Wednesday, June 15, 2011

      ( 8:22 AM ) teahouse
You Ask For It, You Got It

As a fairly serious amateur musician, I often get asked to do gigs. I once played in group for the Archbishop. I've played a couple of memorial services. And I've done a bunch of weddings.

Over the weekend, a couple of friends and I had a wedding gig.

It was a beautiful wedding, held outdoors in a botanical garden by a babbling brook.

It was a Jewish wedding. The bride had explicit instructions for us: we were to play Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring specifically for the rabbi's entry into the ceremony.

This initiated a quandary for us, the musicians. We whispered among ourselves - did she know that the song is about, well, JESUS?

The cellist said, "We should ask her if she's sure that's what she wants."

The violinist said, "No, she must know. She asked for it by name. "Jesu" is the first word in the name of the piece. It's awkward if we second guess her. We should just give her what she wants. If the rabbi gives us an odd look, we'll just have to keep playing and hoping he blames us for the musical choice, not her."

So that's what we did. Nobody gave us any odd looks.

Has it just become standard repertoire for weddings? Or maybe it couldn't be heard over the sound of the babbling brook (which, incidentally, babbled very loudly and beautifully).



The customer is always right! Maybe they knew, thought it was awkward and were hoping that you didn't know!

By Anonymous Kabitzin, at 12:08 PM  

She probably just thinks it's a pretty song and it doesn't have any personal meaning to her, not being Christian.

As an agnostic, I would use any non-vocal music I thought fit the mood, even if it were originally written for any particular religion. It's not like she asked that you all wear giant crosses or something while you played. It's just a pretty tune.:-p

By Blogger Some Girl, at 5:55 PM  

I bet you the wedding guests probably didn't even know the title of that song so I wouldn't worry about it. I've played for weddings before also but then again, they're Catholic weddings so I never came across this issue.

By Blogger lissa, at 6:50 PM  

You're trying to tell us Jesu and Jesus are the same guy? Stop pulling my leg! ;)

By Blogger Blonde Justice, at 10:13 PM  

You got me curious as to why she chose it. What do you play?

By Anonymous colleen, at 1:09 PM  

Forget the dilemma about the song the very fact that you can actually put your talent to some good use has got me all impressed and a little envious. I wish that I had this kind of an opportunity.

By Blogger The Weekend Blogger, at 12:08 PM  

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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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