Leonidas Polk Memorial Carillon, and Some Thoughts on the Confederacy

RPC JZ-88441 (1967)

Few people think of a carillon as a music instrument, but it really is one. As the back cover attests, it’s played with a keyboard, in this case by William Lyon-Vaiden. Many of the details about the carillon can be found in the back cover, which you can see while playing Side Two of the album (the latter part of the video.)

A carillon can be used in a number of ways: as a prelude, as a postlude, or sometimes in the liturgy itself. It’s especially effective in a campus setting, in this case the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where people are more or less a “captive audience.”

The selections are a mixture of hymns from the 1940 Hymnal, classical pieces and some folk pieces as well. An album made up of only carillon music can get tiring to hear; however, broken up the listening experience is quite pleasant, and one of the nicer parts of the Anglican/Episcopal heritage.

The songs:

SIDE ONE

  1. SEWANEE HYMN…Traditional
  2. ALMA MATER (Sewanee)… Newton Middleton ‘09
  3. CAMPANELLA (For Carillon)… Georges Clement
  4. FOUR SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES: All Through The Night… Welsh, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes… English, Loch Lomond… Scottish, Londonderry Air… Irish
  5. FISHER’S HORNPIPE (Irish Melody)… arr. Percival Price
  6. MUSS I DENN (Swabian Folksong)… arr. Milford Myhre
  7. PRELUDIUM IN G MINOR… Jef Denyn

SIDE TWO

  1. PRELUDIO #7… Matthias van den Gheyn (1721-1785)
  2. BELLSONG (Theme by Sibelius)… Edwin Nielsen
  3. JESU, JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING… Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. EIN’ FESTE BURG (Paraphrase)… Leen ‘t Hart
  5. YE HOLY ANGELS BRIGHT (Darwell, Hymn Tune)… arr. Marian Craighead
  6. SOFTLY NOW THE LIGHT OF DAY (Seymour, Hymn Tune)… arr. William Lyon-Vaiden

Some Thoughts on Leonidas Polk and the Confederacy

In recent times the University of the South has removed the designation of “Leonidas Polk” from the carillon, that in spite of the fact that his great-grandson William Dudley Gale financed its construction; it was dedicated in 1959. The reason for the removal was that Polk was not only an Episcopal bishop but a Confederate general. He was instrumental in starting the University, as noted on the album cover:

For an evaluation of his role in the founding of the University, his contemporaries on the Board of Trustees spoke in this manner in 1867: “If the great beneficial results which our University was founded to secure shall ever be accomplished, the praise, under God, will be mainly due to the wisdom and forethought, the hopeful confidence and indefatigable labors of its founder, the magnanimous, self-sacrificing Bishop Polk.”

Likewise noted on the album cover was an ebullient overview of his varied life:

The man destined to hold Episcopal jurisdiction over Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, the Indian Territory and Alabama was born April 10, 1806. He died, pierced by an artillery ball, on June 14, 1864. In those intervening 58 years there developed a career described as follows by Dr. A. Cabell Greet, who was orator at Sewanee’s 1959 Commencement: “After Alfred the Great, there has lived no one man who achieved such stature in the fields of religion, of the military, and of education as Leonidas Polk.” He was a bishop of the Episcopal Church, a lieutenant-general of the Confederacy, and the projector of the idea for a university of a comprehensiveness still unrealized anywhere in the world a hundred years after his death.

The subject of Leonidas Polk is a personal one: my great-great-grandfather Henry Winslow was his aide-de-camp, right up until the general was killed (his letters around that time are here.) A second cousin was a member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, doing Civil War re-enactments in New Jersey, no less. Living in Southeast Tennessee and travelling in North Georgia frequently, I retrace Winslow’s and Polk’s steps on a daily basis. That all said, I think it’s time for a reality check, not only for those who are defending this heritage but for those who are trying to destroy it.

To start with, in spite of the glowing tribute to his prowess, Polk wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer when it came to leading a military force in the field. Bragg, his superior at Chattanooga, was even worse. Sometimes I think that the U.S. Army named its installations Fort Polk and Fort Bragg as an acknowledgement that, at the level they were operating, they had as much to do with the Union victory as Grant and Sherman. One myth I heard growing up was that the Confederacy had a better military and military leadership. That was certainly true in the early part of the war when the Union struggled with a deeply politicised process of promotion. As was the case with so many things, the Union learned from its mistakes; the Confederacy did not.

Today, of course, we have the Critical Race Theory types who are trying to erase this legacy. Or are they? Reading all of the complaints they have about “whiteness”–punctuality, industry, organisation, etc.–some of us come to realise that the very white society that produced the likes of Polk was lacking in all of these things. That’s why they were forced to import slaves to do the work; their idea of life was too genteel to do otherwise. It also means that a region which, with no interference from others, never built an industrial base suitable to fight a modern war was and is a testament to two facts: a) “white” is not a univocal term, and b) there is no such thing as “white supremacy” for a culture which not only did not build this industrial base (and the educational system to support it) when they badly needed it, but after the disaster the region slept in poverty for a century before the tax-hungry Northern states forced the first mass American industrial relocation. The South was the U.S.’s first “third world country” to relocate to.

But CRT types, in typically American style, don’t degrade their vision of “whiteness” because it produces an unproductive society, but an immoral one. They’d rather have their moral superiority (virtual signalling) than real superiority and prosperity. That’s a classically Southern way of doing it. CRT types decry the appeal of the “Lost Cause” without stopping to think why it was lost, the mirror image of their pro-Confederate opponents. After the ruin of the Civil War the South has risen again twice, first in the “Lost Cause” and second in those who want to drive it out of consciousness and create a nation where things are not said in fear of offending someone and everyone “goes along to get along” independent of merit, a Southern MO. The only difference is not the concept but the methodology and the beneficiaries. (A good example of this is Loudoun County’s proposal to eliminate advanced math, another Southern public school manoevre if there ever was one.)

But, like the Confederacy, we live in a world where those who oppose us have a higher view of productive work and the benefits that come from that work. If we persist in creating our moralistic bubble without doing that work, we will end up like the Confederacy, in ruins and broken.

Anglican Tidbit: Once in Royal David’s City (Cathedral of St. John the Divine)

Word WST-9021-LP (1964)

People who were brought up in the “Old High Church” (Episcopal) will find themselves flooded with memories of Christmas past with this classic from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, with their choir led by Alec Wyton, Organist and Master of Chorister. As was the case, the only instrument allowed was the pipe organ. Although this limited the accompaniment (and some of the pieces are a capella) in the hands of Wyton the organ’s considerable arsenal of resources were in full evidence.

This is a very nice rendition of a genre of Christmas music that, sadly, has fallen out of favour and our culture.

Note on the label: Although other sources reveal that the album was put out by Word, the famous gospel music label from Waco, Texas, which would spawn so many labels of the “Jesus Music” era, there is absolutely no reference to it on the cover (although it may be on the edge.) Evidently, as I say often on my blog, the Episcopal snobs didn’t want their masterwork associated with those impecunious rednecks after all!

The songs:

  1. The Prophecy-A Plainsong Hymn
  2. The Prophecy-A German Carol
  3. Organ Prelude
  4. The Annunciation-A Basque Carol
  5. The Nativity-Once in David’s Royal City
  6. An English Carol-Away in a Manger
  7. Fanfare and O Come All Ye Faithful
  8. The Epiphany Organ Prelude We Three Kings: Alec Wyton
  9. The Epiphany We Three Kings: Robert Martin, Charles Cole, George Brooker
  10. The First Nowell

Anglican Tidbit: Music of the Episcopal Church

Word WST-9001-LP (1958)

There was a time when the “music of the Episcopal Church” was a very definite quantity with a very distinct sound. As the sleeve notes point out:

“The Anglican Communion (which includes the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America) draws its music from many sources including the great medieval plainsong hymns, the chorales of the Lutheran Church, and the hymns of Wesley and Methodism. This record, however, is concerned only with music which is peculiar to the Anglican Communion from the time of the English Reformation onwards. It represents an almost unbroken evolution in musical style from the Tudor composers to the present day and if the 18th and 19th centuries seem to be sparsely represented, it is because at the Cathedral the emphasis is upon 16th and 17th century music and 20th century music, with the occasional use of what is felt to be best in the centuries in between.”

So what we have here is a slice of that sound. It reminds one of the afternoon performances that high churches would put on outside of the liturgy, it’s almost more of a specialty classical music concert than a church event. Some of the music is performed a capella, others with the accompaniment of the organ. The Gloria Patri gets a workout in this production, although that’s true of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer worship in general. I would be less than honest to admit that it’s not my favourite, but in the genre it is very well done.

Note on the record label: it’s put out by Word, the Gospel music label from Waco, Texas, complete with the “Bible and sword” logo. I suppose that, once the Episcopal snobs figured out what that was all about, they made some changes, for although the Cathedral’s 1964 “Once in Royal David’s City” album was put out by Word, no evidence of that is on the cover!

The songs:

  1. O Lux Beata Trinitas Composed By – Robert Fayrfax
    1. Praise Ye The Lord Ye Children Composed By – Christopher Tye
    2. Nunc Dimittis From The ‘Short Service’ Composed By – William Byrd
    3. Fauxbourdons To The Magnificat Composed By – Thomas Morley
    4. Thou Knowest, Lord, The Secrets Of Our Hearts Composed By – Henry Purcell
    5. The Sacrifice Of God Is A Troubled Spirit Composed By – Maurice Greene
    6. (2) Psalm 23 Composed By – John Goss
    7. Nunc Dimittis From The Service In B Flat Composed By – Charles Villiers Stanford
    8. Oculi Omnium Composed By – Charles Wood
    9. (4) Oh How Amiable Are Thy Dwellings Composed By – Ralph Vaughan Williams
    10. Sanctus and Benedictus From The ‘Missa Cantauriensis’ Composed By – Edmund Rubbra
    11. The Nicene Creed Composed By – Alec Wyton
    12. Benedictus Es Domine In B Flat Composed By – Leo Sowerby

The sleeve notes describe the performers:

“Alec Wyton has been organist and master of the choristers at the Cathedral and headmaster of the Choir School since 1954. He studied in England at the Royal Academy of Music and at Exeter College, Oxford, and became organist of St. Matthew’s Church, Northampton, England after which he was appointed to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis immediately preceding his appointment to New York. He is a member of the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York and the National Executive and Examination Committees of the American Guild of Organists.

The choir consist of 40 boys and 18 men. The boys live in the resident Cathedral Choir School on the Close of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where they are educated on a scholarship basis in return for their singing. They sing the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, with a Eucharist on Saints’ Days and Sundays, on every day of the week excepting Monday. Their repertoire includes every school of composition used in the Church from plainsong to the music of contemporary composers.”

Anglican Tidbit: Church Divinity School of the Pacific: Liturgy is You

LP-RPRT-101 (1968?)

This album occupies a curious place in the “Jesus Music” era in that, in a time when so many albums were self-produced or done on obscure (or not so obscure labels) that disappeared, this one is an official production of the denomination. It was commissioned by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church in collaboration with the Joint Commission on Church Music. The purpose of the album was to introduce parishes to the liturgical changes that were afoot in the church, specifically the trial liturgy published in 1966 and encouraged by the 1967 General Convention (GC 1967.) This Convention began a series of trial liturgies that would end with the publication of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. This wasn’t the first time that the Episcopal Church had used the vinyl medium to promote its vision of how the Prayer Book was to be celebrated, but it heralded a new era for many Episcopalians.

And how does it come off? That depends on how you look at it. From the standpoint of the Episcopal Church, it definitely pushed things forward, to the distaste of many in the pews, just as many of the changes going on in the church did in the 1960’s and 1970’s. From the standpoint of the “Jesus Music” era, like most Episcopal productions of the era (such as The Winds of God from across the San Francisco Bay) it’s conservative. There’s the usual acoustic guitar and light percussion in the background but there’s the venerable pipe organ too. It’s the only album of the era I am familiar with that features the Thrice-Holy Hymn or Trisagion, much beloved of the Orthodox (without, I should be quick to add, the additions of Peter the Fuller which raised John of Damascus’ blood pressure so severely.) In spots it echoes albums like Leo Nestor’s Sons of the Morning (another West Coast production) but it lacks the professional musicianship evident in that production.

Today the album (with adaptations) would be a nice Mass in a Catholic parish, better than many that are in use. It’s not the kind of production that brings tears to the eyes of devotees of the “Old Folk Mass,” but it’s not bad either.

Note on the date: the album has no definite date on it, either on the cover or in the booklet that came with the album. Same booklet, however, quotes a book dated 1968 and so that’s as good of a guess as we can do. That puts it, however, with the early productions of the Episcopal student group God Unlimited, which means that, for all their good efforts, things really had left the station long before it was published.

The Songs:

  1. Brightest and Best
  2. Kyrie Eleison (2 versions)
  3. Holy God (3 versions)
  4. The Lord Be With You (Sunday Proper Preface)
  5. The Lord Be With You (Advent Proper Preface)
  6. As Our Savior Christ Has Taught Us, Christ Our Passover
  7. Alleluia, Christ Our Passover
  8. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
  9. Alleluia, Sing to Jesus
  • The singers:
    • Lo Rayne Brown
    • Robert Clifton
    • George Fleming
    • Tom Kennedy
    • Nora Laurence
    • Margaret Sipple, soloist
    • Peter Sipple, soloist
  • Instrumentalists:
    • Allen Grant, drums
    • Normal Mealy, organ
    • Robert Sisk, guitar

Word of God/Servants of the Word: Rise Up O Men of God

Word of God W/G 8019 (1980)

One of the interesting aspects of life in Catholic Charismatic covenant communities was the residential sub-communities. The communities were not in general residentially communal; this mode of life was generally for single people. The sub-community of the Word of God here, the Servants of the Word, is described on the album cover as “an ecumenical brotherhood of over forty Christian men living single for the Lord.”

This is an all men’s group. The Word of God’s usually subdued instrumentation is especially subdued; about the only instrument that appears on the album is an acoustic guitar, making the album virtually a capella. That being said, it comes off better than one might think. It’s a charming album and is, in some ways, a throwback to albums such as Leo Nestor’s Sons of the Morning (if the material isn’t quite as adventurous.) With a capella music more in style now than then, it’s aged well.

The music is a mix of traditional Protestant hymns and the Word of God’s own favourites and compositions, some of which are newer than most of the other albums posted on this channel. It’s a nice addition to the Word of God’s representation on this channel, which has become one of its highlights.

The songs (the lyrics and cover appear during the album):

  • Rise Up, O Men of God
  • The Lord Reigns
  • Blessed Be the Lord My Rock
  • Blessing and Glory
  • Go Forth in Great Confidence
  • Psalm 130: Out of the Depths
  • Psalm 96: O Sing a New Song
  • For All the Saints
  • Worth is the Lord/Glory to God
  • Let the Righteous Be Glad
  • One Thing I Ask For
  • Psalm 4: When I Call
  • Song of Simeon

Anglican Tidbit: Rejoice! Music for the Worship of God in the Twentieth Century

Mace M(S) 10030 (1966)

Seminary groups–or better, groups of seminarians–had a significant impact on the “Old Folk Mass” the Roman Catholics celebrated, both before and after the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae. The best known of these are the Dameans, but the St. Mary’s seminarians made their contribution as well.

This one comes from the Episcopal Church and antedates them both. It comes from the General Theological Seminary in New York, under the direction of Eastman-trained H. Bruce Lederhouse and advised by the Rev. H. Boone Porter, Jr. (later editor of The Living Church.)
The sleeve notes (which are shown on the later part of the video) repeatedly references them as a “hootnanny.” That’s not entirely inaccurate, because in addition to the harmonies of the seminarians they have only two instruments to accompany them: an acoustic guitar and a banjo. The latter gives a “bluegrass” feel to the performance, although there’s nothing particularly country about the melodies they sing to. This isn’t the only Episcopal album to draw inspiration from Scots-Irish folk music: Ian Mitchell also draws inspiration from this well, unlikely given the Episcopal Church’s demographics.

The album is divided into two parts. The first is the “Mass” part, with the usual Kyrie, Sanctus, etc. Contrary to most albums with this and other material on it, this is the stronger part of the album. Although the seminarians (or at least whoever wrote the sleeve notes) is proud of the folk, “hootnanny” feel of the performance, and the vocals are excellent, one longs for a better instrumental backing and arrangement. Early “folk Masses” frequently lacked these but it wasn’t long before groups such as the Berets (of Mass for Peace fame) or Peter Scholtes would ramp that up, and this Mass could use some of their skill in doing that.

The second part is a collection of hymns from the 1940 Hymnal. As was also the case with Frederick Gere and Milton Williams out in San Francisco, they picked two of the oft-performed modern hymns in the book: “They Cast Their Nets” and “In Christ There Is No East Or West.” (I heartily dislike the first.) The quality of these and the others illustrates an important difference between Episcopal and Catholic folk musicians and composers. The Episcopalians started out with a hymnody which didn’t transition well to folk performance. The Catholics started out with virtually nothing and thus their composers and performers had more creative leeway, which they pursued with vigour.

This is a good album, better than many of its contemporaries, but a genre whose most creative days were ahead of it.

The songs:

  • 01. Kyrie Eleison
  • 02. Nicene Creed
  • 03. Sanctus
  • 04. The Lord’s Prayer
  • 05. Agnus Dei
  • 06. Gloria In Excelsis
  • 07. Come Holy Ghost
  • 08. A Great & Mighty Wonder
  • 09. They Cast Their Nets
  • 10. O Sons & Daughters
  • 11. In Christ There Is No East Or West
  • 12. I Walk The King’s Highway

Anglican Tidbit: Music of the Liturgy in English According to the Use of the Episcopal Church

Columbia ML-4528 (1952)

This fascinating record is really two albums in one. The first, directed by Ray F. Brown, is a “Plainsong” rendition of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion and Evening Prayer. The “Plainsong” is what we would generally call Gregorian Chant (or in the style of Gregorian Chant.) It’s well done but how it comes across depends on how well you like Gregorian Chant, which these days is a subject tied up in the Traditional Latin Mass and all of the controversy that swirls around that. Suffice it to say that, if your parish is interested in attracting TLM people who feel they’re being run out of their own Church (and a case can be made that this is the case) then this Mass, properly executed, should go a long way to making TLM exiles happy.

The second, directed by Harold W. Gilbert with Andrew Tietjen at the organ, features Anglican Chant. For me it’s of more personal interest, having been raised in the “Old High Church.” Anglican Chant is polyphonic, as is the case with that of Orthodox churches. It’s well done and brings back many memories. Anglican chant has gotten the short shrift in the liturgical changes of the last half century, but it deserves better.

The song lists below refer to the 1940 Hymnal.

The songs:

SIDE 1: PLAINSONG — Students of the General Theological Seminary
of New York, directed by Ray F. Brown.

THE HOLY COMMUNION

  • Kyrie, from Missa Marialis, Mode I. (Hymnal 719)
  • Christmas Collect
  • Creed, Mode IV (Hymnal 720)
  • Sursum Corda (Hymnal 734)
  • Christmas Preface
  • Sanctus, from Missa Marialis, Mode V. (Hymnal 721)
  • End of Canon • Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 722)
  • Agnus Dei, from Missa Marialis, Mode V. (Hymnal 723)
  • Gloria, from Missa Marialis, Mode VIII. (Hymnal 724)

EVENING PRAYER

  • Preces • Psalm 15, Tone III A 5. (Plainsong Psalter)
  • Magnificat, Tone VIII 1, solemn form (Hymnal 658)
  • Nunc Dimittis, Tone I 2. (Hymnal 673) • Creed • Lord’s Prayer
    (Monotone) • Suffrages • Collects for Peace and Aid against
    Peril

SIDE 2: ANGLICAN CHANT AND MERBECKE – Mixed Choir directed by Harold W. Gilbert

MORNING PRAYER

  • The Festal Preces (Hymnal 602) • Antiphon and Venite (Tomlinson — Hymnal 607)
  • Te Deum laudamus (Monk-Croft — Hymnal 613-617)
    Benedictus es Domine (Turton — Hymnal 623)
  • Benedictus Dominus (Turtle — Hymnal 634)
  • Jubilate Deo (Elvey — Hymnal 644)
  • Suffrages and Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 602)

THE HOLY COMMUNION (John Merbecke, 1549)

  • Kyrie Eleison (Hymnal 702)
  • Credo (Hymnal 703)
  • Sanctus (Hymnal 704)
  • The Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal 705)
  • Agnus Del (Hymnal 706)
  • Gloria in Excelsis (Hymnal 707)

Word of God: Amen Our Hearts Cry

Word of God W/G 7711 (1977)

This is another in a series of albums that the Word of God put out featuring their worship songs and the music group that led them. It has an interesting mix of songs, including some of the community’s own (Psalm 8, Psalm 18,) non-Catholic choruses (Therefore the Redeemed, Our God Reigns) and an ancient Catholic hymn (Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.) It also includes Pauline Mills’ Thou Art Worthy, which is performed by the composer elsewhere on this channel.

I keep getting heat about my opinion of the musical style and performance on these albums, but I really think that, as was the case with other groups, from a creative and performing standpoint, this album is not up to the standard of the earlier ones.

1977 was a turning point year for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, with the Kansas City conference. It was also a turning point for me in that I considered and declined to join the Community of God’s Delight in Dallas.  I think this may have been the first Word of God album I bought and the others came later.

The songs:

  • Ex. 24:3,7
  • Isaiah 60
  • One Thing I Ask For
  • Hallelujah, Our God Reigns
  • Lift High the Banners of Love
  • Therefore the Redeemed
  • Psalm 18
  • Psalm 8
  • Thou Art Worthy
  • Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
  • Our God Reigns

  • Producer: James J. Cavnar
  • Conductors: Donald E. Fishel, Donna Kelly, Abbie Root
  • Performers: Chorus and Orchestra of the Word of God
  • Orchestral Arrangements: Donald E. Fishel, Donna Kelly, Richard Rhodes, Linda Speck
  • Recording Engineer: Henry J. Root
  • Cover design and photography: Gerry Rauch, John Leidy, Charismatic Renewal Services, Inc.
  • Back Cover Photograph: Jack Taipala

OCP Pulls the Plug (Finally) on the Angel Moroni

OCP managed to get itself into trouble by using an image of the Mormon Angel Moroni on the cover of its missal:

The image below is from the cover of a missal being published by Oregon Catholic Press:

The cover depicts an angel blowing a trumpet — but not just any angel.

It’s the Mormon Angel Moroni, who is the unofficial symbol of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and who frequently appears on the cover of the Book of Mormon:

I’m no fan of OCP as an organization and have said so repeatedly when talking about their music. The trads trash them regularly, in part because some of their music is questionable theologically (although they had people like this to prepare the way.)  Much of their music is banal and explains why, after the initial rush, post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgical music has gone downhill.

Using the Angel Moroni is especially questionable, but they did it anyway.  I’m glad they’ve been called out for it and have retracted the cover.