The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation, And for the bass, the beast can only bellow; In fact, he had no singing education, An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow.
So said Lord Byron. But what does he know? All that swimming the Hellespont can’t have done his vocal chords much good, and heaven only knows where he got the energy to sing after spending his nights in flagranti with a succession of Venetian noblewomen. But he did elsewhere express his unequivocal admiration of the boys’ voice (or was it merely admiration of a choirboy? Not quite sure of that one). Whatever, we could have usefully done with some support from the nobility when the Dean announced that, from September, we would be admitting girls into the song school. I must say we, in the choral vicar department, had failed woefully to see that one coming.
‘But St Paul says, in Corinthians, that ‘women should stay silent in the churches’ Rodney spluttered in the vestry, looking almost as if he was about to burst into tears.
‘Yes, old man’ sniped Drane (who, for those of you unfamiliar with this growing narrative is my opposite number – Dec Bass 1) 'but no-one’s asking them to speak in tongues. If you were listening to the Dean’s sermon last Sunday you’d understand the context of that passage refers to the chaotic spread of glossolalia in the early church.’
‘But…but…in Timothy, Paul says that women have to learn in silence and with all submissiveness.’
‘… and if there’s anything they desire to know or do, then they should ask at home.’
‘And so it’s obvious.’
‘Yes it is – they should remain at home and listen to CDs.’
I have to sympathise with Rodney (and, as conductor of the local choral union with responsibility for booking soloists, I have to keep 'on side' with him as well). But I rather think a girls' choir might be fun. It certainly can't be any less musical than the boys we have at present. And they'd be a darn site prettier. And more fragrant. And another source of income! (No doubt some of them would like a singing teacher?)
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