Following yesterday’s five-hour drive (and grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.) I sat down with the DNA scarf and worked another repeat — with the chart upside down! At that point I realized my error, and tore it all out. So the DNA scarf is only three repeats long. Will I finish in time? Suspense mounts, at least for me. I am a little overwhelmed by the size of my to-do list for this week…

So for today, “The Angel Gabriel.” This is a Basque hymn with a haunting tune, telling about Mary’s famous conversation with the angel. As you may recall, the angel was telling her that she would be the mother of God’s son. She took it very well. Different settings of the story give different impressions of Mary, but this one, with words by an eminent Victorian, shows her meek and submissive. Here it is with words and midi file:  http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/t/t071.html

The words were translated by Sabine Baring-Gould, a fellow widely known at the time as an expert on werewolves, among other things. He wrote the words to “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” a hymn which has been removed from the hymnals of most mainstream churches. He also wrote about 200 books, his favorite being a collection of folksongs. His private life suggests a bit of eccentricity. He picked out a mill girl from his parish and sent her off to be educated, an undertaking which some say inspired Shaw to write Pygmalion. He then married her — in both senses of the word. That is, he conducted the service as well as being the bridegroom.

Sting recorded this song under the name of the tune, “Gabriel’s Message.” Charlotte Church has also recorded it, but you don’t really hear it much. It is a cool song, though, good for group singing and instrumental solos.