Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Be Thou My Vision (#BOTB)


Sunday Morning Music

       A good many churches have dispensed with the pew hymnals for which there is often no need because a good number of worship leaders sing the modern praise and worship songs with congregants following the words projected on a screen.  With some prodding by older church attenders, our worship leader will usually add at least one traditional hymn to his song list.  He might change up some tempos or some aspect of the presentation in order to modernize the songs, but still they are recognizable as beloved old hymns like we used to sing when we were kids.

      Those old hymns bring back a lot of memories for me.  We sang them so many times that many of the lyrics are embedded in my brain so that I can still sing the words even though it's been fifty years or so since I used to sing them on a regular basis.  Now we are singing them again and it's kind of cool.  We still get mostly modern worship songs on Sunday mornings, but that's okay too.

      Besides, our praise band is so darn good.  It's a small four piece ensemble, but they can really play.  I don't listen to music like I used to, but at least I get a good dose of well-played music every Sunday morning.  And the selections played almost always includes a good old-fashioned hymn like the ones that were in the old hymnals that we used to have at our seats.  They're gone, but at least we still have got some of the music.

  Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Be Thou My Vision

       This is one of my wife's favorite hymns as well as being one of my favorites.  "Be Thou My Vision" comes from a traditional Irish hymn that dates back hundreds of years.  Many versions of the hymn can be found on the internet with the two that follow being my favorites.


Fernando Ortega  "Be Thou My Vision"   (2003)

        Fernando Ortega comes from Chimayo, New Mexico where his family has lived for eight generations.  He has a degree in music education as well as having recorded numerous albums.  Ortega's version of "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 2003 album Hymns of Worship.





Van Morrison  "Be Thou My Vision"  (1991)

        Van Morrison likely needs no introduction, but if you don't know then you can look him up.  I'll just say that he's been putting out some pretty good music for decades.   His take on "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 1991 double album Hymns to the Silence.





   
Time to Vote!

    
    
What'll it be, Pilgrim?  Is it the smooth soothing sounds of Fernando Ortega or the pub-tinged Celtic sound of Van Morrison? .   Do you have a preference between these two choices?   Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday October 20th

         Please vote below and then come back on Friday to see if your favorite version won.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Otherwise, I've got plenty to say, but I'll just wait til some other time to say it if I even say it at all.

            Are there any traditions no longer practiced that you somewhat miss?   Do you have a favorite hymn?   What song from childhood have you not heard for many years, but you still remember the lyrics?  



47 comments:

  1. Lovely tune Lee I choose Van Morrison's version.

    Enjoy your Sunday.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, starting off the votes with...

      a vote for Van Morrison

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Van Morrison's voice isn't one of my favorite, but his version had energy to it. Fernando had a great voice but it was just too slow and subdued. Van Morrison gets my vote.
    Nice choice of song for a Sunday morning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, Fernando's version is indeed slow.

      Another vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Harry, so I'll take that as another vote for...

      Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. LEE ~
    Van's album 'Hymns To The Silence' came out in 1991, and as I recall, I bought it the very day it was released. I own 7 Van Morrison albums, and this one is probably my most frequently played.

    The odd thing about this double album is that I'm not overly fond of Disc One, but I absolutely adore Disc Two -- which happens to include 'Be Thou My Vision'. (I play the song 'All Saints Day' on every single All Saints Day! Ha!)

    Fernando's was nice, pleasant, but there's just so much deep-sounding heart and passion in VAN's rendition that my vote for him in this Battle is a no-brainer for me.

    Something tells me I'll be listening to all of Disc Two of 'Hymns To The Silence' later today.
    [:^)}

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I had my eyes on that CD set not long after I had moved to California. My wife and and I bought it as one of our "expensive" Christmas gifts that year. That wife is now 25 years gone, but I still have the CD (wow! that CD is kind of old).

      I have the Hymns CD set with my travel CDs that we take on trips.

      Again it's a vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Hi Lee - Van's lively rendition gets my vote ... though I enjoyed hearing Fernando's version ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, Van's version makes one want to down a pint and then reflect or something.

      A vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Van Morrison's version seemed to speak to me just a little more than Fernando's.

    Casting my vote for Van Morrison.

    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I guess one might say that Van speaks his songs to some degree so I can picture Van's version speaking to you.

      I'm sensing a trend here...

      Another vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. I'm not sure I have a preference here. A beautiful song, very well done by both. Somehow, it seems fitting that a hymn be sung in an Irish pub, lol. Perhaps its the Irish in me, but most highland music sounds spiritual to me. Quite uplifting.

    I remember we sang from hymnals in my church. Many of the old timers thought the addition of the drums (not to mention electric guitar) was too progressive. Traditional isn't as traditional as it used to be. And religion has had to modernize to keep the interest of future generations. I became discouraged with religion at an early age, and progressed from holy-roller southern Baptist to Agnostic. Somedays I feel downright Atheist when I watch the news.

    Back tot he vote, though . . .

    As I said, no clear choice here. I will give my vote to Fernando though. Warm and soothing fits my mood tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, I also sense a certain mystical quality to much Celtic music. I was away from the church when music was transitioning. I was pleasantly surprised when I came back to find churches with some pretty good bands.

      Now in the running,Fernando Ortega will gladly accept your vote.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. I am going against the grain here and my vote goes to Fernando Ortego. I really like Van Morrison’s Celtic styling and the background singer but when I thought of what I could listen to more than 3 times, I would not like hearing Morrison’s voice again b cause it grated on me...at least with this song. I prefer the voice of Ortega much more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I totally understand that explanation.

      A vote for Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Good grief, it's like I have to reinvent myself with every blogger's battle. Having just stepped away from Stephen T. McCarthy's band, I was fired up to stand by my Van...heck, I just shouted to the the universe: it's VAN MORRISON, for crying out loud.

    Then you provided a double whammy: a favorite hymn, a Van contender, and a type of singer I am drawn to.

    When I die, and hopefully that is not soon, I want two hymns sang at my funeral (or fire pit, whichever is the case): "Be Thou My Vision" and "Be Still, My Soul." Both of those songs speak to me in a spirit-stirring way; always have.

    Van Morrison, I love dearly. Always have; he is one of a kind, bless his Irish, blues-belting heart. This should be a shoo-in...or shoe-in, Lord knows I'm not sure of the spelling here. It doesn't matter...

    But Fernando Ortega has one of those voices that I'm drawn to by virtue of the simple, pure beauty of it. Like Alison Krause...or Clannad...or Enya...I'm out of adjectives, so I'm reduced to examples. For this kind of song, I think his voice is perfectly matched to the music.

    FERNANDO ORTEGA gets my vote. Love that version AND this battle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, Two great hymns to have sung at a funeral. Hope we're looking way in the future for both of us.

      I understand your reasoning for the version you are choosing. Makes total sense to me.

      A vote for Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Mike, that was to the point.

      Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Both are GREAT Arlee ... I'm a Van fan but Ortega gets my vote here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan S., I think it's a close decision as I like both quite a bit.

      For your vote Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Lee,

    Ortega is really smooth vocally. His cover was nice. The opening base violin is stirringly dramatic and I loved the the classic violins segment making it an exceptionally beautiful cover. Morrison's earthy vocals adds sentiment to the lyrics. I felt like I was sitting in church listening to him sing for the Lord and the congregation. I also loved that he kept his Celtic roots in the song. My heart is drawn to Van Morrison singing, "Be Though My Vision" and gets my vote. Lovely, inspiring battle taking me back to the days of my youth spent in a country church on Sunday mornings. Blessings to you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, nice breakdown of your reasoning.

      Another vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Thanks! Maybe, I'm learning how to express myself a wee bit better about why I like mewsic. :D

      Delete
  13. Interesting post. We spend a lot of time talking about this at church as we have both a traditional and contemporary service. My favorite hymn is "It Is Well With My Soul."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calensariel, if there are enough congregants then having options of services is a good idea. Our church is so small that it would be difficult to divide the services and have enough in attendance at both. We couldn't afford the extra praise team costs either unless it were done by volunteers and then we'd have to find more people who played or sang and that might be difficult.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Did you know that for a few years now i’ve Had a list of musicians I wanted to see in person before it was too late (thinking I’de Be gone before them). Well two years ago I saw the Eagles, just before Glen Frey passed. This summer. In Colorado I saw the most amazing concert - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Yeah we all know how that ended. Van is one of three left on my list and I’m afraid to even look at his concert schedule. I also saw Paul Simon this past summer at Tahoe. He wasn’t on ‘my list’ but his show was excellent. Please God protect Paul from the curse. That said you know I just gotta vote for Van the Man. I keep trying to quit BOTB and you guys keep drawing me back in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE, we hope you keep get drawn back in so we can have votes and discussions about the music.

      The classic and legendary artists of the past keep dropping away through death or otherwise so I guess if one wants to see them then go when one can. I can't really afford to go to concerts and more so I don't like going out to big events such as concerts. Not anymore. I used to love concerts and saw a great many including several that might have been considered on my "bucket list". I think I recall hearing something about an L.A. concert and looking on his schedule I see a couple nights upcoming in Palm Springs, New Years in Las Vegas, and he'll be in L.A. in Feb at a very nice theater. Doubt whether I'll be going.

      Thanks for the vote!

      Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Fernando Ortega was a whisker away from being my and Laurie's first date. Long and old story. I'll take him for the smoother delivery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, now you've got me intrigued about your story.

      Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. Hi Lee,
    This is a beautiful hymn. Fernando Ortega is new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed his version of the hymn. However, I'm voting for Van Morrison (for the second time today) because his version is just so alive, so rich. And it's Van, after all. Love me some Van the man! He gets my vote here.

    Really nice battle. I enjoyed.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, thank you for your vote for...

      Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I vote for Fernando. I love his music, and Van Morrison voice just doesn’t do anything for me. I love this song, it’s among my favorite hymns! For listening, however, I prefer a more traditional Irish version lik this one: https://youtu.be/t1nTztTEHVY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jet, I think Van's voice is an acquired taste. It took me many years to appreciate his music. The traditional versions like you directed us to are very nice indeed.

      A vote for Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Van Morrison had far more of a quicker pace. Both voices were good, but #2 wins out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pat, #2 is the vote for...

    Van Morrison.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  20. I may be recalling this incorrectly, but it seems I watched a movie years ago about the first time a preacher had to play the church hymns on a guitar, because a mouse had chewed through the bellows in the organ. It was a big scandal at the time, bringing an instrument as base as a guitar into a church.

    I remember as a kid, even with our fairly staid Catholic hymns, I always preferred the full, warmer sound of a guitar to our church's awful electric organ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CD, That's a film that I don't recall, but it does sound interesting. I've always liked the sound of an organ, but I was glad to see church updated to modern standards. Sometimes maybe it goes to extremes. I've been to some church services that were more like a rock concert than an actual church service.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. Ortega was too slow, almost painfully too slow. Just because it's worship music doesn't mean you have to be so reverent about it. I'll go with Van Morrison as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, put in context with the rest of the album this song came from, it fits in with creating a sustained mood of meditation and reflection. I think that's why I like his album so much.

      A vote for Van Morrison.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Sixgun McItchyfingerOctober 18, 2017 at 8:38 PM

    Lee, Van Morrison is one of my favorites, and although the other version is excellent, and I'd love to hear it live - in church or otherwise - Van's voice often has a magical quality that is simply irreplaceable in the universe. This hymn shows it off. VAN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sixgun, Van is his own special self.

      A vote for Van Morrison

      Lee

      Delete
  23. I've listened to these twice. Van is usually so smooth. It's NOT that I dislike his version (not at all!). It's that it doesn't sound like I expected it would. You see, before listening, I thought Van would surely get my vote. Now that I've gone through these twice, I realize I like the smoother sound of Fernando Ortega. I never would've suspected that would happen!

    So, Fernando Ortega for me.

    I just read the comments. I could've read Cherdo's comment and just said "Ditto."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin, I hear what you're saying and can't say that I'd disagree with you.

      A vote for Fernando Ortega.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. Will always choose one who has the real connection to the song's origins. Van nailed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, another vote for Van which doesn't change my final outcome other than giving Van one more vote.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee