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.