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The Manchester Passion

An Audacious ReImagining From 2006

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
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The Manchester Passion 2006

Introduction

I am reading "Pies and Prejudice" by Stuart Maconie and originally I was going to put this on my Seven Days In blog but I then decided it deserved a Vocal Story.

The book is about the definition of the North of England and Stuart has just hit Manchester and what happened in 2006 is that the city audaciously staged a version of the Passion of Jesus Christ in the city.

Manchester became Jerusalem and the music of Manchester became the soundtrack for the event.

I hope everyone can see the video, but if not search "The Manchester Passion" on YouTube, and hopefully one of the versions will be watchable for you. It lasts for about an hour.

The production was praised by Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch, who felt that Manchester Passion had "a sincerity and an ability to shock and connect that is not far removed from how it must have been on the first Good Friday."

Wikipedia has an entry here:

Stuart Maconie's book is available on Amazon here (or from any good book shop).

This was the original invite to the event

The event was incredible, and I thought I would share a few of the songs from the event and how I saw their significance. I have included the original versions rather that the performances in the Passion which you may prefer to watch.

The Music From The Manchester Passion

Morrissey – "You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side"

This is just a statement that no one can do everything by themselves especially when they are being attacked by authorities and public opinion. While this relates to what was happening to Jesus, it is probably relevant to us all at times.

Oasis - "Cast No Shadow"

Oasis are not favourote people of mine but they came up with some great songs. I was trying to think of the significance of this within "The Manchester Passion" and found these internet quote.

James 1:17

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.

One might say that God, like the sun, casts no shadow, for He is Absolute Light, just as He is Absolute Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

It also reminds me of the Band's song "Daniel and the Mgic Harp" which while not part of the performance , could have slotted in, but they are not a Manchester band.

Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

"When Routine Bites Hard and Ambitions Are Low .... Love Will Tear Us Apart"

This is sung at The Last Supper

The Smiths - "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"

Sung by Judas Iscariot as he betrays Jesus.

New Order - "Blue Monday"

"How Does It Feel, To Treat Me Like You Do?"

Jesus to Judas and those that wanted to see him crucified.

Robbie Williams - "Angels"

An emotional and beautiful song appropriate for this performance. Any event that has a religious theme could find room for this. It is one of my favourite Robbie Williams songs.

Black Grape - "In The Name Of The Father"

An instrumental version was used in the performance, but the title alone makes this an appropriate inclusion.

Happy Mondays - "Hallelujah"

Not the Can or Leonard Cohen song but I think it owes a lot to the Can song. Again an instrumental was used and the title makes it appropriate for "The Manchester Passion".

If you want to check out the Can song, all eighteen minutes of it is here.

The Stone Roses - I Am the Resurrection

This is the closing piece on this playlist. Ian Brown's voice does not have that much presence but foiled by The Stone Roses' music it is just perfect.

In "The Manchester Passion":

The majority of the song was sung by Peter after the arrest of Jesus, with the line "I Am the Resurrection" being sung by Jesus as a climax to the play.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Oooo, this was definitely so fascinating! So glad you made posted this on Vocal!

  • Caroline Jane3 months ago

    Great write up Mike.

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