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The Lord Is My Shepherd (Psalm 23) (Faber New Choral Works) Paperback – 1 May 2004
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The piece is rather repetative and so sweet it is almost too sweet. Neither issue puts me off at all. I have a musical (and general) sweet-tooth, and this piece is not too sweet for me. And as for being repetative, when I like a theme once, I like it again.
The pages I gave the music director would have been confusing to sing from, since they showed all the parts together. I would have sent for a simpler SATB version if the choir was to do this piece.
But the most severe problem with "The Lord Is My Shepherd" by Howard Goodhall is probably its association with a popular and rather ribald British television sitcom called "The Vicar of Dibley." My minister did not object to the piece for this or any reason, but many good people have problems with "The Vicar of Dibley." My big brother, a himself a minister, explained to me, "The Vicar of Dibley doesn't do any of the things that vicars are supposed to do." This goes to the point of British sitcoms, as well as to the point of this one: For all the Vicar's blunders, Dibley is wonderfully looked after by a Higher Power. I imagine being very content living there, as well as continually amused.
I can't resist making a further note on "The Vicar of Dibley." The sitcom was inspired and script-consulted by a woman named Joy Carroll, author of "The Woman behind the Collar." During a Music and Arts Festival, Ms. Carroll made the news at one point by getting the Archbishop of the Church of England to dance with her. All this says to me: Sweetness. I may have already mentioned this: I like sweetness.