight across the country about a month ago and we ended up in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. The shuttle that takes you from terminal to terminal plays a little ditty when the doors are about to close.

Co-worker pointed out that the ditty is literally the first five notes of "In Our Lovely Deseret." Except it's got that fake-bell elevator feel to it.



"In our love-ly DES..."

So last week when I was alone in Dallas I was walking around the terminals "DESPISING" coffee, tobacky, and I was only eating a "very little meat."

Additionally, I was "watching and guarding my tongue."

amyjane said... [reply]

The train DOES play that hymn! Sean and I had the dumbest layover of all time in that airport this summer. For whatever reason it was two hundred dollars cheaper to fly to DFW, then connect to Oklahoma City two hours later, than to simply fly to DFW and be done with it. Never mind that it is, to the mile, equidistant to Ardmore, our final destination, from either ariport. Anyway, we rode the circle train at least three times in our attempt to stay sane and I've had that little train ditty in my head ever since. Dumb song.
However, even worse than lovely deseret, I too, loathe the sunshine songs above all else. And they always choose to sing them when I am at my un-sunshiney-est.

edgy killer bunny said... [reply]

It's too late for me to chime in on the I-hate-"In-Our-Lovely-Deseret" string, especially since SR already quoted my favorite lines. I think that was always the Snicker Song in my BYU wards, and it was always a good indicator of the Ward Attitude--the more solemnly the ward sang the hymn, the sooner it was time to find a new apartment in a different ward.

Personally, "Onward, Christian Soliders" has been destroyed for me. In Portugal, every hymn is a funeral dirge, and none moreso than that one. It usually ends up being, like, a fifteen-minute hymn. I remember one district conference where my mission president was presiding. He stopped the hymn partway through the first verse to give a little discourse on how hymns should be uplifting and not funerally. When we began singing again, the pianist (who was some professional pianist or something or other) wouldn't play any faster, and the chorister wasn't doing much to help there either. So the mission president's wife got up, stood between the pianist and the chorister, and starting snapping her fingers to the beat for the pianist with one hand and helping the chorister wave her arms faster with the other. That day, the mission president's wife became my hero.

Panini said... [reply]

Get this, the stake president came to that performance where you and Anamae played...thought it sounded like a "mini-mo-tab" and we're singing in stake conference next Sunday. How is cool is that! :)

daltongirl said... [reply]

I actually have all kinds of things to say about this, but since most people have already stated similar opinions, I will simply share two stories.

1. I used to belong to a small group of people in Salt Lake that went around doing this (ahem!)presentation for RS and YW meetings. Not sure how I got roped into it--probably because someone told me I had a beautiful voice, and they needed me. I'm a sucker for flattery. Anyway, the woman who wrote the program (about Eve) had simply taken a bunch of songs from the hymnbook, Primary songbook, and Musical Theater and written new words. "If You Could Hie to Kolob" was among them. Ever since then, I've loved the actual hymn, probably because the tune is cool, and the words are actually somewhat doctrinal, as opposed to the scary, corny, creepy stuff we did in that group.

2. Our current choir director is weird. There's no other way to put it. He recently got up and started saying weird stuff in our testimony meeting and the bishop asked him to sit down. So now he's offended, and there's no other forum wherein he can share his kooky ideas. Oh, wait! There's the ward choir! So yesterday he was telling us all about singing, and how to form our vowels properly for the twelve thousandth time, and he just up and spews out this story about this guy he knows who had three people appear to him. "Who are you?" the guy asked. "We are the Three Nephites," they answered. Then the guy read the Book of Mormon, and when he saw that the Three Nephites were in that book, he knew it was true.

I think that's enough said about that. You can draw your own conclusions. I say he's crazy. They're all crazy.

Oh, and sorry, #3: I lost an investigator to that Lovely Deseret song once. He was a smoker, and when they started singing it in sacrament meeting, he thought we put them up to it to teach him a lesson. Never darkened the door of the church again. Of course, that was his problem, but still. The song makes me sad.

Miss Hass said... [reply]

This is the part where I get my first-class ticket on the express train to hell:

I hate 'Called to Serve' with every fiber of my being. There are FOUR blessed verses in Spanish. And, like, Portugal, they are sung at a painfully slooooooooooooow paaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

Plus, it's just ever-so-slightly overdone. (Pardon me, whilst I wipe up the sarcasm that dripped on my computer.)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Um, Hass, do you remember freshman year? I can't even hear that song anymore without thinking about goose-stepping, and I never even went on a mission!

edgy killer bunny said... [reply]

I can't sing "Called to Serve" without throwing in the little "Sussemay, o-oh sussemay" (pardon my inability to spell in Japanese, a language where all I can do is "sayonara") with the funny arched eyebrows. And then you have throw in a good "Das Gemuse" as the end.

CoolMom said... [reply]

Hey! According to your weather pixie right now, you are having a bit of a heat wave!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Hi Mom! Yes, we did have a heat wave today, and it was sunny and beautiful. I sat on the sunny lawn near a horsechestnut tree, and thought about how my BF Mr Darcy used to run to Lambton from Pemberley nearly every day in the horsechestnut season. There was one very fine tree . . .

Hass--Hate "Lovely Deseret" too. But the only sunshine song that I hate is the Scatter Sunshine song, I think. That's because I'm an upbeat lady.

Ramblings--I knew a pianist who used to play "How Great Thou Art" at a dirge pace. Song took 20 minutes to sing, I kid you not.

Savvymom--didja not read the part about the terrorists?

Texmom--A. Men. on the barking.

East--Good luck, you'll be great! Don't let the old ladies get to you!

My brother--I took you off the list because you weren't posting. Now I will add you again, in spite of your language.

Amyjane--Hee. I loved singing the sunshine songs next to you, when you were all glowering and grumbling.

EKB--I want to be your mission president's wife when I grow up (and by that I mean "one who is like your mission president's wife" rather than "one who marries your mission president").

Cami--Awww . . . that was sweet of him. See? See how good we were? I miss Sandra so much! Sob . . .

Daltongirl--Yes, I think your choir director just might be a bit crazy. Or, you know, a LOT crazy.

Streets of Belfast said... [reply]
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Streets of Belfast said... [reply]

I'm really hoping that when you visit me it will be over a Sunday. If you do you will be here the most dreadful singing ever. I mean it is soooo painful. My Relief Society is made up of those quavery old soprano ladies--that is if you take out the soprano. I'm pretty sure we don't even have a choir.

Also, if you had wanted to throw a punch or two in the chapel, you couldn't do it here--any more. I had noticed that after sacrament meetings on Sundays we are basically rushed from the chapel out into the hall. This is due to the all-out brawl that took place in the chapel. Apparently it was quite the brawl with the grabbing of lapels, slaps, punches, hits, various members of the ward screaming at one another, and the Bishopric doing their best to stand in between and hold the parties apart. Now we have to move from the chapel into the hall directly after Sacrament meeting so that if anyone wants to start a fight it happens in the hallway and not the chapel.

I know, I know, now that you know there is a good chance of witnessing a riot, either at church or in the streets, you can't wait to come visit me. At least my institute class is just about better than any other class I have been to (ratio wise). PERHAPS there is hope for future peace in Northern Ireland--at least in church, maybe.

JB said... [reply]

Streets of Belfast, that's about the funniest thing I've ever heard! LOL wow. I can only imagine.

I really only loathe two hymns: In our Lovely Deseret and Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses. The latter is the dumbest song I've ever heard. And that includes Achy Brachy Heart. The DUMBEST song EVER.

And I do mean offense to whomever the well-meaning author was. Really. (Watch, now I'll go look and it'll have been Joseph Smith or something) The rhyme and rhythm are contrived and disgusting and the words are rediculous.

Everytime they play that song in sacrament meeting, I have a worse reaction to it. The last time, I was laughing so hard that rivers of tears were streaming down my cheeks and I decided that, for the sake of the spirit of the meeting, it'll be a better idea for me to just leave right before they start playing the music and "use the restroom" or something next time.

With Lovely Deseret: I had a buddy who used to always tag the last part of the line of the chorus we'd just sung to the end of the line we'd just finished singing and I can never sing it without hearing it that way.

"there is something something something all around"

"all around!"

I don't know why that makes me laugh like it does, but. it does.

I also can't sing "Called to Serve" without hearing all the extras we sang freshman year under the Marriott tunnel every Sunday.

Jaime said... [reply]

I just wanted to mention that I have a problem with the hymn, "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words To Each OTher." I never really loved the hymn, but when I was younger for some reason my dad used to sing it with a country twang. Now I can't think/sing it any other way...just with a country twang. The other reason I dislike the song is because my mom used to sing it to get us to get along. It had completely the opposite effect. So, now I have that negative connotation with it as well. So, that's my addition to this post! :)

kristen said... [reply]

I have to admit I've had a hard time with the sisters in Zion song. For some reason it seems a little cheesy to me. I'm getting better with it and with time, I'll like it. (And that Deseret song is wierd too).

I'd have to agree with Jaime and "Let us oft speak kind words". My parents used to sing it when we were aruing and beating each other up. I still like the song; it just reminds me of that.

Other than that I have to say I enjoy the hymns. I like singing them and listening to them--I can't help but feel the spirit. Oh the power of hymns......

Snarky MorMom said... [reply]

I have absolutely nothing to add just wanted to say loved this post and just e-mailed it to a friend who will die when she reads it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...