September 8th is the day the church commemorates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This well-loved hymn was composed by Cyril Taylor (1907-1991), with the emotional words written by George B. Timms.
Son of an Anglican priest, Taylor attended Christ Church, Oxford. He became precentor of Bristol Cathedral, and later Salisbury Cathedral (1969-75). During World War II, he was the British Broadcasting Corporation’s producer of Religious Broadcasting and, while stationed in Abbot’s Leigh, he wrote the famous tune of same name. In 1953, when the Royal School of Church Music moved from Canterbury to Addington Place, he became its first Warden.
George B. Timms was born on 4 October 1910 and educated at Derby School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford an was ordained in 1936. He was the Oxford Diocesan Inspector of Schools from 1944 to 1949. He was Sacrist of Southwark Cathedral from 1949 to 1952 then Vicar of St Mary, Primrose Hill until 1965. After this he was Rural Dean of Hampstead and then Vicar of St Andrew, Holborn before his Archdeacon’s appointment. A noted author, he died on 15 November 1997.
I know that you've heard a LOT about Ron Perrin, but when I started my time with him, it was September, and since Ripon was a high church cathedral, all Marian feasts were observed. Ron said to me, "Why don't you play for the Eucharist? It will just be the lay clerks (men), and you'll be on your own!"
I was honored...
This was one of the hymns, and I did my little "special treatment" of verse 2, with the Solo Tuba being played in 2 parts, with a little "countermelody," based on the alto part of the hymn.
Dean LeGrice "reported" to Ronnie that I had made the 2nd verse sound like a "Salvation Army Band," and brought shame upon myself...
This was the first time that I was "disciplined" and I promised that I would NEVER do anything so "tasteless" again...
A photo Cyril Taylor is attached, as is a photo of his memorial in Salisbury Cathedral.