The November Song – D Plummer

This article first appeared in the November 2015 issue of our parish magazine.

November is truly a time of remembrance, and a few years ago Rev Debby wrote this song to help us remember all that should be remembered:

  • Remember, remember the first of November,
  • All Saints in heaven with God
  • We read their story, they share God’s glory,
  • They’ll never be forgotten, they’ll never be forgot.

 

  • Remember, remember the second November,
  • The people we loved and we lost,
  • They lived and they died, they’re now at God’s side
  • They’ll never be forgotten, they’ll never be forgot.

 

  • Remember, remember the fifth of November
  • Gun powder treason and plot
  • I know of no reason why gun powder treason
  • Should ever be forgotten, should ever be forgot.

 

  • Remember, remember eleven November
  • The terrible wars that were fought,
  • The millions who died, the tears that were cried
  • They’ll never be forgotten, they’ll never be forgot.

 

  • Remember, remember the whole of November
  • The month to remember the lot,
  • The saints and the sinners, and all in-betweeners
  • We’ll never be forgotten, we’ll never be forgot.

I like that we are all included in the last verse. We all have a mark to make, and it is up to us whether we are remembered as saints or sinners.

Remembrance Sunday is marked simply, quietly and prayerfully in Sunday School. Appropriate songs are sung, candles may be lit, prayers said and the silence is kept. You may remember that last year large paper poppies were made and ‘planted’ outside our church, in a very moving commemoration that was understood by all of the children present.

Until a few years ago, “Remembrance” was all about Remembrance Sunday, and I recall getting odd looks for wearing my poppy after Remembrance Sunday if it happened to fall before 11 November. The importance of Remembrance Day seems to have been reinstated of late, and I for one am glad about that. At 11am on Wednesday 11 November all Bury Council offices will fall silent for two minutes of remembrance, the beginning and end marked by sounding the fire alarms. If I happen to be visiting a primary school on that morning then I know there will be a special assembly, with a period of remembrance at 11am. Some of our high schools mark the end of the two minute silence by positioning trumpet players around the school ready to sound the Last Post at 11.02am.

I first learned the words of verse 4 of Laurence Binyon‘s “For the Fallen” as a Brownie and then Guide at Remembrance Sunday parades and services in my home town of Portishead, and they still haunt me:

  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
  • Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
  • At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
  • We will remember them.

Later, as a Ranger Guide I had the honour of carrying the standard at the head of the Remembrance Day parade through the streets of Portishead. I believe there are few sights as desperately moving as the fall of poppy petals at the end of the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

 

Carol P


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