This song is justly famous in our choir as The Warrior Horse Song. You’ll see why shortly….
We’ve never really got it past rehearsal, largely because the the alto line is so low as to be just about unsingable by a female alto voice (and our choir is not strong on male altos…). It’s actually deeply, deeply inappropriate for Cup Day, since all the horses throw their riders, and then everyone drowns. While there is currently a thunderstorm brewing overhead, I trust that God will choose not to express his displeasure with horse-racing in quite this manner…
It’s rather a fun piece of music though, and listening to it very quietly at work in between organising cup sweeps, one really notices the general shape of the music, which does seem to rise and swell like a great wave. And we do like our warrior horses (the warrior horse, behold!).
Nothing else germane to add to this, I’m afraid, except to note that this piece was written by Thomas Linley Junior. His father apparently took one look at those lyrics (by Rev John Hoadly) and didn’t want a bar of them. So to speak… And who is to say he was wrong?