On Sunday 24th May – Pentecost – the Choir will begin the 9.30am service with Listen Sweet Dove by Grayston “Bill” Ives.
Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday. The Church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit and so Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Church.
Ives is an English composer who studied music at Cambridge University under Richard Rodney Bennett. As a child, he was a chorister at Ely Cathedral. After university, Ives sang as a tenor in the Kings Singers between 1975-1985. He then became Organist, Informator Choristarum, Fellow and Tutor in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford until 2009.
Listen Sweet Dove was published in 2005. The lyrics are taken from a longer poem called Whitsunday by George Herbert (1593–1633). Several of Herbert’s poems have been set to music by composers over the years, including Ralph Vaughan Williams (Five Mystical Songs), Henry Purcell (Longing), Benjamin Britten (Antiphon II), Judith Weir (Stars, Night, Music and Light) and William Walton (Teach me, My God and King).
Listen sweet dove unto my song,
and spread thy golden wings in me;
hatching my tender heart so long,
till it get wing and flie away with thee.
Such glorious gifts thou didst bestow
the earth did like a heav’n appeare,
the starres were coming down to know
if they might mend their wages and serve here.
The sunne which once did shine alone,
hung down his head and wisht for night,
when he beheld twelve sunnes for one
going about the world and giving light.
Lord though we change thou art the same,
the same sweet God of love and light:
restore this day for thy great name,
unto his ancient and miraculous right.
The video is a combined choir from the Dioceses of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane in Scotland.