Whilst this now forms part of the South African national anthem it was adopted as an anthem by the black population and was sung in defiance of apartheid. There are several versions of the words depending on the place and occasion. Our version is sung in the Xhosa dialect.
In the Mass of the Roman Rite and also in the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church and the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, Agnus Dei is the invocation to the Lamb of God.
The first hit for Irving Berlin 1n 1911. It has stood the test of time having been sung by many artists including Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Judy Garland amongst others,
Alexander's Ragtime Band
A Christian hymn published in 1779 with words written by an Anglican minister called John Newton. In his earlier life, before converting to Christianity, he had been pressed in to the Royal Navy after which he became a slave trader. Not the best of starts for a vicar. It was during a storm at sea, apparently, when he was in danger of losing his life that he called out to God for deliverance. His subsequent survival is supposed to have been the inspiration for Amazing Grace.
From the musical “West Side Story”. In the 1961 film version Bernardo sings of the anti-immigrant prejudice, whilst Anita sings in favour of the United States. In our version we sing about the attractions of the US as seen through the eyes of the Puerto Rican girls.
Made popular by Elvis Presley when he began to use it as part of his regular concert routine in the 70’s. It’s a medley of three 19th century songs. “Dixie” is a minstrel song that became an unofficial anthem of the Confederacy “All my trials” – originally a Bahamian lullaby but closely related to African/American spirituals, and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – the marching song of the Union Army during the American civil war.
An American Trilogy
This is from the musical “Chess” and is based on the rivalry between the American and Russian chess grand masters during the Cold War era. In the musical the Russian defects and the song reflects the love for his homeland where he declares that even though he may have crossed borders his heart is still in the Motherland.
The Vietnamese term bui doi (dust of life) refers to vagrants in the city but following the musical, Miss Saigon, it came to popularly refer to AMERASIAN children left behind after the Vietnam war.
Taken from the Welsh name for the Rhondda valley, this is a popular hymn tune written by John Hughes. It is probably better known as Guide me o thou great Jehovah and is a favourite with Welsh rugby fans.
A ballad set to an ancient Irish melody. The words being written in 1910 by a lawyer called Frederick Weatherly. It’s thought that his Irish sister-in –law sent him a copy of the Londonderry Air and he modified the lyrics to fit the rhyme and meter of the Londonderry Air.
This is from the operetta “The Student Prince” written by Sigmund Romberg. In it, the prince of a fictitious German Kingdom is sent to university incognito and falls in love with a barmaid at the local hostelry and is singing to her in this song.
Cavalleria Rusticana is a 1 act opera set in a Sicilian Village on Easter Sunday. In direct contrast to Easter celebrations, all is not well with one of the villagers, Santuzza who has had an affair with a local boy, got pregnant and the boy has run off with some-one else’s wife. The consequences of this is that Santuzza is not allowed in the church on Sunday morning. The Easter Hymn, one of the most famous pieces from the opera is sung partly by the Church choir who are off stage and by Santuzza who is on stage. We will sing a specially arranged version for male voices by Alan Simmons. needless to say the opera does not have a happy ending.
A traditional gospel song dating from 1873 and has become a standard in many Protestant hymnals, although it says nothing about Jesus or the gospel.
Give me That Old Time Religion
Is a welsh hymn of American origin. Gwahoddiad - the Welsh for invitation - was originally the English language gospel song “I am coming Lord”. The English words and tune were written in 1872 by an American Methodist minister – Lewis Hartshough. The Welsh version was translated by another Methodist minister, John Roberts and became so popular in Wales that, despite its American origin, it was believed to be indigenously Welsh .
Became a hit for the Hollies in 1969. The source of the title goes back to 1884 when James Wells , a minister in the Free Church of Scotland, told the story of a little girl carrying a big baby boy. When asked if she wasn’t tired, she replied “ No, he’s not heavy, he’s my brother”. In the 1940’s the words “he ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother” were taken as a slogan for the Boys Town children’s home in America, immortalised in the film “BoysTown”, starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney,
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
This popular song was written for David Cassidy but made famous by Barry Manilow. His version reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went on to win a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1977.
I Write The Songs
A 1970 rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is loosely based on the Gospels accounts of the last week of Jesus life, beginning with his arrival in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion.
Jesus Christ Superstar
Vergine De'gli Angeli comes from Verdi's Opera La Forza del Destino. Leonora, the heroine, has been forced to flee because her lover has accidentally killed her father and she has been denounced. Her journey takes her to the monastery of Madonna degli angeli - Madonna of the angels -where she asks for refuge. She is granted sanctuary in a cave and the monks warned not to approach the cave. In this prayer Leonora's voice is heard from the cave over the voices of the monks who are at prayer. - Virgin of the angels cover me with your shroud and protect me
La Vergine Degli Angeli
Seen by over 70 million people in 44 countries and performed in 22 languages. The London production will celebrate its 33rd. anniversary in October this year. Our medley comprises: At the end of the day, I dreamed a dream, Bring him home, Do you hear the people sing
Written by Robert Williams back in 1817. He lived on Anglesey, not far from Llanfairpwyllgwyngellgogerichwyndrobwyllantisiliogogogoch which is why the hymn tune is abbreviated to Llanfair.
From the musical West Side Story with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and inspired by Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. In the song Maria is sung by Tony, a former gang member of the Jets, who has fallen in love with Maria who is the sister of a rival gang leader of the Sharks.
Probably better known by its opening line “When I survey the wondrous cross” was written by a man called Isaac Watts back in 1707. Watts was a Congregational minister, theologian and logician as well as being a prolific hymn writer, having written 750 hymns, many of which remain in use today.
TITANIC – this is the love song from the film of the same name – always goes down well.
My Heart Will Go On
This is a quiet and reflective song as a world weary traveller dreams of the home he once knew and where, when his time comes, he wants to end his days.
My Little Mountain Home
Based on the story of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run as well as success on Broadway. It was made into a film in 1968 and won six Academy awards, including best picture. Our medley comprises: Who will buy, Where is love, I’d do anything, You’ve got to pick a pocket, and Consider yourself.
From the musical “Sweet Charity” is probably one of the favourite songs for most male voice choirs.
Rhythm of Life
An Italian song translated into English by a songwriter called Hal Shaper and was a hit for both Frank Sinatra and Matt Munro
Softly as I Leave You
From the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod and is sung by the soldiers on their return from the war
The most popular song from the 1965 Broadway musical – Man of La Mancha. The song is sung by Don Quixote as he stands vigil over his armour and explains what he means by following “The Quest”.
The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
The prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, when they asked him how they should pray. Most Christians know the prayer by heart in their own language, and it is used today by every Christian tradition.
The Lord's Prayer
A hymn originally written for the film We were soldiers. The hymn also served as the recessional for in the 2004 funeral of President Ronald Reagan.
The Mansions of the Lord
A song written by John Rutter, an English composer, conductor, arranger, editor and record producer of mainly choral music. It's a beautiful song which we hope you will enjoy.
The Music's Always There With You
A classic pop song written by Amanda McBroom and made famous by Bette Midler who recorded it for the soundtrack of the film of the same name back in 1979.
If you’re a fan of musical theatre you will know that this comes from the musical “South Pacific” and is sung by a bunch of brawny, bare-chested, love-lorn sailors; here you have to use your imagination. You may recall that Morecambe & Wise did a comic version of this in one of their Christmas shows. That was in 1977 – 41 years ago.
There is Nothin' Like a Dame
From the musical “Jekyll and Hyde”. In the story of Jekyll and Hyde, Dr Jekyll has created a potion which will totally change his character. In the song, before he drinks the potion, he reflects on what has gone before and his thoughts as to what will happen and , in his own words, “damn all the odds”.
This Is The Moment
An English children’s song and nursery rhyme intended to help children with their counting. Its origins are obscure with the earlist version appearing in a journal of folk music in 1937, written by a lady called Anne Gilchrist who learnt it from her nurse back in 1870.
This Old Man
Also known in English as the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” is a chorus from the opera Nabucco by Guiseppe Verdi. It recollects the period of Babylonian captivity after the loss of the temple in Jerusalem. In it, the slaves are singing “O mia patria si bellae e perduta” – “O my country, so beautiful and lost”.
Not much is known about the origin of this sea shanty. It was thought to have originated in the early 19th century and is typical of that type of song, in that it was sung on board sailing ships to accompany tasks that required a brisk rhythm.
What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor
A black spiritual, although it originated as a Christian hymn. It is often played by jazz bands and was famously recorded in 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra.
When the Saints Go Marching In
Comes from the comic opera, the Pirates of Penzance and is sung by the Pirates who are intent on seeking revenge on a certain Major General Stanley. The Major General had previously lied to the Pirates who are now out for revenge with, to quote “a little burglaree.
With A Cat-Like Tread
A song originally composed by an Irish-Norwegian duo called Secret Garden. The song has been recorded by more than a 100 artists and was popularised by the Irish band Westlife who recorded it in 2005