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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
MiriamKilmer Lyr Req: Evening Shades & Northfield (Weavers) (2) RE: Weavers 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine' 1994 27 Oct 00


Kisses Sweeter than Wine

The second shapenote hymn is "Northfield." I got my answer from Berkley Moore, shapenote recording guru extraordinaire, and I post it here in case anyone is curious.

That's the song that the Potomac River Sacred Harp Singers use as a grace before meals, adding a verse by Billings that's not in the book (slightly folk-processed for the sake of gender inclusive-language).

How long, dear people, oh how long Shall dinner hour delay? Fly swift around, ye idle folk And bring the fine buffet.

The story goes that Billings sang this verse in a restaurant when he was tired of waiting. It may have been the first verse ever sung to that tune.

In our group, it is particularly ironic, since the "idle" volunteers who have given up their singing time to prepare the food for the potluck dinner have made sure that all the hot dishes are ready at the time requested. Meanwhile the singers have done the "just one more song" bit," followed by interminable announcements, so that the hot food has had plenty of time to cool off by the time "Northfield" is sung.

It silly, but it's traditional.


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