Shelagh has now emailed me a TIFF file of Happy Mary, with a suggestion she thinks it is a version of the Hilton/Farrant anthem "Lord for thy tender mercies sake".
It certainly is, with what I feel are some harmonies of c. 1800.
So I checked the incipit in the Hymn Tune Index, and find HTI 14246 is a related CM tune, with one citation in Edward Taylor`s 1812 Collection of Psalm Tunes published in Norwich. Temperley refers back to anthem versions of 14246 in Green`s early C18 psalmodies and William Boyce`s Cathedral Music (c. 1768), and probably the Dufftown priest used these for his starting point rather than the Norwich CM tune. But I do not have these available to check.
The Dufftown Happy Mary has its opening half with LM words, and the top soprano part has identical incipit notes to the Norwich in its first and third lines. The rhythms could be different (can`t tell from HTI note codes), and are certainly different to the Hilton/Farrant anthem as given in our modern anthem collections. Both Dufftown HM and Norwich 14246 condense the Hilton/Farrant opening half in its later stages.
As for the memorable Hilton/Farrant second half, well the bass line is pretty well intact in Happy Mary, but the other three lines are considerably changed apart from their staggered entries. The Norwich CM tune lacks this second half.
So the contribution of Rev George Gordon at Dufftown, or perhaps earlier, to the shaping of Happy Mary cannot yet be judged. Maybe it was simply substituting Catholic words.
But obviously he had a competent choir to be able to sing this piece.
Hello from a recent discoverer of this site. My field of research is Scottish Rc music, late 18th to earlyish 19th cent.Is there anyone else with similar interests? More specifically I have found an... more
Dear Shelagh, I presume your MS was related in some way to NE Scotland. Just possibly, some details about the forces required could help, like was there an instrumental line? RC chapels in the NE... more
Thanks for reply. Happy Mary is included in 'Sacred Music Calculated For Small Choirs' ed Rev George Gordon, pub about 1830. I can send a sibeliused version. It has an organ part and is in four... more
Happy Mary identified, roughly David Welch,Wed Apr 4 2:54pm
Shelagh: I`ve had a look at the interesting article to which Tim helpfully drew attention, and wonder if your request back in 2010 brought any answers on the identity of the LM tune for Iam lucis... more
I have to report that the LM tune in Fr Gordon`s manuscript is not known to our Banchory fiddlers. The former leader of the Strathspey and Reel has hunted without success in his stacks of tunes. I`ve ... more