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God Be In My Head

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 04 April 2010

The benediction 'God Be In My Head' often forms part of funeral ceremonies. This week's presenter, Tom Robinson, heard it at his own father's recent memorial service, which led him to reflect upon how it's refrain resonates in our lives, both spiritually and in secular contexts. He draws upon the words of Martin Luther King, John Wesley and Evelyn Waugh, among others, with music by Peteris Vasks, Hank Williams, Ben Harper and Walford Davies.

The producer is Alan Hall. This is a Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

  • Music

    JS Bach: Bouree no. 1 (Suite for cello no. 3), BWV 1009 1’35
    Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)
    CD: Bach Cello Suites
    EMI CDS 555 363 2 cd 1 tr.12

    Peteris Vasks: Quartet no. 4 – Meditation
    Kronos Quartet
    CD: Kronos Quartet - Peteris
    Nonesuch 7559 796 952 tr. 5
    Pub. Schott Music

    Ben Harper: Power of the Gospel
    Ben Harper & band
    CD: Fight for your Mind
    Virgin CDVUS93 tr. 12
    Pub. Innocent Criminal

    Hank Williams: I Saw the Light
    Hank Williams
    CD: Famous Country Music Makers
    Pulse PLSCD328 tr. 17
    Pub. Acuff-Rose Music Ltd

    Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 mandolins arr. McFerrin
    Bobby McFerrin (voice), Yo Yo Ma (cello)
    CD: Hush
    Sony SK48177 tr. 2

    Fat Marley: Xin
    CD: New Old World: Future Sun
    Wrass123

    JS Bach: Bouree no. 1 (Suite for cello no. 3), BWV 1009
    Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)
    CD: Bach Cello Suites
    EMI CDS 555 363 2 cd 1 tr.12

    T. Walford Davies: Hymn – God Be In My Head
    Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
    CD: The King’s Collection
    Decca 460 021 2 tr. 12

  • Archive

    Martin Luther King – Mountaintop Speech
    BBC Sound Archive: CDA 32798

  • Readings

    Sarum Primer, 1514 ‘God Be In My Head’

    Alan Watts: Celestial Arts

    Rainer Maria Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet
    Trans. Joan M Burnham
    Pub. New World Library

    Denis P Vidal: extract about Darshan

    Sonia Sanchez: Song for Sweet Honey in the Rock
    From ‘Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums’
    Pub. Beacon Press

    Yom Kippur Confessions (Al-Chet)

    John Wesley: Sermon 49

    Sarum Primer, 1514 ‘God Be In My Head’

    Ning Yu: The Chinese Heart in a Cognitive Perspective
    From ‘Culture, Body and Language’
    Pub. Mouton de Gruyter

    Geoffrey Robinson: Hedingham Harvest
    Pub. Constable

    Evelyn Waugh: Brideshead Revisited
    Pub. Penguin Books

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