Friday, 5 March 2010

Straight talking

Continuing from the post below (Do you sometimes feel that blogs should be read standing on your head?), Neil Henderson has written from France, picking up on the book's section on music and kindly sending me a copy of the Christmas 1975 hymn sheet for the 'pub carols' which maintain a venerable tradition north and west of Sheffield. He also picks up a mistake which, alas, has become part of my genetic code; I always belt out 'Hail Shining Morn!' in the car on my own, when it should of course be 'Smiling'. Sorry. Duly noted and passed to the publishers. It's a very fine hymn sheet, including not just HSM and the other old favourites, but the Holmfirth Anthem Pratty Flowers with its Napoleonic reference, surely unique to carols: 'Wilt thou go fight yon French and Spaniards?' (Double-click on the pic to make the words large enough to read). I'm also hugely indebted to Mr Henderson, as all Northerners will be, for his reminding me, and now us, of the motto of his alma mater Penistone High School: Disce aut discede - Learn or Leave! You don't get plainer or blunter than that.
While on the subject of music, a bit more bibliography: An Improbable Centenary by Adrian Smith, Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestral Society 1990, tells the story of the said orchestra in wonderful detail. A Voice of Singing by Arnold Taylor, Horsforth Choral Society 2003, does the same for these singers. Neither book is likely to have a vast readership, and yet both tell you much about a century of Northern life in the first case and 78 years in the second. Another sort-of-musical delight is the affectionate portrait of the late Derek Enright MP, The Man Who Sang Yellow Submarine in Latin, Pontefract Press 1996. If you don't already know the reason for the title, you'll have to borrow or by True North to find it out.

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