Songs of Praise*

On Monday, gave us a prompt to write about sacred music.  A busy week pushed the idea to the back of my mind, despite being something I care a great deal for.  Here’s the result of the days of gestation, still very much a draft – I don’t seem able to cure the lumpy rhythm, so suggestions gratefully received.


Songs of praise and adoration
are scattered through my life.
Early participation in plainsong choir
sufficed to whet my appetite
for holy music.

School choir introduced
the tuneful hymns of Wesley
and latterly the joys composed
in polyphonic medley
of psalm, motet and oratorio.

There’s no feeling more glorious
than that produced by singing
in chorus under expert  baton.
The riches of Elgar’s Gerontius,
send soul to heaven winging.

My choral days now finished,
the blessed music banished
to tape, CD and radio,
I am not yet malnourished
for  sacred music.

*BBC  television’s Songs of Praise, the world’s longest running religious television programme, celebrated its 50th birthday a few weeks ago.  The programme has been called  ‘A huge national karaoke’  and I certainly sing along every Sunday.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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20 Responses to Songs of Praise*

  1. Amen Viv! Amen!


    Mark Butkus

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gabriella says:

    I have a fondness for choir music and especially for English choirs, so your song reminded me of an evening in Magdalen College in Oxford when I heard their choir in a dark chapel.


  3. Mary says:

    I loved reading your musical history, Viv. There are different ways that we use music, I think, at different times of life. Your poem outlined this progression beautifully.


  4. Abhra says:

    I am not yet malnourished
    for sacred music.
    – such a powerful statement. I just love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. claudia says:

    i used to sing in a choir and just love when everyone can sing their tunes which sound odd alone but like heaven when sung together…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Polly says:

    Similar upbringings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh.. yes.. i too love sacred music.. playing the piano and singing for the church choir for a decade in my 20’s.. and returning last year.. to once again.. lead the choir.. from the back pew.. but no longer joined to the now front pew choir….i dance the week.. and reserve my voice.. to sing with the choirs of angels..that visit the temple like CATholic church…that rises to the sky.. among the common flats.. of neighborhood old…i kinda liked it better when it is small.. and the choir still sings from back row
    pews..when and where no one knows.. whose voice is who!..:)
    But sadly most never sing at all.. in the congregation at large…Maybe 10 percent at most..The illness seems clear.. the soul.. no longer lives.. alive in song!.. the best way to connect in verbal prayer.. i know for sure.. in heart to heart GOD song of pray!But yes.. they know my voice from back to front.. as i sing alone along Angels2!..:)


  8. Singing in choir.. It’s so special to be part of something bigger… The effect of sacred music is quite special, but I can so understand why singing together is something extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great write and I like the sound you created. Thanks for sharing your written chorus. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. brian miller says:

    my youngest son is in chorus this year at school…my older is in honors chorus at the middle school..i did not do chorus at school, but i did at church…def have a thing for the old spirituals…i like modern worship, but a mix of old spirituals as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. such passion here… music is definitely sacred to me; it’s my religion, it voices my feelings when I can’t find the words and so much more… ah, lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Excuse me for my sloppy transcription, that would be /heaven winging/.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Those of you with musical backgrounds have been/are so lucky; giving you that edge, that insight into the full appreciation of music, or poetry, of art. Like your lines /the riches of Elgar’s Gerontius/send soul to heaven’s flying/.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Choir singing is unlike any other kind I think–special in its bonding–thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I remember my grade school choir. I thought it was so special to be a part of it evenif I couldn’t sing well. Nicely done …
    here is my entry for MMWP: enjoy …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Victoria says:

    I read this, in a way, as a part of your history. I think our music does reflect our stories. I never feel qualified to critique poetry unless it’s something that really jumps out at me. For me, this was lovely and I’m glad it came to you during the week. Thanks, Viv.


  17. Love your poem. I learn something every day. Did not know about “Songs of Praise.”


  18. Yousei Hime says:

    Reminds me of my college choir days. I know exactly the feeling you describe, being in a performance, a song, and knowing without a doubt it is perfect. It is wonderful to be a part of that.


  19. Tilly Bud says:

    Not much wrong that I can see. My only suggestion is to move ‘sufficed’ to the next line, because the slight pause gives a better rhythm.


    • vivinfrance says:

      Thanks Tilly – I’d already re-jigged that stanza a couple of times – the half-rhyme would be better at the beginning of the next line, and I’ve altered it accordingly.


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