Choir sings parody song ‘I Can’t Believe it’s not Rutter’ to actual John Rutter

17 December 2022, 11:56

Choir sings ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Rutter’ to ACTUAL John Rutter

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Enjoy this choral tribute to the mighty choral music legend that is, Mr John Rutter...

Choral composer John Rutter’s settings of ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ and ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ have filled choir rehearsal rooms and concert halls for more than three decades.

During a ‘Come and Sing’ Day in St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh choir Pitchcraft sang a parody of Rutter’s work to the man himself.

Composed by Andrew Russel, the song playfully and lovingly pokes fun at a few of Rutter’s signature compositional moves – from those twinkly quavers to the all-important key change.

“For once in my life, I’m speechless,” Rutter joked after the performance.

Read more: How does Eric Whitacre write beautiful music?

John Rutter's reaction
John Rutter's reaction. Picture: Pitchcraft

“You know, I think that’s absolutely lovely, gorgeous music. But the strange thing is it kind of reminds me of something, but I can’t exactly think what…”

What a gent for playing along, and for accepting the parody with such good humour.

What are the lyrics for ‘I Can’t Believe it’s not Rutter’?

Can you believe it?
This is not Rutter.
It sounds a bit like his style of writing songs.
I can believe it.
This is not Rutter.
It sounds a bit similar, but something's gone all wrong.

Here's the chorus; it's often melodic.
This is the style but less harmonic.
Shame we can't give you a better lyric, but there you go.

That was a key change, made to suit our range,
or we sound strange, though no-one knows why.
There was another (another key),
but it's no bother:
we can sing every note and even way up high.

Here's the chorus;
the tune's in soprano.
Sometimes it's sung without the piano.
No staccato no rubato, vibrato,
so there you go (go).

Oooh, sing out your oohs now.
Sing out your ahs now.
Ooh, sing out your ahs and ooh and ah and ooh.
There must be another bit where we are so articulate,
and we utter it, not mutter it,
or splutter or Rutter it.

Here's the last chorus; the final climax.
Now quite familiar but has some drawbacks.
If sung too loudly this is where your voice cracks,
just at the end.

Moira Stuart Meets... John Rutter on Classic FM on Sunday 18 December 2022 at 9pm. Listen on Global Player.