This hymn has genuinely surprised me.
First, let’s talk tune: it’s set to an Hasidic melody that holds in its phrases a secret and unspoken longing – certainly an intriguing choice for a hymn called “When the Daffodils Arrive.”
I will also say that at first, I plunked it out fairly slowly – but then I took it at tempo, and learned its other secret: it is a dance.
When the daffodils arrive in the Easter of the year,
and the spirit starts to thrive, let the heart beat free and clear.
When the pussy willows bloom in the springing of the year,
let the heart find loving room, spread their welcome far and near.
When the sweet rain showers come, in the greening of the year,
birds will sing and bees will hum. Alleluia time is here.
Now there is something to make you go “hrm” here – it’s an Hasidic tune, talking about Easter. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that… it’s another juxtaposition that makes you wonder what the hymnal commission was thinking. But, here it is, Easter in an Hasidic tune.
And yet I love the lyrics. And I love the tune. I’m just not quite sure I would use this because of the jarring collision. But I’m not sure I wouldn’t either… the jury’s still out.