The Lost Chord is a nice page about the famous Victorian song. All the words are there, along with some truly atrocious pictures from the period to illustrate the song. What is rather strange, given the usual gender stereotyping in music, is that the organist in the picture is female. Perhaps to get so emotive over a lost chord is not something the Victorian gentleman could admit to.
Even better, there’s a recording from 1913 of the song. The singer’s diction is extraordinary – like a Norwegian speaking English while trying to pick his teeth.
Now here’s a question for the philosophically minded – do you think that if the church had CCTV, and the police could play it back and discover what the chord was, that the lady in the picture would have been any happier? It seems like one of those Shirley Valentine moments to me, that your memory of the thing you can’t remember is far sweeter than the thing it is you can’t remember. And that, possibly, is exactly why music is as poignant as it is, because it’s temporal nature means that its’ always a poignant memory or a future expectation, until the CD player gets stuck and plays you the same chord over and over again. And only Wagnerites with their Tristan chord fetish could get excited over that.