John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, and now at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Voices from the choir

A serendipitous discovery and a boon to time-wasters goofing off at work across the land:

The King’s Singers’ famous weather report for the British Isles performed in Anglican chant is available on Youtube:


Addendum: Please note the corrected attribution in the comment below that this recording is by a group called the Mastersingers, not the estimable King's Sinmgers.


  1. I can't play it here at the office (bloody IT police), but is it the shipping forecast?

  2. Yes, it includes the shipping report.

  3. I see that Youtube also contains their recording of The Highway Code, another great one:

  4. "Is the Weather Report recorded by the King’s Singers?

    "The King's Singers were not responsible for the 'Weather Forecast' (or the Highway code). Both were sung by the Mastersingers - four masters at Abingdon School, a group that very slightly pre-dated the King’s Singers. Their 1966 recording certainly sounds like it could be the King’s Singers, and has that peculiarly English style of singing and humour, but it is not the King’s Singers! We have, of course, sung many anglican chants to lyrics written for special occasions (‘Some Enchanted Wavelengths’, for example) and will no doubt do it again."