South West of England

Parish Church of St. Barry the Lesser

So moving... as the first notes rise up to fill its vaults, the little village chapel seems to come back to life. For months nobody has admired the brightly coloured stained glass windows, no one has paused in front of the centuries-old memorials, testimonies of past lives. Now this cherished place of worship is ablaze with the fervour of thirty eager voices, in this first socially-distanced choir practice.


Silence falls over the astonished choir, while sixty embarassed eyes are pointed to the red face of a livid choirmaster.

-That was disgraceful! This must be the lowest point in the history of this church! What's going on here? Tenors: you are supposed to sing in unison! Altos: can we please agree on a key? Boys: would you mind putting down your mobiles during choir practice? Graham: I said page 114, what in goodness' name were you singing?

Nobody dares to argue. It was indeed a terrible performance, and the choirmaster is not known for his patience.

-I've had enough for tonight. I'll see you on Friday, and I hope by then you will have turned into a real choir - he shouts as he gathers his things and storms out of the church in front of thirty frightened choristers.

It takes a few minutes before someone breaks the silence.

-You upset the choirmaster. You should all be ashamed. - accuses Mrs. Oldman, without taking her eyes off the scarf she has been knitting throughout the rehearsal.

-I'll admit that we're all a bit rusty. It's been months since the last time we practised. - replies her husband Graham.

-I think we should continue the practice - suggests one of the boys, picking up a printed sheet from the choirmaster's music stand - look, the choirmaster has left the list of hymns he wanted to rehearse.

As he reads the list aloud, the choristers look at each other, confused:

  1. Approximately 7.8 billion

  2. Join us, Herr Kant

  3. I want thee to have the U.S. flag

  4. Seren

  5. The lump sum I received for Great Uncle's death was a Godsend

  6. Way before Gallagher

  7. Ageing, rough and annoyed

-Poor dear Mr. Poppins - says Mrs. Oldman - He's never been the full shilling, bless him. The lockdown must have driven him completely mad


4 Answers 4


We have to

find the hymns, I suppose.

1   Approximately 7.8 billion

All People that on Earth Do Dwell

2   Join us, Herr Kant

O Come, O Come (E)Immanuel

3   I want thee to have the U.S. flag

Thine Be The Glory

4   Seren (wrong)

Morning has Broken

5   The lump sum I received for Great Uncle's death was a Godsend (wrong)

Sweet Will of God

6   Way before Gallagher

The First Noel

7   Ageing, rough and annoyed

The Old Rugged Cross (thanks to @RobPratt)

  • $\begingroup$ 1, 2, 6 and 7 correct, 3 again almost there $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Update for 3, 4, and 5 @BarryPoppins $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ 3 is still not the intended answer, but it fits quite well. 4 is not it... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ Is 5 correct, @BarryPoppins? $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ And update for 3, @BarryPoppins $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:33

2. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

3. Thine is the [Old] Glory

5. The Lord is My Inheritance

6. Something about a hammer? Oops, wrong Gallagher! :)

7. The Old Rugged Cross

  • $\begingroup$ 2 and 7 are correct, 3 is nearly there! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryPoppins, I updated 3. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ You got it, though the title is slightly incorrect $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryPoppins incorrect because of [Old]? $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ No, rot13(vg fubhyq abg or "Guvar vf gur tybel, ohg..."") $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 20:01

Adding on to El_Guest


O Holy Night (Seren means star)


Jesus Paid it All

  • $\begingroup$ Good tries, but not the intended answers $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 19:14

Could 5 be

Faith will bring the blessing

and 4:


  • $\begingroup$ good try! not the answer I was looking for, unfortunately $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 17:54

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