A Church Chorister's Alphabet
A is for ALTO - a high sort of noise
emerging quite strangely from certain old boys
B is for BASSES whom we can rely on
to thunder their way to a jubilant Zion
C’s for CONTRALTO -sometimes a large lass
who’s vibrato’s a bit of a pain in the ****
D is for’dim’ - a musician’s ‘dynamic’
that’s often ignored by the dim and the manic
E! is, in Yorkshire, a term of surprise
which, followed by “Bah gum !” brings tears to the eyes.
F ‘s an instruction to make you sing loud.
(Make sure that your voice can be heard in the crowd!)
G is the note that we give to the Vicar
to sing his responses. (We sing them much quicker!)
H is for Hurry - the last-but-one hymn
We must finish first e’er ablutions begin!
I is for Introit - we sing going in
So we’re short of breath when confessing our sin.
J is for Jinks way back in the hall
where Juniors are waiting their choirmaster’s call
K is for Katie, Katrina and Ken
Who can’t find their cassocks at twenty past ten.
L is for Largo, which means going slow,
and M is for mezzo, but N I don't know.
O is for Organist pounding away
to keep us in tune and in tempo - OLE!
P’s for Piano - it means ‘soft and low.’
(The way some folk play them you never would know!)
Q’s a procession - we walk round the Church
But some of us oldies, we limp and we lurch.
“R ”’ is the sound that we make before “--men”
In ‘Messiah’ we sing it again and again!
S for Sopranos who stick to the tune,
and refer to the music once in the blue moon.
T is for Trebles who sing as they chew
and leave sticky pellets parked under the pew.
(T’s also for Tenors - the Welsh sort are best -
They’re in short supply down here in the west.)
V is for Version - of hymns that we raise
and all mucked about in the new Mission Praise.
U is Unusable - so is it’s double *
while X, Y & Z are far too much trouble.
© The Estate of William John Green, 2004