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What has made you laugh while playing the organ?


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#1 rainworthgord

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 21:55

One of the most amusing incidents to happen to me was when I was on crematorium duty, and playing for the funeral of an avid listener to the local BBC Radio station. The deceased lady's family therefore decided that it would be rather nice if she could be carried into the chapel to whatever was being played on the station at the time.

Unfortunately they failed to realise that if you are going to do that you don't time the service for the top of the hour, so she was carried in to the strains of the one o'clock news. Thankfully the family did see the funny side.

What humorous incidents have happened to anyone else?
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#2 fsharpminor

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 08:17

Well one wedding I was playing for was a few days before Christmas, and the bride was very , very late.  I must have been playing stuff for nearly half an hour, when I decided to play some christmas carols, disguised a bit as I improvised.   Then I realised one of them was 'Why are we waiting? (Adeste Fideles), and  burst out laughing to myself. I switched to something else.   She did arrive soon after !   I didnt get an adverse comments afterwards, though it was pointed out to me after a funeral (at which I had played 'Sheep May Safely Graze), that the man in the box had been a butcher.


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#3 Latin pianist

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 08:27

I often play Swing low sweet chariot as a voluntary and by coincidence played this when England had just won at rugby. The preacher commented on this, but actually I had no idea it was anything to do with rugby.
I played the Howard Goodall Vicar of Dibley Lord is my Shepherd before a service, then wondered if the lady vicar would be offended!
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#4 mrbouffant

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 09:45

Mostly my attempts to play the pedal scales at the start of BWV532...


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#5 mel2

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 10:37

I've had all night and a morning to think about it, but I really can't remember anything funny!
My organ-playing career has been seriously devoid of laughs although there have been rewarding moments. I even missed the wedding when a guest's ex wife went on the rampage and threw porridge all over his suit as the guests were starting to leave. He bolted into the loo, I'm told.
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#6 fsharpminor

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 10:54

Mostly my attempts to play the pedal scales at the start of BWV532...

:rofl: Three  one octave D Major scales with downward broken chords in between.  Yes , I find them very easy to foul up too.  Its easier to play the fugue, as the pedal passagework seems to fall under the feet quite well.


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#7 Blackett and Howden

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 11:06

We nearly had a fight at a recent funeral although I was completely unaware of it until afterwards. Apparently the deceased's daughter-in-law was persona non grata to the rest of the family and there were scenes when she turned up.
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#8 rainworthgord

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:22

Another crematorium story, although there are two chapels at the crem where I play and this happened in the other one. For some reason the tailgate of the hearse jammed and wouldn't open, and the funeral director had to smash the rear window to get the coffin out.

Away from the crem, and many years ago, a local Methodist church experimented with a suggestion box until someone, apparently a youth club member, wrote 'This church needs a new Bell'. The capital B was significant, Bell being the organist's surname.
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#9 sbhoa

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 10:04

There was a close call on the Sunday following the 9/11 twin tower attack.

Luckily I noticed in time to warn the minister that All my hope on God is founded may not be a good choice of hymn.

Half the congregation would have been horrified and the other half smothering giggles.


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#10 Latin pianist

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 10:58

I would have thought that was a very appropriate hymn for that day.
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#11 Blackett and Howden

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 11:22

I would have thought that was a very appropriate hymn for that day.


Me too. I know which line you are thinking of, and to my mind the hymn sums up the only appropriate response to such tragedies.
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#12 grand choeur

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 14:29

The reaction of people to the opening pedal (Trombone) notes of Rawsthorne: Hornpipe Humoresque


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#13 passacaglia2

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 18:00

Not mine, but a friend of mine from Suffolk quite a few years ago was playing for a funeral on an old fashioned valve electronic when, just before the final hymn, the organ picked up the control tower of a nearby American airbase on the antiquated circuitry and was regaled with; "we got another one lined up here all ready for take off, just waiting for the all clear......."  It made me chuckle. 


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#14 rainworthgord

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 06:00

I had another smile at the crematorium this week, when one of the 'hymns' I was asked to play was 'It's a long way to Tipperary'. No problem, I thought, until the orders of service turned up with three verses which I had never seen or heard before plus the well-known refrain. The girls in the general office managed to print a copy with the verses off the internet, but would the mourners know it?

Apparently not. The minister met the family on arrival and after some discussion they decided they would sing the refrain twice, which they did well, either side of just the first verse, which no-one knew or attempted to sing, listening instead to me playing it on the organ.
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#15 Latin pianist

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:11

Maybe a bit in bad taste, but my father found it amusing when he went to a crematorium service and they had the hymn Colours of day with the chorus So light up the fire and let the flames flow!
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