Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This is 600 and Battle of The Bands XI

Holy Tomole! It is January, 2014.  Happy New Year!!!

This is also my 600th post. (How is this possible????)

And it is time for the eleventh bout of Battle of the Bands.

Given that this is a very special day... the first of the New Year... I thought long and hard about what song to post here today. I wanted something representative of how the New Year feels.  Music is all about feeling, no?  But, getting the Exact Right Feeling was a bit of a challenge.

I ultimately decided on the song The Prayer of St. Francis, which also goes by Make Me A Channel of Your Peace. I looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what that site had to offer about this lovely song:

The Prayer of Saint Francis is a Catholic Christian prayer. It is widely but erroneously attributed to the 13th-century saint Francis of Assisi. The prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912, when it was printed in Paris in French, in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell), published by La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe (The Holy Mass League). The author's name was not given, although it may have been the founder of La Ligue, Fr. Esther Bouquerel.

A professor at the University of Orleans in France, Dr. Christian Renoux, published a study of the prayer and its history in French in 2001.[1]

The prayer has been known in the United States since 1927 when its first known translation in English appeared in January of that year in the Quaker magazine Friends' Intelligencer (Philadelphia), where it was attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Francis Spellman and Senator Albert W. Hawkes distributed millions of copies of the prayer during and just after World War II.[1]:

One of the numerous English translations[2] of the Prayer is reproduced below:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

It was adapted and set to music by Sebastian Temple, ©1967 by OCP Publications as Make Me A Channel of Your Peace. It is an anthem of the Royal British Legion and is usually sung every year at the Service of Remembrance in November at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

The song has been recorded many times, but I wanted two DIFFERENT versions for you to listen to here.  So, first up is a female quartet called All Angels.

versus Sarah McLachlan:

This is not the only battle taking place in the blogosphere today. You can also get in on the action by visiting these sites (and I encourage you to do so!):

However, before you rush off to those sites, please take a moment and vote for your favorite in this battle. Did you like All Angels or Sarah McLachlan? Why did you prefer one over the other?  Yep. I have an Enquiring Mind and I Want To Know!


  1. Wow...this is tough.

    The melody and arrangement from the Angel's version is what I grew up with at Saint Anastasia Grade School, but I just do not like the harmonizing....too church-y for me.

    So I am giving to Sarah for her vocal performance, even though the arrangement is far less catchy.

    Happy New Year, Robin!


  2. Like Larry, I know the song from boyhood at St. Louis Besancon. Unlike him, I am not bothered by the "churchiness". Sarah definitely makes it her own... but I didn't grow up with her. I go #1.

  3. Happy New Year and Happy 600!

    I like both versions, but I think Sarah makes this much more intimate and personal. I think the message of the song works a little more effectively this way.

    I vote for Sarah.

  4. 600? That's insane! Way to go!

    Goodness, I love this song. I'm a total music snob (also known as an orchestral/vocal composer), so for me it's all about the arrangement. It's definitely #1.

  5. I'm going to go with Sarah. Although everything she does has a very similar sound, I tend to like her. Here she does make this lovely piece her very own, and I felt spiritually moved from her rendition. I guess it felt more like someone praying than the first.

    All that said, I do feel prayer, whether said or sung is a very personal matter, and I am hesitant to critique anyone's attempt to convey heartfelt feelings to God. The first was lovely in it's own right.

  6. Though the first one sounded very good, I prefer Sarah's more contemporary version. Congrats on your 600th post, Robin! Oh, and I got a kick out of the coffee scene you sent me from Ally McBeal! It was such a great show! Happy New Year!


  7. I listened to both and I really like both arrangements.I pick Sarah though because I love her music. Also Congrats on the 600th post!!!

  8. Well, ROBIN, this was certainly a different sort of song selection.

    I love this prayer but had no idea it had ever been made into a song. As I type these words, the prayer is printed on a magnet that has been on my refrigerator door for many years. The magnet was given to me by a Catholic woman who organized a group of Western entertainers I used to belong to. We'd go to children's hospitals and homes for the elderly and put on musical shows for them. I was the only member who couldn't play an instrument (although I did play one single note on a "corn cob harmonica" during our shows - it was part of a joke, or gag).

    Since I wasn't a musician, I played the part of the "cowboy clown" and as such, I was the most popular character with the little kids. Ha! Those who can't play, goof off, and children love the goofs!

    Anyway, to my ears, the first version was too high-pitched. And it didn't help that what musical content there was (flutes and whatever else) was also very high-pitched. Had they used some instruments playing in a lower register it might have helped balance the sound of the high voices.

    I don't know who Sarah McLachlan is (I've run across her name a few times though), but I liked her voice better and I liked the way the arranger incorporated harmony at the end of each line. Also, better instrumentation. So Sarah was an easy vote for me.

    Happy New Year, Robin! I hope it's good to you.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. Happy New Year! Good job on the 600th post.

  10. Congrats and Happy New Year!

    Sarah McLachlan wins hands down for me. The choir version gives me heevie jeevies after I spent multiple sessions learning the tune with a bunch of old ladies who did NOT even TRY to put the words they sang into practice. *shudders*

  11. Without a doubt, Sarah. Happy New year!

  12. Larry & CW ~ It is funny (not ha ha funny, but more ironic funny) how the music we grow up on impacts us throughout our lives.

    Chris ~ It does feel more intimate, doesn't it?

    Crystal ~ The reason I selected these two versions are because the arrangements are so different.

    FAE ~ Yes, she changed the word Lord to God (which feels more intimate right off the bat to me) and ends with Amen. It feels like a reverent prayer.

    Julie ~ I hate that the quality on that clip was so terrible, but it was perfect for your post!

    GG ~ Thanks and good enough!

    Stephen ~ I like to keep people surprised around here. That is great about the magnet and the shows. It sounds like a lot of fun as well as being good for the soul. Sick kids and elderly folks appreciate every good thing that comes their way. It is so nice when people recognize that and volunteer. Being the Good sounds like fun to me!!!

    Gina ~ Thanks!

    Misha ~ Heevie Jeevies, eh? Well that is no good.

    JJ ~ Sarah it is. Happy New Year!

  13. Hey Robin,

    I know, I know, where is my amazing friend, Gary? Okay, relax, I'm finally here. Yay n'stuff! :)

    Congrats on getting to 600 postings. You've done well, my friend.

    As for the two selections. The first one made me want to violently puke. The second one, by Sarah McLachlan, would be my choice. Although, I didn't really like either version.

    Welcome to 2014, Robin.

    Gary :)

  14. I prefer the second one. Sarah gets my vote, not because it's better music. It's just more my thing.

    Happy, healthy 2014 to you, Robin.


  15. Gary ~ Oh dear. I am back to choosing music that makes you want to violently puke.

    Robyn ~ More my thing is good enough reason to cast a vote!

  16. Interesting this Battle of the Bands.

    I must say that I have never felt songs on this saint that expressly is not religious "religious canonical hymns."

    I am daccordo ..this song is of the XX century even if the text would be able "to deceive" ..(however in this Battle of the Bands, St. Francis is out personal opinion).

    My choice is for Sarah McLachlan ..decidedly very beautiful.

  17. I see Sarah is winning by a landslide, and I like her sound a lot, but the first one seems more fit for the song, to my ears, so I'm going with All Angels.

    Happy 600th post to you! Now I'm headed over to hear "Baby, it's cold outside" at Far Away Series. :)

  18. Congratulations on Post #600!
    Happy 2014!


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