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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist



September 27, 2019

The ‘Tired List’

evelyn @ 2:16 pm

Our priest sometimes complains that he sees certain hymns turning up too often.   Over the summer, I decided that I would have a look at the ‘too often’ problem, and see if I couldn’t make some use of my choir hymns database by extending it a bit. This would hopefully be of some help to our Hymn-choosing Lady, who does a wonderful job looking at the lectionary and selecting hymns for weeks ahead.  The choir would also benefit, as so often we don’t know what we know!

So first I added the ‘Forbidden List’ to the database.  These are hymns which our priest absolutely hates, and never, ever wants to hear in his church.  Actually, he does hear them sometimes – there has to be a bit of give and take at funerals.

Then I included the ‘Approved List’ – hymns we know Father likes, because he often delves into the hymn book and brings out examples that he thinks we should be considering.  So from now on, any sentence starting ‘Why do we never sing …’  results in an addition to the Approved List.

Then, of course, there are the many hymns that don’t come into either list.  No doubt they will be absorbed one way or the other as time goes on.

But hymns that turn up too often?  Well, they deserve special treatment.  Often their very merit is what has caused them to be overdone, so the last thing we should do is condemn such good hymns to be lost forever on the Forbidden List.  But they do have to be kept out of the way for a bit.  Just for them, therefore, a new category has been invented, the ‘Tired List’.

The Tired List is by its nature dynamic, and will need reviewing on a regular basis to determine whether any of the prisoners can be released from their chains.  The lucky ones will proceed to the Approved List, others might go to their doom on the Forbidden List, while the rest will stay where they are for the present.

A bit like Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, I suppose …

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