Sunday, April 08, 2012
From 1964, we have Songs of Faith and Doubt, six religious songs by the late, brilliant Sydney (Lord of the Dance) Carter, sung and played by Donald Swann, who is possibly best known as one half of the comedy duo Flanders and Swann. Nothing at all comedic about these selections (or wonderful performances).
The set starts with Lord of the Dance, that ancient Irish folk number that is neither 1) Irish, 2) folk, nor 3) ancient. In fact, the Sydney Carter hymn was written in 1963, with a melody adapted from the Shaker tune Simple Gifts (Joseph Brackett, Jr. , 1848). Powerful stuff, all, especially Friday Morning, though the gentle, almost mournful Every Star Shall Sing a Carol may be the most profound experience of the bunch. We'll return to our usual, much lighter fare after Easter, of course....
To the faith and doubt: Songs of Faith and Doubt (Syney Carter)--Donald Swann, 1964.
LORD OF THE DANCE
THE DEVIL WORE A CRUCIFIX
THE RAT RACE
EVERY STAR SHALL SING A CAROL
THE MASK I WORE
Songs of Faith and Doubt (by Sydney Carter)--Donald Swann (Argo ZFA-48; 1964)