Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The 70's weren't so bad - but they didn't produce much music that we still use.

A fascinating article in Commonweal magazine about the reality of growing up as an American Catholic in the 1970s. The author just said "Catholic" - but I think that the country adds an important dimension: what happens in America is not necessarily the same as what happens everywhere else!

One thing that caught my eye, though, is the quote
"I do not remember much about the confirmation ceremony itself. I am pretty sure we sang “On Eagle’s Wings.” Don’t judge—it was the ’70s!"

Fascinating that she thinks this. Michael Joncas wrote On Eagles Wings in 1975-1976 for a funeral but it wasn't recorded until 1979. So unless the author was in his immediate circle, then I'd be very surprised if it was sung at her confirmation.

This corresponds with something I've noticed: traditionalists like to berate material as coming "from the 70's" - implicity from a hippy era.  But in my observation there's actually very little material from the 1970s that is still in use today.  My current parish has one item from the 1960's (Peter Kearney's "Fill my House"), lots of things that are older still, but little at all from the 70s when the work of transforming liturgy into the vernacular was carried out in earnest.   Without pulling out a spreadsheet, my sense is that most of the material we use was actually written in the 1980s and 90s.

I wonder what's happening in other places.

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