Give us grace (A prayer of Jane Austen)
by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange
A gospel-style setting of a Jane Austen prayer
For unaccompanied upper voices (SSA)
Published by Andagio
“A wonderful piece that I believe will be treasured by choirs young and old across the world.”
Patrick Craig, Aurora Nova
“What a beautiful adaptation of Austen’s prayer to choral hymnody. Thank you!”
When I was commissioned to write a piece for a church concert on International Women’s Day 2018, a hundred years after women (though not all of them) got the vote in the UK, I wanted to set a text written by a woman and which expressed something of the on-going campaign for equal rights and opportunities. Jane Austen’s beautiful and powerful prayer On each return of the night struck a chord with me as soon as I read it; I was particularly taken by the relevance and poignancy of the opening line Give us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray as to deserve to be heard.
The song is inspired by gospel style and should be sung with plenty of expression and with a rock-solid pulse. Above all, the words should be clear and as speech-like as possible. Sing it as if you mean it and you can’t go wrong!