Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Roy Douglas

Letter No.: 
September 24th 1953.

10, Hanover Terrace, N.W.1.

Dear Roy,

Thank you so much for your letter.  I have altered “the chord that nobody loves” except in one or two places.1 This has meant a good deal of re-writing, since the new chord sometimes involves a new progression. As regards the title, are you afraid people will call it “Howdy”??  But I will think it out, and ask Alan Frank about the selling value of a new title.  Nativity Cantata seems to run into Maunder Simper & Toop2; and the Birth of Christ into Berlioz.  I know the baritone solos are close together, but I do not see how it can be helped.  I tried to put as much variety as I could into the choir boys, though after all it has got to be much the same thing.  I don't think I can put anything “merry and bright” in the middle.  I am, as a matter of fact adding another song for tenor, but this, again, won't be merry and bright.  It is meant primarily for a church but I should like it also to be done in concert rooms. I fear that in spite of you I am going to add another verse to the worse-than-Delius-&-almost-as-bad-as-Barnby choral. I hope that Ursula will do one.
We are beginning to settle down, though most of the things I want are lost.
Thank youso mucg. (Effecet of moving on typist is, alas, only too evident.)3


 1. See VWL2718 for revisions to Hodie.
 2. John Henry Maunder, Caleb Simper and Augustus Toop, Victorian popular composers of church music and other works.
 3. sic. The typist was UVW.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 63547, f. 67
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 619; Douglas, Working with Vaughan Williams, p.61
Original database number: