These Things Shall Be - Happy 70th Birthday Dad

[audio:dad07piano.mp3 | titles=These Things Shall Be - Piano Development|artists=music2work2]

It has been an incredibly turbulent week across all fronts.  It started horrifically with Charlotte being badly injured in a car accident and finishes today with my father’s 70th birthday.  Charlotte is on her way to recovery although she has a few nasty surgeries ahead while my Mum & Dad are about to embark on a 5 week trip around the planet – arriving in LA in a month’s time – funny thing life!

I originally wrote the music for a school competition – based around the words of the hymn “These Things Shall Be!” which in turn was derived from the poem “A Vista” by John Addington Symonds 1840 – 1893.  I was never a terribly good student but I do remember working hard on the music and it became one of my dad’s favorite pieces – so much so that he’s requested it to be played at his funeral.

Pretty macabre really, which probably explains why 25 years later I haven’t finished it!  This is the core piano part on top of which sits 4 different string voices and a bloody great church organ that comes in at the end.  I always pick it up again at this time of year, around his birthday, and work up another version.  Maybe I’ll have something I like before they arrive.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Here are the words of the hymn which I always liked – uplifting, inspirational and about as far away from funerals as you get – long may it stay that way.

These things shall be, -- a loftier race
Than ere the world hath known shall rise
With flame of freedom in their souls,
And light of knowledge in their eyes.

They shall be gentle, brave, and strong
To spill no drop of blood, but dare
All that may plant man's lordship firm
On earth and fire, and sea, and air.

Nation with nation, land with land,
Unarmed shall live as comrades free;
In every heart and brain shall throb
The pulse of one fraternity.

Man shall love man, with heart as pure
And fervent as the young-eyed throng
Who chant their heavenly psalms before
God's face with undiscordant song.

New arts shall bloom of loftier mould
And mightier music fill the skies,
And every life shall be a song,
When all the earth is paradise.

John Addington Symonds