1st July 1916, and the Organist has just died

I am sitting in the churchyard of St Mary and St Eanswythe in Folkestone. The church is all locked up as is normal during the week, no one is about. It is going to be another beautiful day here in Folkestone on the south coast of England.

No one is in the church yet I can hear the organ play. The music is “I vow to thee my country”(1) and I listen to the words of the long-gone choir.

“I heard my country calling, away across the sea, Across the waste of waters, she calls and calls to me. Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,  And around her feet are lying the dying and the dead;  I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns;  I haste to thee, my mother, a son among thy sons.”

Suddenly the music stops. The sunshine, the blue sky, the flowers and the light has vanished. The birds had ceased to sing. There is nothing, not even darkness. Absolute silence, Just a void.

Exactly 99 years ago the organist of St Mary and St Eanswythe just died. His music stopped. The music in many of those around him ended. Back here the music in those that knew the organist ceased to play.

There was silence in the land. Slowly as the organists soul returned to those he loved and who loved him the music returned. New tunes were added. People harmonised with others as others harmonised with them. Other music was played, there was more songs.

Then we came along, in our youth we played the songs of peace, we loved and danced, and looked forward to new happier songs. As we got older we started to look back to the old songs and our children forward to their new music.

In time the organist will be forgotten. His music is over. In time our children’s children will play happier music in a better world.(1)

Re written and set to music after the Great War

Author: Peter Anderson (WW1 Blog