Monday, 3 August 2009

Singing in Taizé

La Tuilerie Website

The beauty of Taizé songs is that they are sung in many languages, most of which I and most of the people around me do not understand, but their meditative quality is quite mesmerising. I have spent many hours struggling at home with the German ones, just so that I can sing along on my next visit, in particular “Gott is nur liebe” has been a serious tongue twister for me over the years. I have just about cracked it and so I was very disappointed last week when I discovered that all my work had been in vain, this year the song is sung in Polish and is now called “Bóg jest miłościa”, an even worse tongue twister, so more homework to be done! bog

Sometimes songs are in English, Dutch or French which makes pronunciation for me easier and even Latin is not a problem. It is just the German and Slavonic ones I struggle with.

There are some beautiful singers every week in the Church but there are some not too good singers as well, but it is the enthusiasm that is the most important thing. It can be a bit off putting sometimes though if you are stuck next to someone who is a bit too loud, like last Sunday, I was sitting just behind just such a chap. He sang VERY loudly, he also sang slightly out of tune and he was always a semi quaver behind the rest. It made singing along with the rest of the congregation a bit tricky, but hey he was involved and doing his best. The first half of the Sunday service is the Eucharist and that part follows a special song sheet all in Latin, as the communion is being distributed the “real” Taizé songs start, what did we get? Yes you guessed it “Bóg jest miłościa” Oh well I did my best, but this English chap with the loud voice was definitely not singing the same words as me, also not last year’s version, it didn’t take me long to realise that he was singing English! Maybe he hadn’t spotted the change of language or maybe he knew the song in English or maybe…..who knows. I joined a difference queue for communion from him, to get out of earshot.

Returning to our places and more songs and one of my favourites, “Singt dem Herrn”. singt
My over-loud neighbours gustily sang again in English. He was getting a touch annoying at this point and a large circle of emptiness was being formed around him as people moved, which of course made his voice even clearer for me and less easy to ignore, when he started singing a French song also in English, I left, I was even out before the monks.

I must say that it puts singing songs in many languages into a different perspective and one I hope never to repeat!

If you click on either of the songs you'll get to the MP3 and podcast page of the Taizé webiste, for their homepage click here.

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