Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Soul Music, Series 12 Episode 4 of 5
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The words of one of our most loved hymns, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, were taken from the last six verses of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, The Brewing of Soma, an attack on ostentatious and overt religious practise. But it wasn't until over fifty years later, that a school master at Repton in Derbyshire had the inspiration to pair it with a tune by Sir Hubert Parry, thus confirming it as a favourite for school assemblies, funerals and weddings. The current Director of Music at Repton, John Bowley, explains how this happened, while composer and conductor Bob Chilcott explains why this was a musical mariage made in heaven.
We hear from those for who whom the hymn has special significance, including the MP from Gloucester, Richard Graham; when briefly imprisoned in a Libyan gaol in 1978 he found enormous comfort in the words and tune. Pipe Major Ross Munro remembers recording the piece in the swelting heat of Basra with members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and film director Joe Wright recalls how the inclusion of this hymn was central to the power of his famous scene depicting the evacuation of Dunkirk in his film, Atonement.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.

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30 minutes

Last on

Sat 10 Sep 2011 15:30

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