19 August 2009

Liturgical Weirdness from Before the Council

My university library happens to have a copy of the St. Gregory Society's 1954 White List of approved liturgical music--it also contains a short black list. While mostly it's all the stuff you'd expect, including things I (and the present pontiff) would disagree with (they exclude everything by Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and Weber!), there was one particular paragraph in the black list that amused and horrified me:

"The attempt of certain publishers to 'hoodwink' a gullible public by using in an indiscriminate manner the caption 'In accordance with the Motu Proprio'* deserves the condemnation of every friend of liturgical art. A flagrant example of this attempt to pull wool over the eyes of the innocent is found in the publication of the popular song 'Silver Threads Among the Gold' as an 'Ave Maris Stella' under the caption 'In accordance with the Motu Proprio.'"

Seriously? "Silver Threads Among the Gold?" I can't even imagine how that would work as an "Ave Maris Stella." Do the syllables really line up? If anyone has access to this side-show curiosity of liturgical music, please will you scan it and send it to me?

For those of you who don't know the popular song:

*The Motu Proprio mentioned is, of course, that of Pius X, which in the 1950s was still THE Motu Proprio when it came to sacred music.

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