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What would Mr Wesley think?

The crematorium where I was this morning, like so many others nowadays is phasing out real live organists (though we had one) in favour of automated computer systems, notably one called Wesley (after John or Charles maybe?).  The advantage is that rather than home-burned CDs that fail to play, scratched ones that skip or tapes that get chewed the music can be downloaded and plays clearly.  What happens when the computer goes on the blink is another matter altogether - but we nearly found out this morning.  For some reason, this particular place expects the Funeral Directors to control the music via a touch-screen at the back of the chapel (which for us meant him having to move some of the people to get to it) rather than their staff doing it behind mirrored glass.  For some reason he had to press the start button four times before the music began and was starting to look rather worried by the time the strains of 'soul limbo' began to fill the air.

The upside was that as the music started a murmour of gentle laughter rippled through the chapel and people began to smile again.  It was hard to walk slowly and in a dignified manner to such bouncy music but as I exited the chilly chapel into the warm spring sunshine it felt like a "good job jobbed" - even drawing praise from a fiery West Indian lay preacher!

What Mr Wesley might make of his name being used for the infernal machine I have no idea, but suspect he'd have liked the tune as he is one of the many allegedly to have denied Satan royalities on good tunes.


  • I met the organist from our local crem at the hospital this morning - both waiting to see the same consultant. No need to ask each other what we were there for, which certainly saved embarrassment.

    "See you soon", she said, as I left with my notes.

    On this particular occasion I couldn't think of a suitable reply.

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