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Eastertide – My Spirit Sang All Day

The Choir returned from their Easter break to sing Eucharist at All Saints Fulham on Sunday 26th April. They sang the anthem My Spirit Sang All Day by English composer Gerald Finzi (1901-1956).

“…as surely as birds must sing, so long as words exist and man is capable of feeling, there will be song.”
Gerard Finzi, 1955

Finzi was a part of a circle of English composers which included his friend and mentor, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edmund Rubbra, Herbert Howells, Robin Milford and Howard Ferguson.

My Spirit Sang All Day is the third movement of Finzi’s Seven Poems of Robert Bridges. The refrain “Oh, my joy!” is pertinent, as the piece was written around the time of Finzi’s marriage to his wife Joyce (Joy).

Robert Bridges (1844-1930) was a qualified physician but was forced to give up medicine due to illness. He then focused the remainder of his life on writing. He worked on translating and updating several hymns for the 1906 edition of the English Hymnal many of which are still in use today including All My Hope on God Is Founded and O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded. He was made Poet Laureate in 1913.


Window in the Lady Chapel, All Saints Fulham

My spirit sang all day
O my joy.
Nothing my tongue could say,
Only My joy!
My heart an echo caught
O my joy
And spake,
Tell me thy thought,
Hide not thy joy.
My eyes gan peer around,
O my joy
What beauty hast thou found?
Shew us thy joy.
My jealous ears grew whist;
O my joy
Music from heaven is’t,
Sent for our joy?
She also came and heard;
O my joy,
What, said she, is this word?
What is thy joy?
And I replied,
O see, O my joy,
‘Tis thee, I cried, ’tis thee:
Thou art my joy.


About All Saints Fulham Choir

The All Saints Fulham Church is the home of three choirs. A traditional Parish Choir who sing wide-ranging repertoire which spans nine centuries and tours regularly at home and abroad; a Gospel Choir who sing a mixture of contemporary and traditional gospel styles, and a junior choir for children from Year 3 upwards.


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