Christian songs from Dohnavur
Details of Music Composers
Information about some of the composers of music to Amy Carmichael’s songs
Edgar H. Fewkes
Edgar was the sometime organist at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bangalore.
Peggy Spencer Palmer
Dr. Angus Kinnear met Peggy in 1935 at the home of the Bible teacher Harold St. John of Malvern Link, Worcestershire, and recognised the quality of her work. She was exceptionally gifted as a pianist, and had every reason to expect a future as a solo performer at concerts but after becoming a Christian, she found it difficult to reconcile secular success with the kind of humble service she thought God was wanting her to do. However, she was delighted to be asked to be the Music Editor for the collection of Amy Carmichael’s songs with music published as Wings by SPCK in 1960. Peggy revised arrangements by other composers as well as contributing some of her own to the publication.
Edith was Amy Carmichael's first secretary, but had to leave Dohnavur after six years due to poor health in 1937.
Rev. Kenneth S. Procter
Kenneth’s brother, Ronald, was the first engineer to work in Dohnavur. Kenneth was born in 1895 and had twice stayed in Dohnavur in the 1920s on his travels out to and back from an appointment in Rangoon. He was so delighted with the family’s children that he began setting to music what became their manuscript called Forest Songs. He had to decline Amma’s invitation to join the work himself, but from England down the years, until 1945, he contributed a wealth of serious tunes of his own, especially composed for her verse. He also arranged favourite tunes by others in Dohnavur. He died in 1990.
Mabel came from Yorkshire and trained as a nurse at The London Hospital. The matron there referred to her as “the best nurse we ever had”. She joined Amy Carmichael in 1907 as the first nurse to work with her. She was chief carer of babies for many years and until the early 1920's the only member of the Dohnavur Community with any medical knowledge or training. So her responsibilities were very great. She was musical and became the children’s first music teacher and taught the children to sing. One senior remembers “She was very correct about the way Dohnavur Fellowship boys and girls sang Amma's songs. Any new song composed by Amma was put to music by folks in the U.K. and then sent to Dohnavur for us to learn. After that we sang it to Amma." Mabel remained in Dohnavur after she ceased nursing or helping in the baby nurseries and died there on June 13th 1961.
Godfrey, born in 1901, was a loved worker with Amy Carmichael from 1926 until his death in 1949 in Dohnavur. He headed up the work for boys and his wise spirituality was of great value to Amy and the Fellowship. His brother, Dr. Murray Webb-Peploe, made a tremendous contribution to the building up of the medical work of the Fellowship.
Note:- Some of Amy's songs have been set to modern tunes by Dave Shipko and can be found here.