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God Only Knows How We’ll ‘Do’ it!


It was good to see Elliot back to take charge for the next two weeks. 

Eamonn has set him a real challenge to teach us the intricacies of God Only Knows and Unchained Melody.


However, we began with the simpler You’ve Got a Friend that we started last week. This wasn’t in bad shape and learned all the notes through to the end and then put in some dynamics to make it sound more interesting.  The contrast between the very soft and loud in the right places will make all the difference.


God Only Knows followed.  It is a song by American rock band the Beach Boys from their 1966 album Pet Sounds. Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, it is a baroque-style love song distinguished for its harmonic innovation and complexity, its unusual instrumentation, and its subversion of typical popular music conventions, both lyrically and musically. It is often praised as one of the greatest songs of all time and as the Beach Boys' finest record.

Lyrically, the words are expressed from the perspective of a narrator who asserts that life without their lover could only be fathomed by God—an entity that had been considered taboo to name in the title or lyric of a pop song.

At 12:30 on 10 March 1966 God Only Knows began recording. It took 22 takes until the recording was finished at 04:30 the following morning.


I think it will take more than that for us to get this complex song perfected!


The first part was fairly simple with the Sops and Basses starting the verses, followed by the Altos and Tenors.


Then we hit the brick wall – Ooh, Ohhs, Do do, dos and Ba ba bas. 


All sung at different times weaving in and out of each other.


Definitely homework for this one!


Listen to your particular part in Dropbox and learn it. 

Once you know your notes (in the right order), try singing them against another voice part or the full version to put them into context.


The ending won’t seem quite so confusing as at least there are words to sing!

Think of the round we sang in a warm up the other week (Hey ho nobody’s home…’) and it is similar.  Each voice part has their own words with the Basses starting us off, followed by the Tenors, then the Altos and finally the Sops.  Just keep repeating your phrase until you are instructed to stop!


A well earned break and back to Unchained Melody. In 1954, Alex North was contracted to compose the score for the prison film Unchained (released in 1955). North had a melody he had written in the 1930s and composed and recorded the score when he was asked to write a song based upon the movie's theme. North asked Hy Zaret to write the lyrics.

And then the Righteous Brothers recording came along and achieved a second round of great popularity when featured in the film Ghost in 1990 and it still brings a tear.

It has since become a classic and one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.

The Sops start us off and it is important for everyone to keep the vowels long and no sliding!

We went through it all until the big key change. 


A little more homework – check out your first note after this key change!


We’ll be going through it again next week, as well looking at The Rose (remember to print out the new 2024 version) and revisiting The House of the Rising Sun.


God Only Knows what will happen when we do that again next week!

Trillers on the Perch

DIVA, showing until April 10th 2024

Hello fellow Trillers! I’m not sure if I have spoken to everyone yet, my name is Ellie, and I joined the Sop 1s in September 2023

To summarise the exhibition and with a description taken from the V&A’s website, “DIVA celebrates the power and creativity of iconic performers, exploring and redefining the role of 'diva' and how this has been subverted or embraced over time across opera, stage, popular music, and film”. 


This immersive exhibition was a joy to both my eyes and my ears. You are given a headset upon arrival that can determine which display you are looking at and plays the relevant soundtrack. I can only imagine the technology involved in this, far from a gimmick, it made the exhibition unforgettable. 


I left feeling empowered, inspired and dare I say in touch with my inner diva...? Look out for some extra sparkle in my summer concert attire (sorry in advance Jan).


Singing in a Choir is fun.

There are so many benefits to being in a choir, but they all are possible because it’s fun. A sense of humour, maybe this is the most important aspect of all. Keep smiling  when the person next to you keeps singing the wrong note, loudly. Smile, when Eamonn points out that someone (usually me, ) for the umpteenth time is singing the tune when they should be singing the harmonies. We are a community of people who are making new friends, singing and having fun, together. We return every week to rehearse and enjoy everything else that singing with In Flagrante brings. Carol and Pauline

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