Saturday 10th November ~ Pack Up Your Troubles~ Peldon & the Wigboroughs Hall, CO5 7PT

Home > News & Events > Saturday 10th November ~ Pack Up Your Troubles~ Peldon & the Wigboroughs Hall, CO5 7PT

Saturday 10th November ~ Pack Up Your Troubles ~ 7.30pm ~ Peldon and the Wigboroughs Community Hall, CO5 7PT

On November 10th Colchester’s world music community choir, Quire, presented Pack Up Your Troubles, a concert commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One and featuring music and verse from Britain, France, Holland, Ireland, Germany and Russia that reflects the triumph of the human spirit. Over 90 people joined Quire in the Peldon & the Wigboroughs Community Hall.

The 40 strong group from in and around the Colchester area sung familiar songs such as Stille Nacht (Silent Night) and Red Flag – originally sung to the tune of the German carol O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree). Only Remembered, that featured recently in the production War Horse, was written in the 1890’s and is widely used in remembrance to those who fell in the Great War. Providing a contrast there was a selection of songs sung in the Music Halls of the era. Audience participation was encouraged with an opportunity to sing along with It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning and Pack Up Your Troubles.

As we reflect on the end of “The war to end all wars” as the Great War was often described, the programme went beyond World War One to include a selection of songs from more recent wars and conflicts reflecting the ‘international’ nature of Quire’s repertoire. March of the Beloved recalls the struggle of South Koreans for democracy and human rights and the Kwangju massacre of May 1980.

The programme was put together by Quire’s Musical Director Bill Tamblyn:

“My father fought in WW1. He returned wounded and traumatised. But he also returned a very different man from the farm labourer who left Devon in 1914. He had a trade – a carpenter, and he had tremendous resilience, borne of his experience, and of course, he had a fund of stories.

It is the inspiration this man gave me, and the imagination of his stories that led me to create this programme, as a tribute to men and women like him to gave so much for their country at that time.

Interestingly, my dad had learned some French and some German during those years. He made friends with the Irish who fought along side him. So we have some songs from both WW1 and WW2 that reflect the ‘international’ nature of songs that are sung during conflict.

What I have discovered though, is that many civilian songs were half remembered and so new words were added which spoke direct to the singers. Chanson de Craonne was a love song, Red Flag was about a Christmas Tree, Stille nacht was well known as a Christmas hymn as was, in the UK at least, Only Remembered – by the American evangelical writers Sankey and Moody.”