Thursday's Child: Wedding Music in Helsinki

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sometimes we might be unaware of another nation’s musical preferences.  This may be the only way of explaining what happened when we visited the Rock Church in Helsinki, Finland.

The Rock Church (also known as Temppeliaukio Kirkko) is truly a one-of-a-kind building.  Most of the church is below the surface of the ground; upon approaching, all you can see is the copper roof, a bit of granite wall and a concrete entrance. This area originally consisted of a bed of pure granite, and the church was built by quarrying into that granite.  In other words, the congregation worships in the space that remained after excavation, and the walls are the original rock.  The church is lit by a skylight that runs the perimeter of the building between the ceiling and the walls, and which contains 180 panes of glass.

Because of its extraordinary appearance and world-renowned acoustics, it’s not surprising that the Rock Church is a popular place to get married.  And if you were getting married in that spectacular location, you’d likely choose the most stirring music ever created.  Perhaps Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy or Handel’s Hornpipe.

As we walked through the crowded church, we noticed a gentleman making his way to the organ.  We’d heard the church was hosting a wedding that afternoon, and assumed he was there to practice in advance.  We held our breath, anticipating the glorious music that would flow out of the organ.

What we heard was definitely not classical.  The jaunty little ditty was nothing we’d ever heard in a church before, yet was oddly familiar.  Curiosity got the best of us, and we went over to the organ to see what he was playing. 

The organist, obviously a serious musician, confirmed unhappily that this was indeed the processional for the wedding at which he was performing that afternoon.  The piece of music?  The theme song from the TV show Murder She Wrote.

Can one of my readers help me out here?  Is the theme from Murder She Wrote a popular wedding piece in Helsinki?  Or was this choice of song a little ominous? 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the song, or who wants a refresher, check out this link.

27 comments:

LDH said...

Amazing church! I was surprised by the music selection and listened to it on your link with my eyes closed. It did seem to have a kind of cheery upbeat feeling but not one I would pick for my wedding in such a gorgeous place.

Jess said...

I used to love that show! I remember making quarter bets with my mother--we had to guess within the first half of the show who we thought was guilty :) Odd choice for a wedding...maybe it was two mystery writers?

Dulce Dough said...

The theme from Murder She Wrote??? I really cannot imagine it being played at a wedding! Love your pictures of the church--looks so intriguing with the granite walls and sun lights.

Joanne said...

That show used to have a huge and loyal following. Maybe they were fans? Wishing the couple much wedded bliss ...

Valerie said...

Wow! What a romantic piece...who knew? :P
The church is gorgeous though, I love the look of all that stone and concrete!

Mary said...

I can't imagine that was a typical music selection, but what do I know? Gorgeous organ and church though. Wow!

Christina Lee said...

omg--I wonder about that song!!! Gorgeous setting though!

NO REASON NEEDED said...

What a strange pice of mucic for s wedding; though I'm sure it's personal for the couple. I HATE the wedding march and subsequently we picked all our own music. I always wanted the song time in a bottle at my wedding and was able to make the ceremony entirely ours.

sally said...

What an odd choice of music, but a great choice in venue for a wedding!

Ruth said...

Well. That is certainly an interesting choice! I loved Helsinki... so beautiful!

Julie said...

Unusual song but beautiful place for a wedding. I always enjoy your travel posts. You've been everywhere!

Carol said...

Strange music to pick for a wedding, but they must have their reasons, maybe big Angela Lansbury fans? Beautiful place for the wedding though.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Nice place for a wedding...but not the sort of music I would choose! I like music played on a church organ though.

Bonnie said...

I have no clue about Helsinki traditions, but Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary" and "Ode to Joy" were played at my daughters wedding. Both are beautiful!

Belinda said...

That's a stunning building!

laurie said...

Interesting choice is right!

Gloria said...

a curious song for a wedding and georgeous place Beth! gloria

Lizzy said...

What a gorgeous church! Perfect setting for a wedding...but I think that's an odd choice for a wedding march :)

Claudia said...

Oh Beth! What a hoot! Cabot Cove lives in Helsinki! The church is quite splendid - and I suppose a bit quirky!

Miriam said...

Wow, I have never heard of that song being for a wedding...
Have a great weekend! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Medeia Sharif said...

That theme song brought back memories.

Interesting how it's wedding music....

Have a great weekend.

Elaine said...

What a spectacular looking church! Oh my, I think that is an interesting choice for a wedding processional.

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I just love Europeans and their taste in music. Just when you think you've got them down, they go off the grid and come back with something like...Murder She Wrote.

Oh, man. That story will probably leave me laughing for awhile.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My mother is from Finland and I've been to Helsinki so many times. I've never heard of the theme song from Murder She Wrote being the traditonal song for a wedding there. Definitely an eerie choice.

Ashlea Taylor said...

What a lovely occasion! Funny music choice for sure. :)

AngeliCaffarelli said...

Amazing church, thank you for this post. (and amazing choice of music, hehe...). Love your blog!

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comfortablydomestic.com said...

Murder She Wrote? Seriously?! Perhaps they were huge Angela Landsbury fans.

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