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After darkness, light

After darkness, light. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Written for Seven Words from the Cross (1972), an unpublished cantata by Francis Westbrook*, the text appeared in Partners in Praise (1979), after The Methodist Recorder had printed this Easter hymn, inviting tunes for its unusual metre, 5.5.5.4. Two tunes were selected: it is normally sung to RIDGEWAY, by Brian R. Hoare*. It is a remarkable example of a modern hymn in simple rhythm, with sharp contrasts and oppositions, and economy of language. The paradox of death bringing life in verse 1 is continued in verse 2 with the juxtaposition of the words, ‘tomb’ and ‘love has overcome’, and the paradox in verse 3 of ‘celebrate his death’...

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