Friday, April 4, 2014

War Horse .. Reprise

 From Mary Johnson

Image from National Theatre Website
I took my kids to see the National Theatre's HD Live production of War Horse.

All three of my kids.

Cathy told me she was taking her kids.

That clued me in to the fact that the broadcast was happening. And I remembered Arta telling me how much she loved the production.

The puppetry was spectacular to watch.

I had more than a few tear during the music moments. Those war time songs always get me where it hurts for some reason. While I want my kids to live in the present, I hope that in their life they will have a real appreciation of the world wars and what terrible times those were. We have our modern wars too, which are equally awful, but affect less of us personally than the world wars did.

During War Horse, I also  hearing the British folk tune that “If you could hie to Kolob” is based on.  Vaugh Williams took it and wrote some beautiful music based on the tune. We have an amazing organist in our ward and one Sunday this year we sang if you could hie to Kolob and afterward Xavier learned over to me and said, “that is a really cool song.” He is learning it with his piano teacher now.

John Tams wrote the lyrics for the melody as it is used in the play. Click here if you have a few minutes to listen to the ballad.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Cruel winter cuts through like the reaper,
The old year lies withered and slain.
Like Barleycorn who rose from the grave
The new year will rise up again.

Chorus (after each verse):
And the snow falls
And the wind calls
And the year turns round again

And I'll wager a hand full of guineas
Against all of the songs you can sing:
Some day you'll love and the next day you'll lose,
And winter will turn into spring.

There will come a time of great plenty,
A time of good harvest and song.
Till then put your trust in tomorrow, my friend,
For yesterday's over and done.

Here are some other possible dates for encores of National Theatre's HD production of War Horse.  The times my be different in  your city.  Please check.

Saturday April 19/14 at 12:30 pm

Monday May 5/14 at 6:30pm

Sunday May 11/14 at 12:55pm

1 comment:

  1. Mary?

    After I posted this for you I got interest in the phrase of the song "and like barley corn that rose from the grave ...". So I did a search and found this on

    "The references to barley [in songs] derives from the fact that in the 1798 Rebellion, Irish rebels often carried barley or oats in their pockets as provisions for when on the march. This gave rise to the post-rebellion phenomenon of barley growing and marking the "croppy-holes," mass unmarked graves into which slain rebels were thrown, symbolizing the regenerative nature of Irish resistance to British rule. As the barley will grow every year in the Spring time of the year this is said to symbolize Irish resistance to British oppression and that Ireland will never yield and will always oppose British rule on the island.[2]