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Drop, Drop Slow Tears

Continuing with the Lenten season, today’s featured piece is an arrangement of the 17th century hymn “Drop, Drop Slow Tears.” Orlando Gibbons composed the music in 1623 and ten years later Phineas Fletcher set the words below; Luke 7: 38 – As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

It is recomposed here by Michael Linton as communion music for trombone and organ and recorded live in 1987 with Janet Linton and the Slide Chamber Players performing. Many of the slides of the chapel of Kings College are used by kind permission of the photographer, Br. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Drop, drop, slow tears,
And bathe those beauteous feet,
Which brought from Heav’n
The news and Prince of Peace.

Cease not, wet tears,
His mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance:
Sin doth never cease.

In your deep floods
Drown all my faults and fears;
Nor let His eye see
Sin, but through my tears.


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