Maria Parkinson?

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justMary
Posts: 75
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Parish / Diocese: Republic of Ireland

Maria Parkinson?

Post by justMary » Mon May 08, 2017 5:35 pm

A long shot but:

Does anyone know any more about Maria Parkinson of "As I Kneel Before You" fame? She appears to have been a one-hit-wonder, and all that I can locate on-line is that the song was published by Kevin Mayhew, and she was born in 1956. However the song appears to have done remarkable mileage.

Any clues about where she was from, what her background was, or where she ended up?

Southern Comfort
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue May 09, 2017 1:55 pm

Maria Parkinson was one of a group of giggling teenage convent schoolgirls who took part in a school liturgy day at the St Thomas More Centre in Manor House in the mid 1970s. This particular group were given the task of writing a hymn or song, and "As I kneel before you" is what they came up with in the course of an afternoon. The song was sung in a prayer service at the end of the day, and subsequently found its way into the first volume of Songs of the Spirit (Mayhew), published in 1978.

At the time, the wording of the refrain received some suggestions for easing the hacking around of the Latin, but the group seems to have taken no notice. I would say that the birth date of 1956 is not correct. These girls were 15-16 in the mid-1970s, giving a birth date of around 1960-61.

High Peak
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by High Peak » Tue May 09, 2017 4:29 pm

I know Maria. She lives about seven miles away from me. She is married and no longer goes by "Parkinson".

Not a "one-hit-wonder"; she also composed "Come, let us go up to the Lord, to the temple of our God" which I use for the Entrance Hymn every 1st Sunday of Advent, Year A.

Hare
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by Hare » Wed May 10, 2017 6:19 am

I just wish that people would get the 2nd note of the 2nd phrase of the verses right!!!!!

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Gwyn
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by Gwyn » Wed May 10, 2017 7:45 pm

I just wish that people would get the 2nd note of the 2nd phrase of the verses right!!!!!
Wouldn't that be great? :lol:

alan29
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by alan29 » Wed May 10, 2017 8:14 pm

Sometimes tunes settle to a more natural version.
I was very surprised to see scotch snaps in Take our Bread in Laudate. I have never heard them sung. And who else keeps a regular 4/4 going between the chorus and the verses.

High Peak
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by High Peak » Wed May 10, 2017 9:19 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 1:55 pm
Maria Parkinson was one of a group of giggling teenage convent schoolgirls who took part in a school liturgy day at the St Thomas More Centre in Manor House in the mid 1970s. This particular group were given the task of writing a hymn or song, and "As I kneel before you" is what they came up with in the course of an afternoon. The song was sung in a prayer service at the end of the day, and subsequently found its way into the first volume of Songs of the Spirit (Mayhew), published in 1978.

At the time, the wording of the refrain received some suggestions for easing the hacking around of the Latin, but the group seems to have taken no notice. I would say that the birth date of 1956 is not correct. These girls were 15-16 in the mid-1970s, giving a birth date of around 1960-61.
I have been in contact with Maria. She doesn't recognise any of this information - I'm afraid that you have got the wrong person, SC.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by Southern Comfort » Fri May 12, 2017 8:31 am

High Peak wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 9:19 pm
Southern Comfort wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 1:55 pm
Maria Parkinson was one of a group of giggling teenage convent schoolgirls who took part in a school liturgy day at the St Thomas More Centre in Manor House in the mid 1970s. This particular group were given the task of writing a hymn or song, and "As I kneel before you" is what they came up with in the course of an afternoon. The song was sung in a prayer service at the end of the day, and subsequently found its way into the first volume of Songs of the Spirit (Mayhew), published in 1978.

At the time, the wording of the refrain received some suggestions for easing the hacking around of the Latin, but the group seems to have taken no notice. I would say that the birth date of 1956 is not correct. These girls were 15-16 in the mid-1970s, giving a birth date of around 1960-61.
I have been in contact with Maria. She doesn't recognise any of this information - I'm afraid that you have got the wrong person, SC.
How very interesting.

I will vouch for the information given, as I was present when it happened.

Could the Maria Parkinson you know have borrowed the setting from elsewhere (e.g. have heard it somewhere and written it down or have heard it and subconsciously remembered it later on without realising that it was someone else's) ? Many composers will testify that they have "composed" phrases or even entire pieces that they subsequently realised/discovered were simply bringing to the surface what was in their unconscious memory.

Or could that convent schoolgirl have heard it, and something similar happened? (Did your Maria Parkinson ever perform the piece in the North London area?)

The latter seems a less likely possibility, as the piece exhibits a number of "primitive" characteristics which would fit with having been composed by a schoolgirl.

justMary
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:53 pm
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Re: Maria Parkinson?

Post by justMary » Sat May 20, 2017 6:46 pm

Fascinating, thank you. I guess it's safe to say "English Roman Catholic lay woman" to describe her?

I wonder which of them is receiving the royalties from Kevin Mayhew Ltd.

Probably its genius is that it's not specific to any Marian feast, and so appropriate for all of them: It's very widely used in English-speaking countries. And has been translated into a number of languages (I heard it last week live in Polish, and have seen a video in Spanish and scores in Portuguese and what I think is Latvian). If even only a few of these are officially licencsed there will be some cash involved.

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