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Too early for the blackbird

Too early for the blackbird. Caryl Micklem* (1925-2003). Written sometime before 1991 for RS, to provide a hymn for Eastertide suitable for all-age worship. It tells the story with an attractive simplicity in the verses, counterpointed by a fine complexity in the refrain: Chase, chase your gloom and grief away  and welcome hope instead,for Jesus Christ is ris’n today  and death itself is dead. The Companion to RS (1999), p. 320, notes debts in the refrain to Philip Doddridge*, ‘Ye humble souls that seek the Lord,/ Chase all your fears away’, and to a couplet by Richard Crashaw*, ‘When on the crosse my king did bleed/Life seem’d to die, DEATH dy’d indeed’ (the ‘Antiphona’ from the Ninth...

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