Dives & Lazarus

We watched the first episode of Ken Burns's Civil war this evening.  Hard to believe it first came out 25 years ago.  I paid more attention to the music this time, especially to a tune that didn't get picked up on the soundtrack album or on any of the many websites devoted to the documentary.  I finally placed the old tune, which is sometimes called "Kingsfold," often now played as arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams and adapted to various hymn lyrics, a common one being "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say":

The tune is also associated with Child Ballad #56, "Dives and Lazarus," as well as with "The Star of the County Down."  Perhaps more to the point re the Civil War connection, it's also known as "The Fighting 69th," a/k/a the Irish Brigade.


Grim said...

Ah yes, the Fighting 69th: the "Rainbow Brigade," later of the "Rainbow Division" in WWI.

No, really. I'm not making this up.

Grim said...

As for "The Star of the County Down," it's one that I hope needs no introduction here. In addition to being a bit I can sing from memory, it was La Nef's focus on its Arthurian compositions about Percival's quest for the Grail.

Anonymous said...

I've sung "I heard the Voice of Jesus say" at various religious gatherings. It's a lovely text with a neat tune. Tracking the Child Ballad versions and tunes to great hymn tunes can be a wonderful way to spend/lose an afternoon.