Many languages associate each day of the week with one of seven heavenly objects known in ancient times: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. English has retained these origins for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. For the four other days, however, the names of Anglo-Saxon or Nordic gods have replaced the Roman gods that gave name to the planets. Thus, Tuesday is named after Tiu, Wednesday is named after Woden, Thursday is named after Thor, and Friday is named after Freya.
In 2005, Scottish composer Tom Cunningham and English poet Paul Wigmore wrote a short song entitled The Great God Thor for the National Boys Choir of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. This proved to be such a success at its premiere that Christopher Bell, Artistic Director of NYCoS, invited Tom to expand the piece into a complete cantata. Thus the Saga of the Seven Days was born. The other six movements are set by Tom to texts by the Brussels-based writer, Derek Roberts.