Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Southwark Cathedral

Back home from Southwark Cathedral Carol Concert (no prayers so suitable for the atheists that stuff British Churches these days trying to get their kids into Church schools).
What a choir! They sing with proper voices, not mismsy-pimsy chorister voices, perfectly in tune and they are so well rehearsed! Their belting singing style adds a lot of energy to the music and makes it really dynamic; they have a lot of John Rutter's compositions in their repertoire and he's an ace tunesmith.
It was sold out but me and my Champagne Friend lurked in the cafe (there's quite a scene in that caff!) until it had started and then managed to get the last two returns.
Unlike a normal carol service, we were an audience and we clapped, although we also sang (O Come All Ye Faithful and The First Nowell to start off with) and stared at the innards of the Cathedral, which is like being inside and enormous and elegant sandstone whale, as we did so.
It was worth the twelve quid for the peace and the beauty and definitely worth getting tickets for next year.
Afterwards we walked to London Bridge Station through the towers of mammon, being built as high and shiny as they can go, just to show Southwark Cathedral how important money is. And they are building at night, by spotlight, to heighten the clanging drama of it all, with lots of men in hard hats and orange jackets looking Urgent and Important.
What would Chaucer have thought?
Twenty years ago in my naive cheek I phoned the Cathedral to ask them if I could use it to stage the big-band version of The Nun's Preeste's Tale that I had written. Ho ho! I still have it somewhere in a home-made folder, arranged for about 20 instruments (according to a jazz person I 'ran it by', it works).
As a greedy child, McMum used to scold that my eyes were bigger than my stomach; I think the same could have been said for my youthful aspirations.

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