Choir Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 70 quotes )
What passing bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifle's rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers, nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells, And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes, Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall, Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each, slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.
The entire range of human experience is present in a church choir, including, but not restricted to jealousy, revenge, horror, pride, incompetence (the tenors have never been on the right note in the entire history of church choirs, and the basses have never been on the right page), wrath, lust and existential despair.
He would have admired one of those fantastic visions, those magic apparitions one sometimes sees in the great theaters of Europe, in which the deafening melodies of an orchestra are made to appear among a deluge of light, a torrent of oriental diamonds and gold surrounded by a diaphanous mist, from which a deity, a sylph comes forward, her feet barely touching the floor encircled and accompanied by a luminous cloud. In her wake flowers shoot forth, a dance bursts out, harmonies awaken, and choirs of devils, nymphs, satyrs, spirits, country maidens, angels, and shepherds dance, shake tambourines gesticulate wildly, and lay tribute at the goddess’s feet.
Then, as if getting blown up is not enough to worry about, after I take a seat on the steps, I get a look at the choir. Thirty singers and from where I’m sitting, it looks like only two of them are black. It’s not like I’m saying suburban white people shouldn’t sing. Because I love Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.
New eyes awaken. I send Love's name into the world with wings. And songs grow up around me like a jungle. Choirs of all creatures sing the tunes. Your Spirit played in Eden. Zebras and antelopes and birds of paradise. Shine on the face of the abyss. And I am drunk with the great wilderness. Of the sixth day in Genesis. But sound is never half so fair. As when that music turns to air. And the universe dies of excellence. Sun, moon and stars. Fall from their heavenly towers. Joys walk no longer down the blue world's shore. Though fires loiter, lights still fly on the air of the gulf, All fear another wind, another thunder: Then one more voice. Snuffs all their flares in one gust. And I go forth with no more wine and no more stars. And no more buds and no more Eden. And no more animals and no more sea: While God sings by himself in acres of night. And walls fall down, that guarded Paradise.
Singing is my pleasure, but not in church, for the parson said the gargoyles must remain on the outside, not seek room in the choir stalls. So I sing inside the mountain of my flesh, and my voice is as slender as a reed and my voice has no lard in it. When I sing the dogs sit quiet and people who pass in the night stop their jabbering and discontent and think of other times, when they were happy. And I sing of other times, when I was happy, though I know that these are figments of my mind and nowhere I have been. But does it matter if the place cannot be mapped as long as I can still describe it?
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.
I knew the earth was rotating, and I with it, and Saint-Martin-des-Champs and all Paris with me, and that together we were rotating beneath the Pendulum, whose own plane never changed direction, because up there, along the infinite extrapolation of its wire beyond the choir ceiling, up toward the most distant galaxies, lay the Only Fixed Point in the universe, eternally unmoving.
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashipn the theme of Iluvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void.
Cruelty is a mystery, and the waste of pain. But if we describe a world to compass these things, a world that is a long, brute game, then we bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and light…unless all ages and races of men have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, a grace wholly gratuitous…we don’t know what’s going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite? We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
Misner walked away from the pulpit, to the rear wall of the church. There he stretched, reaching up until he was able to unhook the cross that hung there. He carried it then, past the empty choir stall, past the organ where Kate sat, the chair where Pulliam was, on to the podium and held it before him for all to see - if only they would. . . . Without this sign, the believer's life was confined to praising God and taking the hits. The praise was credit; the hits were interest due on a debt that could never be paid. . . . But with it, in the religion in which this sign was paramount and foundational, well, life was a whole other matter.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold. When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang. Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day. As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire. That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire. Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
In the afternoon the ship's company assembled aft, on deck, under the awnings; the flute, the asthmatic meodeon, and the consumptive clarinet crippled the Star Spangled Banner, the choir chased it to cover, and George came in with a peculiarly lacerating screech on the final note and slaughtered it. Nobody mourned. We carried out the corpse on three cheers (that joke was not intentional and I do not endorse it).
Rigel, Betelgeuse, and Orion. There was no finer church, no finer choir, than the stars speaking in silence to the many consumptives silently condemned, a legion upon the dark rooftops. The wind came down from the north like a runner in lacrosse, violent and hard, to batter every living thing. They were there, each one alone in conversation with the stars, mining ephemeral love from cold and distant light.
The monkish vows keep us far from that sink of vice that is the female body, but often they bring us close to other errors. Can I finally hide from myself the fact that even today my old age is still stirred by the noonday demon when my eyes, in choir, happen to linger on the beardless face of a novice, pure and fresh as a maiden's?
Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.