Issue 127: Angels

We stayed in the Abbey Gatehouse, Tewkesbury, for a few days before Easter. It is a Landmark Trust property, and you can find pictures of it here: I’m giving details, because it was such a lovely place to stay, but I warn you, there are 34 spiral stone steps to clamber up to get to the living room! It has the most beautiful carved stone corbels; four shields, a monk, a nun, and four angels, who watch over you.

Angel from Abbey gatehouse, Tewkesbury

They reminded me of the song, “Evening Prayer” from Englebert Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel”. I can remember us singing this at secondary school, each of us holding the flimsy folded paper sheet music (how many of us could read the music?  Probably half a dozen of us.) I absolutely loved the song at the time, and although I had forgotten the words, the melody has stayed with me forever.

Here are the words, from the Wikipedia article about the Fourteen Holy helpers

When at night I go to sleep, fourteen angels watch do keep,

Two my head are guarding, two my feet are guiding;

Two upon my right hand, two upon my left hand.

Two who warmly cover, two who o’er me hover,

Two to whom ’tis given to guide my steps to heaven.

and here is a lovely version from the Metropolitan opera



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