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20th Century English Music

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Dives and Lazarus [Oct. 14th, 2007|05:27 pm]
20th Century English Music


[mood |curiouscurious]

Long time no post!  I apologize for that.

Is "Dives and Lazarus" still sung anywhere?  I know the tune - somehow I've always known the tune - but didn't know its name until listening to Vaughan Williams' "5 Variants on Dives and Lazarus."

I wonder how I know it?  I think I must have sung, or heard sung, something else to the tune.  For some reason I want to sing the hymn "Bound for the Promised Land" (starting with "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye...") but it doesn't work.  At least... I don't know.  I'm confused at my own musical memory.  Or maybe "I sing the mighty power of God."  Often times I think now it's becoming popular to put hymns to tunes of folksongs.  I know there's some hymn gets sung to "Waly Waly" (The water is wide), and I've heard hymns and spirituals sung to Danny Boy, The Ash Grove, and ....

WAIT!  Is this the same tune as Star of the County Down?  Dives and Lazarus I mean?

In other news, I just watched The Songcatcher this weekend and it was fascinating!  How very cool that they made a movie about musicology and folk songs.  Does that count as ethnomusicology?

PS - It's Child Ballad 56, right?  I'd like to hear someone sing it.  The words don't really seem to fit, for me.  And if it's the second one there, how do you pronounce Diverus?  DI-ver-us?

ETA:  Thanks to gnomic_noodler who pointed out that the tune is also known as "Kingsford," and in looking it up, I found that it also matches the ballad "Pretty Caroline."  Those tunes certainly do get around...

linked at musichistory .

[User Picture]From: upasaka
2007-10-14 09:50 pm (UTC)
Star of the County Down is the same tune, but in three rather than in four or two.
Dives and Lazarus is often sung as a hymn, with several different sets of words. The tune is also called "Kingsfold."

A good friend of mine is fond of saying "There is only one folksong and it is Star of the County Down."
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[User Picture]From: grace_poppy
2007-10-14 09:51 pm (UTC)
Star is in 3? How?

Kingsfold... that sounds very familiar.
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[User Picture]From: grace_poppy
2007-10-14 09:55 pm (UTC)
(And thanks for the reply!)
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[User Picture]From: bellebonnesage
2007-11-29 06:33 am (UTC)
Vaughan Williams *loved* this tune, and added it to the English Hymnal when he was editing it. My Hymnal is in my office at school, but I think someone else told you the hymn name, right?
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[User Picture]From: weeboopiper
2008-02-16 10:18 pm (UTC)
There's a folk-rock version done by June Tabor & the Oyster Band from the album Freedom and Rain.
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[User Picture]From: grace_poppy
2008-02-22 06:22 am (UTC)
That tune certainly does get around. :D I haven't heard that version though!
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From: johnslb0
2008-03-25 12:54 am (UTC)


I sing at the Episcopal cathedral in Atlanta, GA and we sang an Andew Carter arrangement of "Dives and Lazarus" in September of 2007. I had never sung it as an anthem, but I knew the melody immediately. We also sang an arrangement of the spiritual "Poor Man Lazarus" that Sunday.
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