Following the theme of my last post ... music plays such a huge part in the things that matter to me. I'm just doing some typing for Mr B (faster fingers on this keyboard, if not any other!) so that we have enough copies of a new hymn for a music workshop later today. (And yes: we have a licence for this). And it strikes me forcibly what poor verse even some of our most glorious hymns have for their text: poetic diction, primarily, a form found only in hymns nowadays, and in the pastiche poetry of students, and tired metaphors and similes, and the predictable use of the word to fit the rhyme. So why say the hymns are 'glorious'? Must be the music.
Stripped of the vehicle of music, the words are often banal and awkward. It's the same with popular music - I think I first realised this when the Romeo, a teen comic of my youth, printed the words of the current hits on the back page of every issue so's you could sing along. I was struck then by two things: the fact that they were often wildly different from what I thought I had heard (diction not being Tommy Steele's top priority) and the fact that they were, in the cold clarity of text, rubbish.
Better just stick to singing in Latin, huh?