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March 7, 2010

Composing the rejected canon
Posted by Patrick at 04:23 PM * 361 comments

At McSweeney’s, some years back, Mollie Wilson O’Reilly posted a list of Rejected Titles for Hymns.

The Making Light commentariat is invited to, as a festive exercise*, compose one or more verses fleshing out any of the titles Wilson lists.

I’ll start:

O saints who died in gruesome ways
Thy martyrdom we see—
Beheaded, broiled, stretched on the rack
Or nailed to a tree

O saints who died in gruesome ways
We lovingly depict
Your instruments of martyrdom—
Swords, braziers, and icepicks

O saints who died in gruesome ways
Impaled or drowned in bogs,
Cut up, or skinned, or shot from guns
Or set upon by dogs

O saints who died in gruesome ways
We picture you on charms
And venerate the garishness
With which you bought the farm

O saints who died in gruesome ways
Without you there would be
Far fewer students in the field
Of hagiography

Abi Sutherland wishes me to note that, historically, it has frequently happened that multiple (very) different hymns would share the same title. So multiple versions of any of these can co-exist as well.


* In connection with whatever feast or festival you prefer. Tomorrow, March 8, is the feast day of St. Philemon of Antinoe, bound hand and foot and then drowned, c. 305 AD.
Comments on Composing the rejected canon:
#1 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:00 PM:

Hmm. Setting to work here, but I must note first that "You Have to Admit, This Sounds Pretty Farfetched " is an unlikely hymn title because so few of them are in waltz time.

#2 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:11 PM:

More hymns in waltz time, I say.

#3 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:15 PM:

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff, Lord
Let no flake go astray—
For I have just a hot date made
and will go out today.

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff, Lord
My only suit is black
And all the drones from HR will
assess me front to back.

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff, Lord
the shampoo isn't cheap
and all of that selenium sul-
fide makes my poor eyes weep.

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff, Lord
and cleanse my soul as well;
if head and heart are pristine then
I may not go to hell.

#4 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:25 PM:

Elise@1

I don't know: it fits pretty well as an A line in Common Meter (I was thinking St James for this one).


You have to admit, this sounds pretty farfetched
and there isn't good documentation
But miracles have to be pretty farfetched
to justify canonization

#5 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:33 PM:

I am opposed to hymns in 3/4 or 6/8 (or anything that can be subdivided into 3) because invariably some jackanape selects one of these for an openng or closing hymn and the choir winds up swaying (or lurching) down the aisle.

Perhaps I will work on Alleluia, Schmalleluia later tonight.

#6 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:38 PM:

Holy like a doughnut, holy like swiss cheese,
Holy like my old good shoes that now let in the breeze,
Holy like the rollers, holy like a tree,
But holiest of all, dear Lord, are yooooou, to me.

#7 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:42 PM:

Just one more hour and then we go home
Then we go home to thee!
Just one, just one more hour,
Then we go home to thee.

Just one more hour in this sad old world,
Then we go home to thee!
Just one, just one more hour,
Then we go home to thee.

Just one more hour in sin and pain...

Just one more hour to say goodbye...

etc.

(I can totally imagine people singing this on a bus. Or walking along in the rain. Or very cheerily, in church.)

#8 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:42 PM:

Abi Sutherland wishes me to note that, historically, it has frequently happened that multiple (very) different hymns would share the same title. So multiple versions of any of these can co-exist as well.

Oh man. Midwestern Lutherans are normally pretty mild-mannered folk -- less so now that they've started to pick up some of the fundamentalist tendencies, but still pretty chill -- but if you want to see them become wroth, you need do nothing more than suggest that to a Lutheran of a certain age that, say, the Green Hymnal was an improvement over the Red Hymnal (to say nothing of the old Black Hymnal), and then stand back. Preferably out of hymnal-chucking range.

It only begins at the violence done to "Lo How a Rose", really... "'Lo how a rose e're growing'?! What kind of tin-eared poetically-impaired hymnodist thought that one up?"

#9 ::: pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 05:53 PM:

We had friends over for supper Friday night, while my partner was trying to finish picking hymns for Sunday's service. The rest of us quickly fell to the sport of flipping through the hymnbook to find the most inappropriate suggestions possible. The winner (actually published in Mission Praise--number 68, as it happens) was 'Cause me to come'.

#10 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:02 PM:

Are we defining "hymn" broadly enough to include spirituals and gospel music? 'Cause some of those titles rock pretty hard (in the spirit, of course).

#11 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:07 PM:

One waltz-time hymn, coming right up.

Jesus is more than alri-ight with me
He's almost as good as cru-umpets and tea
I'd like nothing more than a fireside chat
With my Saviour - He and I just hang like that.

We could go on a nice charabanc trip
Bowling along at a jolly old clip
We'd share out the sandwiches, coffee, and cake
And He'd save our souls in a jiffy and shake.

Down by the seaside we'd roll up our trou'
And watch our lord Jesus show u-us all how
To ca-alm the waves and go-overn the sea -
Jesus is more than alri-ight with me!

#13 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:32 PM:

Niggers, wops, and heathen kike
Know not art, but what they like
Rippling meatheads say the same
Even Cripples Praise Your Name.

Frogs and Krauts and sad Canucks
Know that ev'ryone else sucks
Sauvage brut and savage tame,
Even Cripples Praise Your Name.

Crazy loons and sad retards
Hand-paint signs to put in yards
Blind and halt and deaf and lame,
Even Cripples Praise Your Name.

Is there one I've not offended
Before my poor hymn is ended?
In- or out-group, faith's a game.
Even Cripples Praise Your Name.

#14 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:37 PM:

excellent job in the o.p., but my i suggest one small improvement?

"Or nailed to a tree"

would really look better with the dieresis marked, i.e.

"Or nailéd to a tree"

and singing it that way gives it the proper ton.

#15 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:37 PM:

Kevin Riggle, I assume it was the same specialized minor demon (like Titivullus, only different) who inspired the compilers of our own hymnal (the big red one that numbers songs instead of pages) to give "Wondrous Love" a more standardized tempo, and recast it in an unimaginative four-part arrangement instead of its native Sacred Harp three-voice modal harmony.

That same demon will have been responsible for the musical arrangement of "Remember O Thou Man" printed in The English Carol Book, First Series (1913), which inexplicably modulates into a cheerfully conventional major key in the the last measure. The effect is singular.

#16 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:37 PM:

(to be sung at a tempo best suited for a pavane of cripples, or particularly unenthusiastic volga boatmen...)

Faith of My In-Laws be with me
Faith of My In-Laws forgive me
Faith of My In-Laws outlive me
Over the deep sea to thee

Faith of My In-Laws be near me
Faith of My In-Laws endear me
Faith of My In-Laws hear me
All through the long miles to thee

[etc, etc, etc... ]

#17 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:39 PM:

and i should say that i sincerely and without a trace of irony adore one particular anglican hymn which lists various "saints of god",

"and one was a doctor and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast!"

before continuing to say that there's not any reason "none in the least!" why we shouldn't all be saints of god ourselves.

it's charming, both tune and lyrics.

#18 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:42 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 15 ...
That same demon will have been responsible for the musical arrangement of "Remember O Thou Man" printed in The English Carol Book, First Series (1913), which inexplicably modulates into a cheerfully conventional major key in the the last measure. The effect is singular.

Oh dear, yes. That's the (one of, at any rate) one where the whole congregation (and half the choir) invariably pick the expected note, rather than the right note...

#19 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:53 PM:

kid bitzer: the actual words are "And there's not any reason, no, not the least,/Why I shouldn't be one too."

("I Sing a Song of the Saints of God" is one of my very most favorite hymns in the world. Other memorable lines are "you can meet them in lanes...something something...or in shops, or at tea")

#20 ::: Smurch ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:53 PM:

Lord lend to me thy handkerchief
To wipe away this snot;
Or vouchsafe me a tissue for
My running nose to blot.

Comfort your apostle, though
I be the least of them:
With thy divine expectorant
Dissolve this wad of phlegm.

#21 ::: Smurch ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:57 PM:

Ah heck... should have read the directions more carefully

#22 ::: Vef ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 06:59 PM:

"Holy" like a Doughnut, "Holy" like Swiss Cheese
God forgives us all our sins and feeble similes
Offered up in hymnals, Books of Common Prayer
Our love is firm as pretzel dough and soft as Camembert

"Holy" like a Doughnut, "Holy" like Swiss Cheese
Praying’s hard on hungry men and harder on the knees
Therefore gentle Jesus, Son of God Divine,
Taught us all to worship him by sharing bread and wine

#23 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:01 PM:

(Blugrass gospel style)

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff,
Lord, clear up all my zits.
Let perfume of Gilead
Rise up from my 'pits.

Dry my supperations, and
Alleviate my sores.
I don't wanna be so
Disgusting anymore.

'Cause I'm a [go to the IV]
Pool of putrefaction,
A bucket full of pus.
Too poor to take a taxi,
Too gross to take the bus.

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff,
Alleviate my sores,
'Cause I don't want to be so
Disgusting anymore.

#24 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:03 PM:

Even Cripples Praise Your Name

How wondrous are Thy ways, O Lord.
Man's logic all defying
When e'en affliction doth inspire
Such fervent testifying.

God bless my walker, bless my cane,
God BLESS these stairs provoking!
So oft I lift my voice again
So oft Thy Name invoking.

Although my prayers be sharp and short,
Nigh unto imprecations,
I trust Thee to accept, O Lord,
These heartfelt invocations.

#25 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:03 PM:

Teresa, #12: WARNING -- auto-playing sound file on that link! But I had enough time to read the first line before hitting the Back button, and I think you win.

And @15: Not being familiar with the hymn in question, that arrangement doesn't sound especially odd to me. If it didn't go into major until the final chord, it would be a bog-standard Picardy third. But if you're used to singing it differently... well, that would bother anyone.

#26 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:03 PM:

Smurch: No you shouldn't! Not if that hymn was the result of your oversight.

#27 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:06 PM:

I thank Thee, God, for buttocks firm,
For rounded mounds of delight,
For purple mountains' majesties,
Or blue or checked or white.

I thank Thee, God, Who made such cheeks,
And placed them side by each,
For if I'm slapped for patting one,
The other's still in reach.

I thank Thee, God, for fancy's pants,
For stretchy cloth that clings.
We've heard that Balaam's ass could talk,
But oh, how Peter's sings!

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:08 PM:

Lee, if you mean "Remember Thou O Man," listen to the first version I linked to. It's a lovely old song, and deserves better than to have a late-Victorian "hello, this is the end of the verse!" termination stuck onto it.

#29 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:12 PM:

Regarding that bizarre variant melody of "Remember Thou, O Man" that she linked to, Teresa isn't kidding. If you're familiar with the original, that sudden modulation into a major key is as disconcerting as if they'd simply ended it with "shave and a haircut, two bits."

#30 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:14 PM:

Also, my brain insists on playing "Jesus is More Than Alright with Me" TTTO Saturday Night. (Not the version you're probably expecting.)

#31 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:17 PM:
Another Rainy Day. 
   Great. Thanks a Lot. 
My sins all washed away.
   Great. Thanks a Lot.
Let evil fail, I pray.
   Great. Thanks a Lot.
Smite me down when I stray.
   Great. Thanks a Lot.
#32 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:21 PM:

Another rainy day, O Lord,
Our thanks are overflowing.
So, too, are the rivers, Lord.
When will the wind stop blowing?

The streams are much too full, O Lord,
Their banks are overflowing.
The ground is saturated, Lord,
And much too wet for mowing.

We prayed for rain last month, O Lord,
Because our wells were failing.
But we beseech you now, O Lord,
Please stop this rain and hailing.

#33 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:22 PM:

Oh, and here's a link to my Google SEO hymn.

#34 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:23 PM:

I thank thee, God, for buttocks firm,
For biceps which delight;
For abs of steel, for quads of stone,
For lats so taut and tight.

I thank thee, God, for powdered soy,
Into fruit smoothies mix't;
With which, our bodies, muscles build,
Riding bikes, their gears so fix'd.

All glory, Lord, for cardio,
And training up with weights;
Thy mercy, Lord, when calves do cramp
And we groan in desperate states.

I thank thee, God, for buttocks firm,
So beauteous in design;
And pray thee, God, with some small work
They may one day be mine.

#35 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:49 PM:

O Lord, We Really Prefer Not to Know
The means by which it all came to be so.
It all seems so random,
It all seems for show.
O Lord, We Really Prefer Not to Know.

Inflation, expansion, and natural laws,
With plenty of room for uncomfortable flaws.
A small point of light
In the cold background glow.
O Lord, We Really Prefer Not to Know.

#36 ::: Shinydan Howells ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:51 PM:

Alleluia, Schmalleluia;
When's your second Coming due?
Alleluia, as you promised,
bring Your Kingdom to the true.
Though you keep from us the hour
Of your Son's delayed return,
All your loyal people are wai-ai-ai-ai-ting
For the skies and seas to burn.

That's all I have.

#37 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 07:55 PM:

We come in sleek complacency
the cream of all humanity
elite, patrician, bon chic, bleu-chip
God, you’re lucky—that we worship

chorus:
You could be neglected, see?
There but for our grace go Thee!

Our theme, dear lord, is gratitude:
we hope you’re in a grateful mood!
for we in our deservéd pride
have deigned to lift you to our side.

(chorus)

Consider the abandoned gods
and then reflect on your own odds:
Deities are shed like skins.
Now shall we talk about your sins?

(chorus)

Who cares why the heathen rages?
We’ve come to talk about your wages.
Yes, now we’re happy, flush and smug;
but we could squish you like a bug.

(chorus)

Friya, Baal, Apollo, Horus...
idols of the scum before us
Throngs of cast-off godlings bore us
sing our song or join their chorus!

(chorus)

#38 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:02 PM:

(in a rollicking tune)

O Lord, we really prefer not to know
What behavior most pleaseth thee.
For thy demands are great and our will is weak
And we'd rather just sit under the tree.

O Lord, we really prefer not to know
That our actions will send us to Hell.
For we strongly suspect though it's so hard to say
There's gossip we never should tell.

O Lord, we really prefer not to know
What to do to help all people.
For it's so much easier with our digital TV
To care only when under thy steeple.

O Lord, we really prefer not to know
That we are living our lives all wrong.
For it's better to look down at everyone else
And celebrate ourselves with each song!

#39 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:04 PM:

Kid @ 37: Bravo!

#40 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:10 PM:

Kevin @ 8: Red hymnal for life! Fie upon thee, Lutheran Worship!

#41 ::: Lighthill ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:11 PM:

Oh thou who sent the universe light-coning
Then chose his holy prophets to be tetched
With helpful lists of people who need stoning,
You must admit, this sounds pretty farfetched.

Oh thou whose she-bears rent Elisha's urchins,
Oh thou whose awesome backside Moses saw,
Who showed Ezekiel skeletons a-lurchin'
May we assume this part's a metaphor?

Oh thou, my God, three persons in one being
Each person homoousion with the rest,
When I, my Lord, this vale of tears am fleeing
I really hope this won't be on the test.

#42 ::: Academic_typo ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:14 PM:

"O Lord, We Really Prefer Not to Know"

Oh Lord, we really prefer not to know,
the many ways that we can fall to sin.
If innocence can save from fires of Hell,
We prefer not to let the knowledge in.

Oh Lord, we really prefer not to know,
The thousand rules that keep the Sabbath pure,
and boredom makes it harder to rejoice,
and mercy is the lot of the unsure.

So may we offer ignorance to You?
Adam and Eve were pure before they knew.

#43 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:15 PM:

Another verse for my #32:

Another rainy day, O Lord,
Our thanks are overflowing.
Although we'd like the rain to stop
At least it isn't snowing.

#44 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:15 PM:

@39--
thanks, hp.

and @41--

bravo lighthill!

#45 ::: achromatic ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:26 PM:

Jesus is more than all right with me;
I think he's pretty neat.
Why, we see each other socially;
He's always first to greet.

Jesus is more than all right with me;
I consider him a friend.
He's been mighty pleasant company
On many a long week-end.

Jesus is more than all right with me;
I tell you, it's the truth.
His love is bold, his passion, fiery
As that which I knew in my youth.

Jesus is more than all right with me;
To my heart he is quite close.
We speak on Sundays, officially,
But all week long, his arms enclose!

Jesus is more than all right with me;
We talk all night and into dawn.
Such strength and skill and wit, has he;
How long he can go on!

Jesus is more than all right with me;
We've been the subject of many a chat.
I've seen raised brows and smirks, you see,
But it's platonic, and only that.

#46 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:37 PM:

I see that achromatic has just posted a version of "Jesus Is More Than All Right With Me", but here's mine. (Mine's not nearly as good, and also needs more verses.)

Jesus is more than all right with me,
Even though His followers may not agree.
But whether or not they want to see,
Jesus is more than all right with me.

See, then, wherever you may be,
Jesus is more than all right with me!
And I'll show you all, wherever you may be,
Jesus is more than all right with me.

I may not be virtouous, I may not be saved,
I may not know that the way is oft unpaved.
What I can see is that it's best to decent be,
Jesus is more than all right with me.

#47 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:37 PM:

Alleluia, Schmalleluia!
Sing we all this dreary morn
For the blessings we're not getting
For your people all forlorn

Alleluia, Schmalleluia!
Sing we poor pathetic schmucks
Lord of glory, Lord of bounty,
Can't we have a couple bucks?

Alleluia, Schmalleluia!
Hymns are all we can afford --
Thus, we must confess we're in the
market for another lord.

#48 ::: Miranda Hassett ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:45 PM:

The Onion had a sidebar/graphic bit of rejected hymns, a couple of years ago. My favorite, and the only one I remember, was "Jesus Christ, Look at this Place." So I offer:

Jesus Christ, look at this place;
The parish hall is a disgrace;
The kneelers all are vermin-chewed,
The steeple is distinctly skewed.
The basement’s dank and full of rocks,
The classrooms smell of mildewed socks.

Jesus Christ, look at this place;
Fill our fundraisers with your grace
And help us to raise lots of dough
That we the blessed gift may know
Of worshipping our Lord and God
Someplace not quite so very flawed.

#49 ::: Miranda Hassett ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 08:45 PM:

The Onion had a sidebar/graphic bit of rejected hymns, a couple of years ago. My favorite, and the only one I remember, was "Jesus Christ, Look at this Place." So I offer:

Jesus Christ, look at this place;
The parish hall is a disgrace;
The kneelers all are vermin-chewed,
The steeple is distinctly skewed.
The basement’s dank and full of rocks,
The classrooms smell of mildewed socks.

Jesus Christ, look at this place;
Fill our fundraisers with your grace
And help us to raise lots of dough
That we the blessed gift may know
Of worshipping our Lord and God
Someplace not quite so very flawed.

#50 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:00 PM:

Lee @25
If it didn't go into major until the final chord, it would be a bog-standard Picardy third

And that would be perfectly inoffensive -- the song sounds quite nice with a Picardy third in the harmony on the last note. The problem is that the change happens two beats earlier, to give a perfect cadence, and that doesn't really fit the style of the music.

#51 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:08 PM:

Teresa, that version of "Remember Thou, O Man" *hurts* to listen to! (And I didn't even have the original as one of my big-deal hymns.)

#52 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:08 PM:

God, You Can Be Such a Jerk Sometimes
Your morals just don't coincide with mine.
You hate all the gays I consider my friends.
Tell me, are there places Your hate has an end?

My rhymes are not perfect; of this there's no doubt.
My friends are not either, in-closet or out.
Should I stop being a kind, loving man, just
Because it's not part of Your natural plan?

Your earthly prophets all seem to agree,
(At least when they're not fucking someone like me.)
I wish I were doing your work here betimes, but
God, You Can Be Such a Jerk Sometimes

#53 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:17 PM:

I Thank Thee, God, for Buttocks Firm

I thank Thee, God, for buttocks firm
I thank Thee for this body
Thy bounteous nature I affirm
(I'm grateful, Lord, not naughty!)

My body is a temple, Lord;
Thy blessings give me notions:
Such splendid chances they afford
For regular devotions.

#54 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:46 PM:

(to the tune of "for the beauty of the earth")


brute, unyielding autocrat
tyrant with sadistic quirk
great, almighty, and all that
god, you're sometimes quite the jerk!

(chorus:)
In mysterious ways thou work!
thoughtless dictatorial jerk!

when the primal silly pair,
sought to learn a thing or two,
thy response was quite unfair,
and a hissy fit thou threw.

In mysterious ways thou work!
thoughtless dictatorial jerk!

faultless job thou sore abused,
just to win a barroom bet.
lucifer was much amused.
just how jerky can thou get?

In mysterious ways thou work!
thoughtless dictatorial jerk!

thine own son, a decent guy,
from motives that remain quite murky,
thou caused to be hung out dry,
after which you both were jerky.

In mysterious ways thou work!
thoughtless dictatorial jerk!

#55 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 09:47 PM:

Not quite right :(

O Saints Who Died in Gruesome Ways
Our toys for years to come
To while away the boring day
In our infernal home.

Under the shadow of thine arm
Still may we dwell secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the heads in order stood,
Impaled from stem to hilt
From every head we ever found
A heaping pile was built

Time, like an ever-flowing stream
Soon swept the smells away
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

A thousand ages in your sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

O Saints Who Died in Gruesome Ways
Our toys for years to come
Be fun for us while life shall last
In our infernal home.

#56 ::: Erf ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:03 PM:

There's a hymn* we sing regularly at my church that includes the line, "I am the living bread / risen among you." Spouse and I crack up every time we sing it.

I'm still trying to decide whether this is deliberate or not (and if not, whether anybody noticed it before publication). In the scenario in my imagination, the composer giggled madly as (s)he wrote the line, and everybody else in the publication chain took "church music" too seriously to even notice, let alone say anything.

--

*For a broad definition of "hymn", at least. Most church-goers I know (and I expect this is common) use "hymn" to mean "any song sung at church". My organist friends tell me there's a difference between "hymn", "song", "anthem", etc. This generic usage drives them batty.

#57 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:04 PM:

Patrick, that is priceless.

Was there really a saint martyred by being shot from a gun?

I would love to use this (properly attributed, of course) the next time I teach my "Field Guide to the Saints" class.

#58 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:15 PM:

Xeger@55

"then flies, forgotten, as a dream"
to go with the smells

#59 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:28 PM:

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended.
One more tomorrow, most probably.
But just why you did this, or what you intended,
I have to confess is a puzzle to me.

I have no idea why you went to the trouble
Of separating infinity
To make time and space; dark and light would seem double
The effort. Why bother? What is it to Thee?

It must be important - sun setting, sun rising,
These mornings, evenings, this sky, this sea.
Time's nothing to you. Why are you emphasizing
How awfully vital it must be to me?

You think that I won't hear his wheels close behind me,
Unless I'm prompted by night and noon?
Not hardly. My knees are enough to remind me
I'm bound to get run over, probably soon.

You know that. Is that why you are the renewer
Of mornings, evenings, of night and day?
We say "one more day", but we mean "one day fewer."
You say "one day more", and you mean what you say.



#60 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:32 PM:

Dave, that's a striking poem.

#61 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:33 PM:

Dave Luckett, #59: Holy crap. Not quite to the spec of the game, but who cares?

Not for the first time, I'm amazed by the people who post to our threads.

#62 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:36 PM:

(I gotta say, kid bitzer's #54 cracked me up as well. But if I start listing what I liked about every single thing posted here, I'll be here all night...)

#63 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:37 PM:

Chris, I don't think there was a Catholic saint martyred by being shot from a gun. However, thinking about it makes me imagine there's a suppressed edition of Fox's Book of Martyrs that has full-page engravings showing the Spanish firing Dutch Protestants out of cannons. The longer I think about it, the more detail I can see.

#64 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:44 PM:

Lighthill @ 41: Every time I get to "metaphor" I crack up again. And I admit that the bit with the she-bears long puzzled me as a child.

#65 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:53 PM:

This is just to say
our church had an organist
(still does, actually)
who did things like using
'Hernando's Hideaway'
as the tune for the Doxology.

(But not actually during a service.)

#66 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 10:54 PM:

This is just to say
our church had an organist
(still does, actually)
who did things like using
'Hernando's Hideaway'
as the tune for the Doxology.

(But not actually during a service.)

#67 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 11:06 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 63 ...
Chris, I don't think there was a Catholic saint martyred by being shot from a gun. However, thinking about it makes me imagine there's a suppressed edition of Fox's Book of Martyrs that has full-page engravings showing the Spanish firing Dutch Protestants out of cannons. The longer I think about it, the more detail I can see.

I don't have the reference anymore, but there's at least one coat of arms out there that includes something along the lines of "semi of diverse martyrs parts strewn". The parts didn't add up to one complete person, but it was quite clear that there had been multiple persons involved.

#68 ::: Smurch ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2010, 11:09 PM:

@26: Thank you, Teresa. The notion of "Rejected Hymns" just spawned the first four lines in my head, and the rest came along almost as easily. Thank you for letting me share it.

#69 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:35 AM:

I am not capable of writing parodies, but I can go on at great length regarding the comment by Erf @ 56 -- Yes, there is a difference between a hymn, a song, etc., and as is true of any line of work, those of us who work in churches do like to use the correct terminology, though we also argue endlessly about who really has the correct terminology. The real point is that there are musical and textual differences that affect the liturgical functions.

Here's a stab at some definitions of different types of sacred music: A "hymn" is most properly praise to god/s, and the term refers to the text only; the music to which the hymn is sung is the hymn tune. Hymns typically have more than one verse and are meant for congregational singing. Metrical regularity is a must, because hymns might be sung to more than one tune. [So in her biography of her mother, Ellen Tucker Emerson (Ralph Waldo's daughter) said that her family knew many hymns, but only had three or four tunes to which they sang the hymns.] The first verse of #20 addresses a divine being called "Lord" and is metrically regular, and would be a hymn (but the second verse is not metrically regular).

Praise songs offers praise to god/s, are like hymns, but may have less rhythmic regularity, and may use less traditional music and/or represent an instance where text and tune are written for each other. #46 might be a praise song.

A set piece or anthem would be a longer piece of music written for a specific text, typically lacking the metrical regularity of hymns and hymn tunes; anthems are often more difficult to sing, and would be sung by choirs rather than whole congregations. Maybe #65 is a set piece (I imagine it set to a twelve tone melody).

Some authorities consider psalms to be a subset of hymns, where a psalm is based on a specific text from the book of Psalms in the Hebrew scriptures. There are no examples of psalms above; I suppose if you're doing a parody, it's not a psalm, because by definition if it's a psalm it's in the Hebrew Bible and if it's in the Hebrew Bible it's not a parody. Q.E.D.

Chant can include a spectrum ranging from almost monotone repetitive recitation of a short text, to long elaborate lines incorporating melisma and rhythmic freedom; usually in chant, the emphasis is on the text more than on the music, but there is not a firm dividing line between hymn and chant. I imagine #31 set to Gregorian chant, probably mode IV (hypophrygian).

Songs need not involve direct praise of god/s (and are thus different from hymns). Gospel may be defined as announcing the "good news" of the Christian tradition through a personal statement or first-person testimony; some class gospel as hymns, and others wouldn't; often gospel music is rhythmically freer than traditional hymn tunes. #59 makes sense to me as a gospel song (emphasis on personal experience and testimony, rhythmically free).

"Spiritual" is a contested term -- although the term dates back to the 16th C., for many people in the U.S. "spirituals" can only refer to sacred music of African American people. In the U.S., you write a parody of a spiritual at the risk of being accused of racial insensitivity.

I hope the above definitions help you use the above parodies in liturgically appropriate ways.

#70 ::: Mark Gritter ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:07 AM:

to be sung to Upp, Min Tunga ("Praise the Savior, Now and Ever")

"Alleluia, Schmalleluia"
cries the choir director's plaint,
"Can't we have a song with lyrics,
not just thirty-three refrains?
Never ceasing, lines repeating,
worship team repeats again."

"Hymnal writing is a lost art,
Modern music can't be sung.
Awkward rhythms, banal lyrics,
every thing in unison!"
Thus the music lover mourneth,
doubting anything that's young.

"Church should be participation,"
growls the die-hard Protestant.
"Solo singing, small group music,
makes the worship quiescent.
Surely we can do much better,
than this dubious, pagan cant."

"Alleluia, Schmalleluia"
shout the Pharisees that morn,
when our Savior rode a donkey,
"Stones would cry out" he returned.
Thankful we for psalms and hymnals,
rock music could not be borne.

#71 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:27 AM:

Elise @ 1: "You Have to Admit, This Sounds Pretty Farfetched" would probably work to one of the hymns with 6 beat phrases. (My brain wants to put it to "Darwall's" tune (Cyberhymnal.org, therefore automatic sound), but I have nothing other than the first line.)

TNH @15: You mean there are hymnals that use actual page numbers? egads! None of the four hymnals I have on my bookshelf have page numbers until you get to the acknowledgements/index/sources at the back.

PJ Evans @ 65: The choir of the church I grew up in used to use the Doxology TTTO "Hernando's Hideaway" as a table grace at choir parties. With the minister present. (Then again, the organist was known to use Big Ten fight songs as musical interludes -- he'd change the tempo or the key or both, but they were there. On one memorable Sunday in 1980, he used "To Anacreon in Heaven" as the minister sent everyone home early to watch the US/Finland hockey game....)

Dan @69 : IME, the current crop of "praise songs" tend to be in one of three or four keys, and have the same chord patterns. They can be very boring if it's the only type of music sung in a service.

#72 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:01 AM:

P.J. Evans @ #66: Oh, don't get me started singing "There was an ooooold seceder cat/ and it was unco grey....." I sang it once for P and T, and it got a gratifying amount of giggles. Your organist's use of a secular tune for sacred music brought to mind the tradition of using non-sacred words when one rehearses sacred music.

"It brought a mouse intooooo the kirk/ upon the Sabbath day, upon the Sabbath day....."

#73 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:02 AM:

And #59 is really good.

#74 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:09 AM:

The poor, O Lord, are with us,
And isn't it a shame?
Why can't they work much harder,
And praise they holy name?
We worship at thy altar,
And tithe our wealth to thee.
Ten per cent for good works,
Means ninety left for me.

#75 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:30 AM:

For those with fond memories of 1950s skiffy: if only there had been a suitable production of rodent monster.

#76 ::: iucounu ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 06:50 AM:

Almost too intimidated by the quality to post this little squib. Essentially, I see the groom singing this in some Starry Wisdom Cult wedding in Innsmouth.

Faith of my in-laws
O lately converted
To worship of Dagon
In temples deserted
With blasphemous geometry
And dark ichthyolatry
I shall no longer be solitary
In the depths of the sea.

Faith of my in-laws
O lately converted
To a creed both macabre and
Innately perverted
My reluctance, initially
Was just superficial, see
Don't get all sacrificial, we
Can all get along.

Faith of my in-laws
O lately converted
So I guess this is where the
Fish eggs get inserted
Her chanting's hypnotic
But it's not that erotic
My bride is aquatic
This honeymoon sucks.

#77 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:31 AM:

God of Wisdom; God of Beauty
God of Water, Wind, and Flame
We, your subjects, do our duty:
Even cripples praise your name.

God, who cured the lowly leper,
Plays with mercy like a game--
Eking praise from each twelve-stepper
Even cripples praise your name.

Mangled feet and withered fingers
Malformed faces hung in shame
Still this love of God still lingers
Even cripples praise your name.

Thanks to Salk and vaccination
Fewer children now are lame;
Still, I see to my frustration,
Even cripples praise your name.

God, who could have cured the sickest;
God, who chose instead to maim;
Here is where the bullshit's thickest:
Even cripples praise your name.

God receives Earth's bounty's credit,
Satan, only Evil's blame--
Hordes of faithful zombies spread it:
Even cripples praise your name.

God, it's really hard to swallow
You're as good as you proclaim;
Now, to me, it all rings hollow:
Only cripples praise your name.


http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/even-cripples-praise-your-name.html

#78 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:00 AM:

iucounu #76: <snicker>

Cuttlefish #77: Oooh, nasty!

#79 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:10 AM:

Oh, and spinning off from the OP: Back in college, I did some paper or other that had me reading about pagans and early-Christian Russia. The author of the book I got the most out of, noted that when Russia converted, they took with enthusiasm to the idea of canonization... but many of their new saints were less notable for piety, than for the sheer grisliness of their deaths. He conspicuously avoided suggesting that they were "adapting" some prior pattern of "hero" cults.

#80 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:40 AM:

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
Cries each low ungrateful wretch.
Faced with life's unending wonders
All that they can do is kvetch.

At My touch are prisons broken,
'Neath My Hand our fetters shiver.
But your gratitude's unwoken -
What the hell am I? Chopped liver?

I am He that parts the waters,
He that keeps the mountains steady,
But untended stand My altars -
How about some praise already?

From Creation I have loved you,
Though disheartened by the Fall,
Still I wonder, high above you,
Would it kill you once to call?

#81 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:40 AM:

Faith of my in-laws, praise to thee
From one poor grateful sinner
For my conversion sav-ed me
My mother's Christmas dinner
No longer need I sit and fume,
My waistline growing thinner.

Faith of my in-laws, your new ways
And doctrines are much better
Than what my childhood hymnal's lays
Proclaimed in note and letter.
Your sermons, prayers, and loud-sung praise
Have freed me from my fetter.

Faith of my in-laws, cleave to me;
Say you will leave me never.
And I, in turn, shall never flee
If marriage bonds I sever.
My children shall be raised in thee,
Or so I shall endeavor.


That's all I've got. It really needs a chorus, given the tune I used, but. :->

#82 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:09 AM:

Let us with a gladsome mind
Hear the sermon onward grind,
For the preacher shall endure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

Let us praise his name abroad
As our heads begin to nod,
For the preacher shall endure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

We were in some horrid plight
Having had a sleepless night,
Yet the preacher shall endure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

There is not an open eye
As his stolid words drone by,
For the preacher shall endure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

As the bright and warming sun
For at least an hour shall run,
For the preacher shall endure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

While we dream of silver moon
Or church organ out of tune,
For the preacher shall edndure
Our insomnia's certain cure.

#83 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:12 AM:

Dan @ 69 and JennR @ 70

I've heard "Praise Songs" called "7-11 Songs". Seven words, sung eleven times. Boooooring.

Why no, I'm not fond of the "contemporary" service; why do you ask?

#84 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:23 AM:

“Holy” like a donut, “Holy” like Swiss Cheese,
“Holy” like creationists’ own brand of expertise
“Holy” like a leper with some flesh-eating disease,
“Holy” like My Saviour’s feet, beneath his holy knees.

“Holy” like a colander, or like a piercéd ear,
“Holy” like a fishnet blouse, that’s so much more than sheer
“Holy” like a movie’s plot (The Bible’s, too, I fear)
“Holy” like My Saviour’s side, through which was thrust a spear.

“Holy” like a lake’s thin ice, a helpful signal warns
“Holy” like a matador who did not dodge the horns
“Holy” like John Dillinger, whom everybody scorns
“Holy” like My Saviour’s brow, beneath a crown of thorns.

“Holy” like a bagel, or like a leaky pail
“Holy” like security protecting your e-mail
“Holy” like my engine block, which leaves an oily trail
“Holy” like religion, just a grown-up fairy tale.


http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/holy-like-donut-holy-like-swiss-cheese.html

#85 ::: Vef ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:52 AM:

@Cuttlefish

Holy poetic comparisons, Batman! My colleagues are giving me strange looks again. They're not used to seeing me this happy.

#86 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:53 AM:

Cuttlefish at 77 & 84: methinks thou dost protest too much.

#87 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 10:57 AM:

Mark D @#86: If you're going to speak forsoothly, you should use the right verb: it's "thou dost". "Doth" is for 3rd person singular, as in the original quote.

#88 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 11:01 AM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden:

However, thinking about it makes me imagine there's a suppressed edition of Fox's Book of Martyrs that has full-page engravings showing the Spanish firing Dutch Protestants out of cannons. The longer I think about it, the more detail I can see.

Quaker Puffed Dutch Protestants!

"Hey, Mom! This will make us breakfast fans for life! These choice premium Protestants are exploded up to 8 times normal size. They're crisp, tender. Flavor-rich...Protestants shot from guns has a nut-like flavor that hits the spot!"

#89 ::: Laramie Sasseville ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 11:05 AM:

Holy like a doughnut, holy like Swiss cheese,
Holy world turned inside out, wholly unto thee.
Holy like chicken wire, holy like a snood,
Holy space and intervals, making all things good.

#90 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 11:24 AM:

excellent work, cuttlefish!

the contributions here just keep getting better.

by the way--perhaps someone could compose a canon on rejection?

#91 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 11:24 AM:

Mark D. --

The Cuttle doth protest too much, methinks?

If you think I protest too much about religion, don't get me started on people who butcher Shakespeare quotes! (Your first clue should have been the pentameter failure.)

And, no. I don't.

#93 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:14 PM:

Cuttlefish - I regretted that post immediately, and ask your forgiveness.

Anyone who loves John Reed (and can construct this couplet in his honor) deserves far better than a smirk from me:

Presented with a problem like the claw of a Deinonychus
I pause for just a moment, then it’s “Dammit, bring it on!” I cuss.

Full song is here for everyone's enjoyment.

Again, my apologies.

#94 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:20 PM:

I Thank Thee, God, for Buttocks Firm

I thank thee, God, for buttocks firm
For breasts so high and proud
For lips that that swell so prettily
And hair as soft as a cloud.

I thank thee, God, for Botoxed skin
And surgeons of wondrous skill
Nary a wrinkle will mar your work
And for worries there is a pill.

#95 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:26 PM:

Mark D. #86: Hey Mark, you'll need more than sly inferences to faze Cuttlefish -- he (she? it? ;-) ) usually hangs out at Pharyngula.

#96 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:34 PM:

No worries, Mark D.; as David Harmon says, I hang out at a place where love can be expressed through repeated whacks with a piece of lumber. No exposed fragments of bone, no foul.

#97 ::: Erf ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 12:42 PM:

Dan @ 69: Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. (Maybe I'll be able to keep it straight now.)

I love this place. :)

#98 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:01 PM:

The Shriners have bumper stickers that say "No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a crippled child." I cannot link, because this exists nowhere on the internet -- Shriners are generally pre-internet (and pre-"disabled") kinds of people.

But I can testify to this, because it is the Faith of My In-Laws.

#99 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:13 PM:

JM @ #40: Red hymnal for life! Fie upon thee, Lutheran Worship!

Ah, a Lutheran-come-lately! *dissolves in giggles*

OK, that's not fair of me, really, to make that joke. JM, I know what you mean, but to me that sentence sounds pretty funny... because the thing you call the "red hymnal" is to me the "blue hymnal." Here's why:

In 1929 the Synod authorized a revision of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book with the hope that it might become the English hymn book for the Synodical Conference. The following year an inter-synodical committee began work culminating in the publication of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), a collection which, the title page indicated, was "Authorized by the Synods Constituting the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America." Initially bound in blue, it was popularly known as the "blue hymnal."

So there you have it.

(No, I was not raised Missouri Synod. I was raised in a church that thinks the Missouri Synod is too liberal and they're all going to hell. No, not Wisconsin Synod; the church I was raised in has the same opinion about the Wisconsin Synod.)

#100 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:25 PM:

Hmmm, maybe someone here can answer this question: There is an Anglican church here in Central Ohio that has a sign out front which says that they use "the 1928 Book of Common Prayer."

Which makes me wonder how many versions of the Book of Common Prayer does the Church of England have, and why would a congregation prefer the 1928 edition? (And why would this be worth putting on a sign?)

I have a feeling that this situation may be another red/blue hymnal conflict, but I am curious.

#101 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 01:45 PM:

Lori @100 --

There are really only two; the original Book of Common Prayer with the actual just-post-Elizabethan poetry, and the modern revised version.

The problem is almost precisely analogous to the King James Version -- lovely poetic language, but based on a much less accurate translation than best current scholarship, plus really quite hard to understand without knowing your Jacobean poetics and being an Early Modern English scholar -- versus some good scholarly modern translation of the Bible; a much better and clearer translation, but it Sounds Wrong.

The modern revised version of the Book of Common Prayer is reported every bid as as poetical in its language as a gut-shot steam calliope undergoing prolonged and erratic centripetal accelerations.

Why the 1928 is significant I can't tell you -- it's probably a specific edition in long use thereabouts -- but there's been a lot of very huffy responses to the modern version, which while much more comprehensible, inclusive, and in some senses good-hearted to a present day audience, the hobbling dullness of the prose is a real emotional problem for people who grew up with the Jacobean language of the original(ish) Book of Common Prayer.

#102 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:03 PM:

Oh, Lord, we really prefer not to know.
We really can't tell if you're here with us.
So who am I talking to? No-one? If so,
Ignore me, please, Lord, like the folks on the bus.
Somehow I doubt, Lord, it comes as a blow,
When people inform you they'd rather not know.

Oh, Lord, we really prefer not to know.
If some knew, some didn't, we'd all have a brawl.
But it's all the same really, for often we go
Starting fights over things no-one knows of at all.
Somehow I doubt, Lord, it comes as a blow,
When people inform you they'd rather not know.

Oh, Lord, we really prefer not to know.
Suppose you dropped in, did a wonder or two.
You've been in the business, Lord. After the show
We'd ask, "Is there anything else that you do?"
Somehow I doubt, Lord, it comes as a blow,
When people inform you they'd rather not know.

Oh, Lord, we really prefer not to know.
You seem rather random, but then, so do we.
Do you contain multitudes, too? Maybe so.
I cannot explain you. Can you explain me?
Somehow I doubt, Lord, it comes as a blow,
When people inform you they'd rather not know.



#103 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:05 PM:

Graydon, many thanks -- I will confess that when I think of verses from the Bible, they're definitely KJV -- I don't like ANY of the modern translations...they don't "sing" for me. So I can see why trying to use a more modern English than Cranmer's would make for trouble amidst the flock.

#104 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:06 PM:

Ok, I have to stop doing this; I have work to do!

You have to admit, this sounds pretty far-fetched
Certum est, quia impossibile
But my mem-o-ry has it indelibly etched
Certum est, quia impossibile
There once was a garden, with Adam and Eve
Along came a serpent, with plans to deceive—
What part of this tale am I s’posed to believe?
Certum est, quia impossibile

Lot’s Wife was transformed to a pillar of salt
Certum est, quia impossibile
The bible implies she herself was at fault
Certum est, quia impossibile
The sinning in Sodom, it made the Lord sore-eyed
She didn’t obey; now she’s sodium chloride—
A message which all of the “sinners of yore” eyed
Certum est, quia impossibile

Some children once pestered a man with no hair
Certum est, quia impossibile
Who prayed for revenge, and so God sent two bears
Certum est, quia impossibile
Which mauled all the kids in a terrible fight
And killed every one, with a blow or a bite,
So that next time, the children will act more polite
Certum est, quia impossibile

Then God gave us Jesus, to die for our sins
Certum est, quia impossibile
To re-write the books, so a new age begins
Certum est, quia impossibile
And Jesus was tortured and nailed to a cross
To render us clean, through his terrible loss
(Or maybe his dad was just showing who’s boss)
Certum est, quia impossibile

And ever since then, why, the message has spread
Certum est, quia impossibile
That mankind will live, because Jesus was dead
Certum est, quia impossibile
I have to believe them, they urge and implore,
For ethics, for morals, for peace evermore…
Then battle each other, in bloodthirsty war
Certum est, quia impossibile


http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/you-have-to-admit-this-sounds-pretty.html

#105 ::: Joy ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:26 PM:

Faith of our in-laws living still
In spite of poison, fire, and sword
Oh how our hearts beat slow with ire
Hearing we "aren't good enough for her"

Faith of our in-laws lasting through life
Unless we marry a second wife.

Then again, there's this Wesley classic I've always appreciated (warning: sound)

#106 ::: becca ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:34 PM:

Cuttlefish, I adore you.

#107 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 02:48 PM:

Cuttlefish is on fire. Amazing.

And then there's ajay's #80. Which is, well, perfect.

#108 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 03:41 PM:

Lori@100, Graydon@101:

How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?

Five. One to screw in the light bulb, and the other four to talk about how much better the old light bulb was, and what a pity they had to go and change it.

Also, I belive that the hymn "You Have to Admit, This Sounds Pretty Farfetched" would go well to Grand Isle, aka "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.

#109 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 03:51 PM:

ajay @ 80 -- For some reason, I'm "hearing" that to the tune of Flanders & Swann's "Twenty Tons of TNT".

Somehow, "Another Rainy Day. Great. Thanks a Lot." should be a riff on the classic Bill Cosby routine about Noah, but I can't seem to get it to gel.

#110 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:00 PM:

I look at the thread's title, and I find myself thinking of a Gilliam-style cartoon where saints are forcefully ejected from a cannon.

#111 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:03 PM:

81: "Faith of my In-Laws, praise to thee/Shall not leave you 'till life leaves me"? To keep with the spirit of the original.

various and treble-time (heh, see above, but that tends to be walked in 1): Wait until you watch a processional in 3 where the choir deliberately and with intent walks in 2-against-3.

Argh: "new", "popular", "liturgically sound and inclusive" hymns in the "new book" (whichever one that is) that fail a fundamental criterion: "sound good with organ/piano and choir." With a folk or "church rock" band, they sound great (if you like that style of music, which I, unfortunately, tend to find insipid). For the 1% of churches that have those...

Teresa and page numbers - you'd like our hymnal, then. The hymns are all numbered through about 650. Then we get to the explicit Bible excerpts - the responsive psalms, sung psalms, Magnificat settings, Lord's Prayer in 22 languages, and so on. They're page-numbered, starting with the first number after the hymns. Then we get to the responses and other Ordinary settings - which go back to hymn-numbering (a good thing, too, with three Amens on the same page, for instance).

#112 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:11 PM:

Mycroft W #111: Or, "... Shall not leave you, if wife leaves me"? ;-)

#113 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:28 PM:

Lori @ 100

The '28 was the last of the classical Books of Common Prayer, as has been explained above. The '79 (or current version) caused a lot of schism when it came out, mostly because it 'revised' so much into modern language and introduced "Rite Two" to which my choir director responds with "Well, why not break out the guitars and sing kumbayah, for the love of all that is holy?" It's very contemporary, and it caused quite a bit of controversy because it is so very inclusive and modern, and many Episcopalians are in the church because they like the old, high churchy stuff. (I've got a '28 psalter that is "pointed with the Ancient Anglican and Gregorian tunes" that I love that music director gave me, and we use it for evensong. Our priest prefers what we refer to as Rite 2.5, it's so modern. It's a constant tension).

#114 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:29 PM:

111
That's the way the old Methodist Hymanl (US, 1930s) does it. It doesn't really seem all that strange. (Actually, they might have the hymn pages numbers, too, but no one uses the page numbers for hymns.) What you have to watch out for is the hymns where there's more than one tune with the same number, and just the added note that it's the 'first tune' or whichever one it is.

#115 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:33 PM:

chorus:
drone drone drone drone
solo:
O Lord on high, my butt's asleep!
drone drone drone drone
If I don't move soon, I'll start to weep!
drone drone drone drone
My neighbour has begun to snore.
drone drone drone drone
Much longer and we'll be done for!

all:
Just one more hour, then we go home!

drone drone drone drone
O Lord Who knows when sparrows fall,
drone drone drone drone
Who made all things both great and small,
drone drone drone drone
Who made the world a shining space,
drone drone drone drone
Why shut us up in this dull place?

Just one more hour, then we go home!

#116 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:42 PM:

Is the cannon of rejection used if the slush doesn't contain a SASE?


#117 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 04:53 PM:

The problem with the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is that it only gives the dates for Easter up to the Year 2000, and for dates after that it gives a formula that requires doing long division -- and a calculator doesn't help, you need to do arcane things to the remainder.

I know this because I own a 1928 Book of Common Prayer and have read *all* of it. (Mostly during the boring bits of church services.)

The Church in Wales updated the service rather better than the rest of the English speaking world, retaining as much of the poetry as possible. The most shuddersome thing in the new English version is replacing the chorused response to "The Lord be with you". The original response is "And with thy spirit" which may not mean anything unless you think about it, but is at least easy to say. Think where the beats fall. You can chant it, no problem. The new version is "And also with you", which requires a weird stress shift from what you're expecting, to say YOU. It's much more conversational, but really church service responses aren't very much like conversation. I've never heard this work without someone being wrong-footed by it.

I see no point trying to put these things into the vernacular. Bring back Latin, that way everyone can understand it. Furthermore, when will Christianity get back to arguing about fascinating religious issues like "one substance" vs "similar substance" and who the Paraclete proceeds from, instead of this weird modern obsession with sex and procreation?

#118 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 05:06 PM:

A potted list of major BCP versions:

1549 -- Cranmer's (Edward's) original book
1552 -- Cranmer's (Edward's) second book; much more protestant
1559 -- Elizabeth's BCP, used with minor variations until the Commonwealth

In the 1630's there was a Scots Episcopal BCP produced under more Laudian influence. This is important later on for Americans.

1662 -- The BCP of Charles II. Essentially reproduces 1559 with minor changes. With some very tiny adjustments this is still the official English BCP.

After the Revolution, the US had to re-import Anglicanism from Scotland because George II wouldn't allow the (established) English church to maintain a hierarchy in the ex-Colonies. Thus the American BCP is a descendant of the Scots BCP, mentioned above, and not of the 1662 BCP.

The 1928 American BCP is the last minor revision of the American BCP.

In the late 1920's a more thorough clean-up of the BCP (still all traditional language, but a somewhat modified Canon, updated versions of the Coverdal psalms, and many other changes) was proposed in England -- the 1929 Prayer Book, but it didn't get through Parliament. The Canadian 1959/1962 BCP is basically a copy of this.

In the mid 1970's the Americans did a much more thorough revision includingh modern language options. This is the prayer book that the conservative (Evengelical) wing of the church is reacting against. (Conservative Anglo-Catholics use the Anglican Missal, which is unofficial and which I won't get into here).

Canada, England, and Australia have all adopted "Alternative" service books including modern language options which theorecticall coexist with the actual BCPs but have effectively generally displaced them.

#119 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 05:11 PM:

IME, when a parish trumpets its use of the 1928 BCP, what they really mean is "we don't hold with the ordination of women."

I was so thoroughly indoctrinated by the old Prayer Book that I still say the Nicene Creed in its real version when I'm not paying attention; OTOH, it's 100% priest-centered. I prefer the modern Rite I for its Prayers of the People. Rite II is awful and is generally to be found with Jeezak instead of hymns.

The 1940 hymnal has many things I miss, but its frequent exhortations to go and convert the savages are not among them.

And choir directors who think that Taize is suited to the Episcopal Church are cordially invited to get OFFA MY LAWN.

#120 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 05:27 PM:

Jo Walton @117: I'm going to demonstrate my stunning ignorance here, but I was always taught that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. As long as you've got access to a lunar calendar you shouldn't need any sort of division...

#121 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 05:38 PM:

Jo @ 117 (and also Teresa, who I believe also owns a copy)

Furthermore, when will Christianity get back to arguing about fascinating religious issues like "one substance" vs "similar substance" and who the Paraclete proceeds from, instead of this weird modern obsession with sex and procreation?

This reminds me; if there's any possibility that you might be coming to Fourth Street or Minicon, I'd really like to attempt to play Dogma. I've tried to find a used copy, but the Interwebs have failed me. Even if they hadn't, I looked at your copy at FarthingCon, and found the instructions rather, err, opaque. It may be the sort of game I learn best by playing with people who know how to play, rather than by reading the instructions; but from your and Teresa's descriptions, it's a game I think would be a lot of fun, in a religion-geeky sort of way.

#122 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 06:20 PM:

Mycroft W @111 said in re my composition @81: "Faith of my In-Laws, praise to thee/Shall not leave you 'till life leaves me"? To keep with the spirit of the original.
David Harmon @112 then added in re same: Or, "... Shall not leave you, if wife leaves me"? ;-)

I'm afraid I don't know what the 'obvious' tune for that title is; I was using God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen in order to keep my scansion consistent, but then couldn't figure out any cromulent chorus to insert that would also scan. I admit my choice of tune was probably influenced by the fact that it's what my brain tried to scan Our Gracious Host's example far above to, only to find it didn't quite work towards the end.

Cally Soukup @121 said: This reminds me; if there's any possibility that you might be coming to Fourth Street or Minicon, I'd really like to attempt to play Dogma.

NB, in re this and our convo at Capricon: the title of the game is Credo, which will aid you in finding a copy. Put out by Chaosium.

#123 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 06:24 PM:

Elliott @ 122

Oops. I knew that, even. Thanks! I don't know what came over my fingers.

Credo. Not Dogma. Credo.

#124 ::: Ledasmom ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 06:47 PM:

Though You made them blind or legless
Though You made them halt and lame
Though You made them doubled over
Even cripples praise your name

Though You put their legs on backward
Though You gave them half a heart
Though You made their knees decrepit
And their ears three feet apart

Though You took out their intestines
Though You gave their lungs a twist
Though You gave them crooked shoulders
And a lump upon the wrist

Though You gave them gruesome headaches
Made them lean upon a cane
Though You made their their backs to zigzag
Even cripples praise Your name

Be we as the pious cripple
Do as he will do we must
Give You praise and give You worship
Or You'll do the same to us

#125 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 06:57 PM:

Elliott: Faith of our fathers was what I'm sure we two, and the maker of the list, were thinking (Cyberhymnal warning).

And David's ending is much better than mine.

#126 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:01 PM:

...and now I notice that it's 8888 with refrain, not the 6 lines with refrain you set. It was clearly too obvious for me to actually notice that it was *the wrong tune*.

#127 ::: The real Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:02 PM:

@34:

While I'm happy to take credit for that little bit of verse it seems that we have two Chris W.s running around. I'm not quite sure how to resolve this. I know pistols at dawn is traditional, but may be somewhat pointless if you're not somewhere in the Boston area. (Duelling tends to be considerably less decisive when one requires a map and compass to decide which way to point the gun.)

I really don't want to be rude, but mightn't you find another name to post under? I have been using this name off and on here for nigh on 7 years.

(For reference: this, this and this are all me. This is not.

#128 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:22 PM:

A saint who is shot from a gun is, of course, cannonized.

#129 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:34 PM:

Mycroft W #125 ::: Aw, thanks!

The real Chris W. #127: How about a punfight instead? ;-)

#130 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:50 PM:

(To "St Anne", with thanks to Isaac Watts who wrote the best bits of what follows. Same idea as Jo Walton's, above. Apologies for the tiny change in the first line. I think there should probably be at least one more verse, but I'm out of ideas for now.)

Just one more hour then we go home,
O God, to be with Thee,
The paths of death no more to roam,
And Thy blest face to see.

O Lord, vouchsafe to us Thy light
Lest earthly years seem long:
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone.

So all the length of human years
A handbreadth shall be known
When soon we leave this world of tears
For our eternal home.

#131 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 07:58 PM:

Lori Coulson@120:
As long as you've got access to a lunar calendar you shouldn't need any sort of division...

There are approximations and edge conditions involved, at least in the Western church. Just for one example, it isn't the real full moon that's used, it's the 14th day of the lunar month. A lunar calendar will work most of the time.

#132 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:00 PM:

As for the "buttocks firm", see this; I have no idea whether the author had seen the McSweeney's list, but it's just the sort of thing he might well have done regardless.

#133 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:13 PM:

I've just realized that I already have a chorus that fits this. Let's see if I can flesh out a few verses. (TTTO "One More River to Cross"; 'hour' is two syllables)

One more hour
And that's the hour of boredom
One more hour
There's one more hour to fill

The ministers came in one by one
(There's one more hour to fill)
Oh, no, the sermon's just begun
(There's one more hour to fill)

One more hour
And that's the hour of boredom
One more hour
There's one more hour to fill

The choristers came in two by two
(There's one more hour to fill)
How long 'til this hymn is through?
(There's one more hour to fill)

One more hour
And that's the hour of boredom
One more hour
There's one more hour to fill

The people came in three by three
(There's one more hour to fill)
Here we sit 'til eternity
(There's one more hour to fill)

One more hour
And that's the hour of boredom
One more hour
There's one more hour to fill

#134 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:25 PM:

A Hymn for Coffee Hour

Our bellies we are filling.
Our coffee we are swilling.
The sermon we’re critiquing
While car keys we are seeking.
Just one more hour
Just one more hour
Just one more hour, then we go home.

#135 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:37 PM:

TexAnne @ 119 ...
IME, when a parish trumpets its use of the 1928 BCP, what they really mean is "we don't hold with the ordination of women."

Interesting. I've not run into that at all. It typically boils down to "some of our parishioners detest the new prayer book" around here -- whether it's a man or a woman at altar :)

#136 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:38 PM:

With apologies to George Herbert and John Milton, who deserve to be ripped off more stylishly than this:

O saints who died in gruesome ways
Thy glories well may sing,
As through the length of endless days
They worship Thee, their King:

Their noble lives, their glorious end,
We oftentimes admire,
Who for Thy name their lives expend
By sword or cross or fire.

But hymn them now, with glad applause,
Whose lives were made complete
In sweeping rooms as for Thy laws
And washing sinners' feet.

For them no earthly glories rise:
No works of brush or pen
Portray for our delighted eyes
Their quiet last Amen.

Yet such as these your work on earth
Devotedly fulfil,
Their dreams of glory, name, and worth
Subjected to Thy will.

Defend us Lord, from pride of heart;
They also may be great
Who humbly take the lesser part,
Who only stand and wait.

#137 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:57 PM:

Who says a psalm parody can't still be a psalm? I wrote this for a friend in college.

The Lord is my driver; I shall not wreck.
He maketh me let it down to the floorboards.
He leadeth me along smooth highways,
He refilleth my tank.
He guideth me in paths of straightness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I drive through the valley of the state troopers,
I shall fear no tickets,
For thou art with me.
Thy rest stops and thy service areas,
They comfort me.
Thou preparest a defense for me
In the presence of the judge.
Thou shieldest my vision with sun shades,
My radiator runneth not over.

Surely good mileage shall follow me
All the miles of my trip,
And I shall cruise on the freeway of the Lord forever.

Sorry I don't have one that can be sung. The song I wrote for the same friend on the same topic was from an entirely different genre (Snoopy and the Red Baron) and thuis not on topic for this thread.

#138 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 08:57 PM:

128
Apropos of which, I ran into a subdivision on a map one time with Italianate street names, all beginning with San or Santa ... one of which was 'San Anzio'. I knew it have been cannonaded cannonized, but that was the first I'd seen it canonized.

#139 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:21 PM:

Allan Beatty @ 137 -- So that'd be about your psalm pilot?

#140 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:23 PM:

@Erik @128 - from the couch beside me:

The church needs men of your caliber.

#141 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:39 PM:

xeger, 135: Possibly that's just in the state of Texas (divided into the Diocese of Texas, and those heretics in the Diocese of Fort Worth who are suing the EC-USA because...eh, this is possibly not the thread for that).

Allan, 137: The first time I met Teresa and Patrick, they sang the lovely hymn "Please Don't Kill Us, Random Person."

#142 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:51 PM:

That's the Driving Hymn:

Please don't kill us, random persons,
Do not squash us flat like bugs;
We hope you'll contrive to dodge us
Even though you're taking drugs.

Please repress your inner children,
Please face frontwards when you drive;
We need your cooperation
Just to get back home alive.

#143 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 09:51 PM:

TexAnne #141: "The first time I met Teresa and Patrick, they sang the lovely hymn 'Please Don't Kill Us, Random Person.'"

Which I believe has been posted to Making Light before, but since it's obviously relevant, I'll post it again.

We wrote this to sing every time we drive somewhere in an actual automobile. Think of it as a kind of memento mori. Tune: "What A Friend We Have in Jesus", also known as "Christ Almighty, What A Pal".

Please don't kill us, random person
Do not squash us flat like bugs
We hope you'll contrive to dodge us
Even though you're taking drugs

Please repress your inner children
Please face frontwards when you drive
We need your cooperation
Just to get back home alive

#144 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2010, 11:55 PM:

Well, you can't expect people who live on opposite sides of the planet to coordinate and avoid such duplications.

What? They do?

Well then.

#145 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 12:09 AM:

Dan @146

What gets me is that the same folks who are expected to sing the incredibly banal and boring "praise songs" (same words, same melody, same yawn over and over and OVER again) are also quite capable of picking up the hymnal and singing something with four parts, repeats, two endings and an alternate coda. The praise songs feel insulting, like we were all pre-schoolers who can't be expected to sing anything interesting.

Heck, I sang more musically engaging songs when I was a pre-schooler!

#146 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 12:37 AM:

Hmm. The site seems to have lost several messages in the crash. My post was started just before the outage, and the message it's responding to isn't there any more.

#147 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 01:34 AM:

#143 and #144 -- I take it that was two-part harmony, with lines and circles &c.

(Since I don't know the "What a friend" melody by name, the hymn comes off as "Ode To Joy" in my eyes.)

#148 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 02:21 AM:

Elise @99: Stricter than the Wisconsin Synod? How utterly terrifying! Your Lutheran credentials seem to FAR outstrip my own, and you can giggle at me all you like.

#149 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:32 AM:

Osbert Lancaster's rather splendid Drayneflete Carol:

Alle children come and sing
Praises to our yonge King;
Some sing sharpe and some sing flat
Alma mater exeat.

Alle angels in the sky
Maken loude melodie
With harp, sackbut, shawm and drum
Ad terrorem omnium.

Alle creatures in the stalle
Alack, they cannot sing at alle;
Ne cock ne hen of either sex
De minimis non curat lex.

#150 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:30 AM:

Xopher #144: Well, you can't expect people who live on opposite sides of the planet to coordinate and avoid such duplications. What? They do? Well then.

I think that a virtual tendril of the Making Light Duplicate Posting Bug has finally touched the Transcend, enabling it to reach an apotheosis state. It is likely toying with us at this point, to amuse itself while its subtle preparations unfold. I'm not sure why it has allowed me to post this expos---***NO CARRIER***

#151 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:33 AM:

150:I don't know why a poetry thread should have Transcended. Hexameter is the key insight, obviously.

#152 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:57 AM:

Cally, I understand that Jo and Teresa are both coming to Fourth Street. And I think I have a copy of Credo around here somewhere.

#153 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:16 AM:

I am quite sure I've heard "sex" rhymed with "De minimis non curat lex" before, but with quite a different purpose.

#154 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:46 AM:

The problem with the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is that it only gives the dates for Easter up to the Year 2000, and for dates after that it gives a formula that requires doing long division -- and a calculator doesn't help, you need to do arcane things to the remainder.

Then I am now officially an antidisestablishmentarian. People should know how to do long division.

The problem with the modern prayer books, according to my mother who gritted her death and dragged herself to church through all the late 20th century revisions, is that they leave no place for a meditative approach to worship which a lot of older Anglicans/Episcopalians preferred to the relentlessly upbeat approach now fashionable. It's as if a whole generation were being told, "No, you can't connect with God in the way you're used to. And we don't like your taste in music either. Now drop and give me 50!"

#155 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:12 AM:

Among the comments lost in the server move were several rather funny bits of byplay in reaction to Teresa and I posting the driving song simultaneously. The one I immediately remember was TexAnne's near-instant response: "My summonings are mighty!"

#156 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:17 AM:

Elise, I hope you do have a copy of Credo, because T and I are quite distressed to discover that we can't immediately locate our copy. And we understand it's damned hard to find for sale.

It does indeed appear that we're coming to Fourth Street. Resistance is futile.

#157 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:27 AM:

Easter: is more complicated than that.

Credo: I'll do my best to remember to bring it to Fourth Street. Texanne, email me a few days beforehand to remind me. Or Farthing Party is going to be in your school holiday this year, so you could think about that.

#158 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:58 AM:

Jo: I shall certainly try to do both. Oooh, Farthing Party! I'd explode from happiness.

#159 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:01 AM:

Oh wait, I've just checked the calendar. School starts the 23rd, and I'm required to be there the preceding Friday. This is NOT FAIR.

#160 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:10 AM:

Xeger 135, TexAnne 141:

I am Lutheran*, not Anglican/Episcopalian, but I think TexAnne is right, with an added, "and no gays either."

I have several friends who are EC/USA clergy, and they tell me that a stated preference for the 1928 BCP is code for "change is bad, and Those People should all get out of our church."

It is very likely that some of the laity are responding to the language and music, but among the clergy it is a theological statement.

*and I note with amusement that my fellow Lutherans upthread have not dared to mention the cranberry hymnal. Shall we discuss the correct tune/harmony for "Ein Feste Burg?" Or the way the LCMS forced their unsingable hymns into the green book, then ran away cackling evilly/did their best to give us correct hymnody but were forced in sorrow to leave us wallowing in sin?

#161 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:18 AM:

Patrick @155 - When I logged in this morning, that post by TexAnne was there. It vanished when I hit post for my earlier comment. Very strange.

#162 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:19 AM:

well i must say, if this thread had been a competition, then cuttlefish would have won it handily.

i'm reminded of the politician's adage, "never pick a fight with someone who gets their ink by endogenous metabolic synthesis". or words to that effect.

#163 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:44 AM:

elise @152


Whee! I look forward to it!

#164 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:58 AM:

In my experience, a stated attachment to the 1928 Prayer Book (or 1962 Prayer Book in Canada) is an explict rejection of the lowered level of explicit Protestant modes of discourse and Protestant doctrine in the later books, and a rejection of changes which tend to somewhat Catholicise the rites in the newer books. This would tend to correlate highly with anti-gay positions but not (except in a very extreme fringe) with opposition to women's orders.

Opposition to the ordination of women tended and tends to be strongest in conservative Anglo-Catholic circles, which had been ignoring the 1928 book ever since it came out in favour of the Anglican Missal. If they use a prayer-book version at all, it would be the newer one.

I knew one of the members of the committe which produced the newer US Prayer Book, now dead, who was firmly opposed to the ordination of women, and he was fairly representative of the AC right wing -- no problems with the prayer book except that it didn't go far enough.

#165 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:19 AM:

Um... if anyone was offended by any of my earlier hymns... you might not want to read the following one. I don't know how to put it into a spoiler box, so my apologies in advance.

I thank thee, God, for buttocks firm
For skin of alabaster
For pouting lips
Eyes dark as pips
Which rouse me all the faster

I thank thee, God, for rosy cheeks
For slender, active fingers
For winsome smile
Where, for a while,
My roving glance still lingers

I thank thee, God, for perfect voice,
A clear and pure soprano
The angels long
To hear a song
In forte or piano

...

I thank thee, God, the Bishop said,
For this small piece of heaven
So dear to me
Too bad that he
Will soon be turning seven

http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-thank-thee-god-for-buttocks-firm.html

#166 ::: ma larkey ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:21 AM:

This internet addict needs rehab
A hymn for anonymous chat recovery


this omegler's stalking me
grant me lols now if you please
daily walking close to thee
let it be dear Lord, let it be

i am weak but thou art strong
keep me from chatroulette schlongs
i'll be happy just as long
as i walk, as you walk close to me

now the time is close at hand
i should stop using broadband
you will always understand
how I wish you could all detox with me.

#167 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:26 AM:

ajay @149 quoted Osbert Lancaster's rather splendid Drayneflete Carol:
Alle angels in the sky
Maken loude melodie
With harp, sackbut, shawm and drum
Ad terrorem omnium.

I've HEARD sackbuts and shawms; 'ad terrorem omnium' is darn right.

Although at least there were no liturgical krumhorns in Lancaster's heavenly wind section; those things remind me of nothing so much as Godzilla's own double-bass kazoo.

#168 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:39 AM:

Cuttlefish, I may not share your atheism, but the priesthood can put up with some mockery, all things considered.

#169 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:44 AM:

(Also, #165 falls into a tradition of off-color jokes about clergy going back centuries, if not millennia.)

#170 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 12:45 PM:

@169--

"#165 falls into a tradition of off-color jokes about clergy going back centuries, if not millennia."

yeah, that was my first reaction, too--thinking of the nun's priest, the pardoner, friar lawrence, and other allzumenschlich types throughout english lit.

but the more i think about it, the more it feels like that comparison misses an important difference.

this is not a criticism of cuttlefish or of you (pnh), just a thought about our (lay) attitudes towards clergy over the ages.

much teasing of the clergy has to do with their attempting to resist, and failing to resist, certain universal weaknesses to which all flesh is prey. friars eat too much. preachers love their own voices, and their sermons go on too long. rabbis are disputatious, and over-proud of their subtlety in quibbling. and of course, celibates suffer from lust.

we can tease those people, and at the same time feel some sympathy and even affection for their plight. sure; i'm like that. i eat too much. i talk too much, and argue too much, because i'm so damned clever. and i even felt lust once (though by now it's an historical curiosity). we're all human, even the padre.

but there's something really, really different about the way that predatory pedophilia was woven into the institutional fabric of the catholic church in the 20th century. not only is that not a lust i share in, it is also not one i think is cute or endearing.

the scope of the predation, the cover-ups of the crimes, the reassignment of known predators as a way of evading the law, all that was a systemic pathology built out of thousands of individual pathologies, which perpetuated themselves through a hierarchy of deceits. it had about it the machine-like evil of the holocaust.

i think that's why cuttlefish's latest cuts a little closer to the bone. that bishop is not just another fat friar who likes to finish off the altar-wine. that bishop is a vampire, destroying a young life. that's not ordinary human weakness ; it's demonic if anything is.

#171 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 12:54 PM:

170: following on from that, has anyone seen "Father Ted"? Made about ten or fifteen years ago, and very much in the tradition that you're talking about, if rather more sharp - the scheming priest, the lecherous drunk and the idiot are all more or less sympathetic characters.
The Irishman who wrote it, Graham Linehan, recently said in an interview that he didn't think he could write it now - he no longer feels able to regard the Church with that sort of amusement, but only with disgust and hatred for what they've done.
You could write "The Government Inspector" about the comic officials of Tsarist Russia; you couldn't write a 1930s version.

#172 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 01:09 PM:

@171--

aw, come on--lavrenti beria? the guy was a comic genius. and lovable? god, you just wanted to kiss him on the nose. remember how he'd start every episode with that catch-phrase, 'iiiit's...show-trial!" yeah, good times.

hadn't read that about the writer for father ted. i think the only thing i've seen of that show was when atrios or the like linked to a clip of a priest repeatedly telling people to feck off. yup; that's the old-fashioned affectionate ribbing. hard to feel that anymore.

#173 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 02:05 PM:

kid bitzer @172:

I suspect you're already familiar with the joke (supposedly current in the Soviet Union during Beria's tenure) about the Georgian delegation?

Stalin is just finishing a meeting with the Georgian delegation when he notices that his favorite pipe, which he had left on the desk, has disappeared. He calls over Beria and tells him to find out which one of the Georgians took it.

Half an hour later he finds the pipe in his coat pocket, where he must have mislaid it, so he calls up Beria and tells him about the mixup.

"But Josef," Beria responds. "That's impossible, you see, they've already confessed."

Not exactly a side-splitter, but I think it helps show that there's little so awful in life that there isn't someone capable of making light (or should that be Making Light?) of it.

#174 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 02:26 PM:

@173--

thanks, chris w.

i had heard it long ago, liked it and had since forgotten it. good to be reminded.

of course, lavrenti beria was the kind of figure to whom lots of jokes wound up being attributed--even things he probably didn't say.

for example, "nobody goes to that gulag anymore--it's too crowded!"

and, "always go to other people's summary executions, otherwise they won't go to yours,"

and of course, "if you come to a fork in the trans-siberian railroad, take it!"

if he hadn't been stalin's henchman, he could have killed in vaudeville.

#175 ::: strangetikigod ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 03:12 PM:

@127

I was the Chris W. @ 34, but tradition being tradition, I happily cede that username back to it's proper owner. Sorry about that!

#176 ::: strangetikigod ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 03:13 PM:

@127

I was the Chris W. @ 34, but tradition being tradition, I happily cede that username back to its proper owner. Sorry about that!

#177 ::: Rupert Goodwins ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 03:19 PM:

Hello, all.

When I survey the Multiverse
In which the Prince of Glory died
Or did not die, or both at once.
I can't decide, How hard I try.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Of understanding quantum phys.
But if I sin and don't at once
Redemption lacks that certain whizz.

See from his state, entangled thus
All states of possibility come
Did e'er free will and infinity meet?
Or are we trapped in one light cone?

Were the whole realm of nature mine
In superposition neatly stacked
I'm saved and cursed and all states between
In short, oh Lord, theology's facked

R

#178 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 03:47 PM:

An earlier version of this post disappeared into the luminiferous aether (or should that be luminifacious aether?) We'll see whether or not it turns up.

Strangetikigod @175

Thanks for being so gracious. I hesitated to even ask, since if there's any handle that one is entitled to, it's one closely based on one's real life name. But I'm glad its turned out for the best, both for us and for the reading comprehension of those poor fools unlucky enough not to have the first name of Chris and a last name beginning with W.

#179 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:10 PM:

#177-

great stuff!

about this part:

"When I survey the Multiverse
In which the Prince of Glory died
Or did not die, or both at once.
I can't decide, How hard I try."

you have to remember that whether he dies or not depends on what you observe after you open the door to the box!

live cat? dead cat? as you probably know, there was a theological schism that arose from this very question--the so-called "catty-schism".

#180 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:20 PM:

Chris W. @178 said:I'm glad its turned out for the best, both for us and for the reading comprehension of those poor fools unlucky enough not to have the first name of Chris and a last name beginning with W.

I'm told there are so many Chris-es (all genders) in British (especially filk) fandom, that none of them go by Chris, instead using noms-de-fan like Christo, Keris, TheMagician, etc.

#181 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:44 PM:

There aren't quite so many Earl's in fandom, but I'm The "Other" Earl out of respect for Earl Kemp.

#182 ::: Rupert Goodwins ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:52 PM:

#179 -

Indeed, under quantum theology (can there be a more skiffy concept?) Jesus neither resurrected nor did not resurrect until someone rolled away the stone.

I find, on reflection, an entire hymnal

What a friend we have in Dawkins!
All our fire and bile to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Selfish Gene, wingnuts to scare!

and

Now we are come to the sun's hour of rest
The lights of evening round us shine
But the meter's running out now
Brother, can you spare a dime?

I think I should stop there.

R

#183 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 04:53 PM:

You'd be surprised at how many Cuttlefish there are.

I'm the real one.

#184 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:04 PM:

kid bitzer, #170: You've got a point there.

#185 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:16 PM:

Via the author of the McSweeney's piece mentioned in the original post, this thread gets linked from the blog of Commonweal. My goodness.

#186 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:34 PM:

Rupert, 182: On the contrary, pray continue!

#187 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:44 PM:

@ PNH #185

Oh, dear. I may have to clean up my act.


...


nah.

#188 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 05:49 PM:

@187--

when you get to lashing religion, i'd say you raise some pretty uncommon weals. ouch!

(but perhaps better to leave weal enough alone).

#189 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:03 PM:

I love the wafers,
I love the holy wine,
I love the coffee,
I love the cookie time,
I love the potlucks,
with all the jello molds.

bmdyd bmdyd bmdyd

#190 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:20 PM:

This thread now has me pondering when distance is useful in humor, and what kinds of distance. (And of course it varies. So many things vary.)

The hymn-writing reminded me of a pair of earrings I was showing a photograph of to someone. They had beads made from dinosaur bones and beads made from a meteorite (NWA 869, to be specific), and were called "Will the Light That Shined On The Dinosaurs Shine On Me?" Back when I made them, every time I would add their name to an inventory list, I would sing the line, and there was a pretty good gospel chorus going after a while. Not too many opportunities to sing hymns about possible impending meteor strikes, though -- at least as far as I know. (Now watch, somebody will post exactly that sort of hymn, probably written several centuries ago.)

#191 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:22 PM:

The other day I came across an ad for a Discovery Channel special with an especially ludicrous title.

"Who Framed Jesus?"
#192 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 06:24 PM:

kid bitzer @ #179, would that be the small catty schism, then?

"This is most certainly true. Or not."

(Ten to one that our esteemed hosts hear that line in an imitation William Burroughs voice, for reasons probably too complicated to explain in a comment, but which I would be happy to demonstrate in person over a cuppa someday for anybody who would like.)

#193 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:07 PM:

#191 Serge: You would think the number would be in the hundreds, at least. But according to Sagot, it doesn't matter, because nobody'll buy one, framed or unframed.

"Sagot: I know that there are two subjects in paintings that no one will buy. One is Jesus and the other is sheep. Love Him as much as they want, no one really wants a picture of Jesus in the living room. You're having a few people over, having a few drinks, and there's Jesus over the sofa. Somehow it doesn't work. And not in the bedroom either, obviously. I mean you want Jesus watching over you but not while you're in the missionary position. You could put Him in the kitchen maybe, but then that's sort of insulting to Jesus. Jesus, ham sandwich, Jesus, ham sandwich; I wouldn't like it and neither would He..."

#194 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:31 PM:

I don't know... I've been happy to put crucifixes in the bedroom, and I'd be willing to have a nicely-done Spanish crucifix in the living room; it would make a nice conversation piece.

#195 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 07:55 PM:

"Sagot: I know that there are two subjects in paintings that no one will buy. One is Jesus..."

Well, one strong candidate for the best-selling picture of all time is "Head of Christ", from 1941. Its publishers have been responsible for framing Jesus millions of times.

(The play Sagot's in is set a few decades before "Head of Christ" was created, but there are plenty of other perennial favorites featuring Jesus. Even though only a small proportion of artwork has been considered worth renewing copyright for, a sizable portion of the paintings that were renewed seem to feature Jesus and other religious scenes. It looks like the rightsholders saw a sizable, long-term market for many of these pictures.)

#196 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:12 PM:

Oh, Lord, we really prefer not to know
We'll take it on faith
No evidence needed
Lord, cognition we'll gladly forego
And as the Lord sayeth,
His Word shall be heeded.

Knowledge is best when revealed from on high
And who'd prefer truth to a comfortable lie?

Lord, we really prefer not to know
We'll all attend mass
And heed to your ruling
Lord, just call me enlightenment's foe
Biology class
Is fun with home schooling!

Scientists wonder, "how ancient is Man?"
Far more important--he's part of God's Plan!

"In the beginning" my textbook begins
With Adam and Eve there in Eden
Knowledge is clearly the greatest of sins
The minimum's all that we're needin'

Lord, we really prefer not to know
Concern for our souls
Takes precedence ever
Lord, whatever you'd like to bestow
Our knowledge has holes
Still we think we're clever

Is there a future attractive as this:
Spending our lives in an ignorant bliss?

Oh Lord, we really prefer not to know!

http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/03/oh-lord-we-really-prefer-not-to-know.html

#197 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:25 PM:

Okay, cuttlefish, I'm starting to feel preached at.

Which I'm sure you don't much care for when it's done to you.

#198 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:40 PM:

Serge, 191: oh, yes, "Who Framed Jesus?" I saw that and said to Avram, "So Jesus was innocent of being the Son of God and Our Savior?" Not to mention that the questions being asked in the program are closer to who framed Judas, Pilate, the Sanhedrin, et al.

I have to be much, much punchier than I am to get the filk juices going. But I'm at my mother's place right now - she was Catholic for the first 82 years of her life, but she joined a Puerto Rican Presbyterian church this past autumn - and I read her #3 and #80, and she was howling.

#199 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:44 PM:

ajay's #80 is still one of my favorite things ever posted to ML.

#200 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:51 PM:

Alleluia, schmalleluia
Sing we fluorosphereans
Alleluia, schmalleluia
Sound the trump! Bang pots and pans!

Alleluia, schmalleluia
Fruitful discord, joyful noise
Alleluia, schmalleluia
Duet with a still, small voice

Alleluia, schmalleluia
singing as we roll along
Alleluia, schmalleluia
Journeys are improved by song

Alleluia, schmalleluia
Savoring chords unresolved
Alleluia, schmalleluia
(Key changes may be involved)

Alleluia, schmalleluia
Jump right in wheree'er you are
Alleluia, schmalleluia
Just don't make me stop this car.

#201 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 08:56 PM:

@200--

i'm hearing the who's down in who-ville? or a different tune?
great stuff, either way.

#202 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 09:27 PM:

Juli Thompson @ 160 ...
I am Lutheran*, not Anglican/Episcopalian, but I think TexAnne is right, with an added, "and no gays either."

Hm. There may be a border thing coming into play here. It's not nearly such a big deal to have either women or gays in the (Anglican) church around here, and it's as common for the clergy to be annoyingly evangelical and conservative about the alternative service as the book of common prayer.

Somewhat sideways, this site has an absolutely lovely collection of various iterations of the BCP

#203 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 09:45 PM:

All the talk about this or that prayer book revision goes over my head, as I come from an extremely low-church tradition. Our controversies are more along the lines of: "You can gender-neutralize the hymns* I don't care for anyway, but don't you dare touch Children of the Heavenly Father!"

Oh, and then there's the nod to multiculturalism, where a few hymns have words printed in five languages -- but only the German version scans.

* They are all hymns because they are in a book called a hymnal. The same composition may have begun as a song when it was introduced in a spiral-bound or saddle-stapled booklet, becoming a hymn when it was promoted to hardcover.

#204 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:13 PM:

Oh, I have to quote the hymn verse that Teresa and I sang in the kitchen when I was there in January. Seems like we wind up singing it once per visit. It's got the worst front half and the best back half of any hymn verse I know.

"By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth."

#205 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:20 PM:

Allan Beatty @203: Our controversies are more along the lines of: "You can gender-neutralize the hymns* I don't care for anyway, but don't you dare touch Children of the Heavenly Father!"

My grade-school Catholic choir only ever had one severe act of rebellion to hymn-updating, and it was for "Let There Be Peace On Earth."

Old words
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Stupid new words
With God as our Father, neighbors all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

The choir nun got us all to sing it perfectly with the new words in practice, but we never did at Mass -- we all just sweetly and without any overt protest sang the RIGHT words. And the congregation didn't notice because they were singing it from memory anyway, not off the Missalette. :->

We disliked some other songs they tried to get us to sing, but we never rebelled to that degree over any of the others.

I attended a cousin's (Catholic) wedding about ten years ago, and was astounded at how 'off' my memorized responses and hymns were; apparently there's been a lot of 'updating' going on even since 1989. They did something even stupider to "Let There Be Peace On Earth," too, though I don't remember precisely what from having been in such shock/dissonance while it was going on at the magnitude of the stupidity.

#206 ::: Cuttlefish ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:27 PM:

@ PNH #197

No offense taken. None intended, truthfully (bearing in mind #95, I am accustomed to a very different definition of "offense"). I shall take my leave, but you now know where I live, if you ever are in the mood for cephalopod.

I thank you for this opportunity, and apologize for preaching. I am extremely grateful that I am never exposed to it, myself.

Oh, wait.

...Well, that I was not so treated *here*. Delightful place, I wish you all good things. Fondest regards to both of you, and to all of your regulars.

C

#207 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:39 PM:

Eric at 189, I was not expecting that and burst out laughing.

I don't have much Latin-- reasonable fluency in Spanish, scientific background, lots of choirs, general wordnerdery-- but I like half-translating bits of songs as I go. I have no intention of being accurate, only pretty; it's just to make me feel like I know a little more of what I'm singing. And to make them say what I want them to.

#208 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 10:48 PM:

Cuttlefish @ 206: while I will not presume to speak for PNH/TNH/et alia, you don't have to go away. Just tone down the preachy, eh?

eri @ 189: you disturbed my cats' well earned repose. Snerk. Well done. (sorry, ajay @80 still wins.)

Elliot @205: I've changed Protestant denominations many times (>5) in my life, and it usually takes me a few months to adapt to the new versions of litanies/responses, etc. The church I currently attend used a "new" response at communion a few months ago, and I had people on three sides offer me a bulletin so I'd know the new words. Which were the ones I used 20 years and four churches ago, when we sang the responses.

#209 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 11:13 PM:

Chris Quinones @ 198... I had this image of Jerry Orbach as a Centurion looking into what really happened.

#210 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2010, 11:21 PM:

and, of course, I meant Eric @ 189. (Silly fingers. Is leaving it off better than getting it wrong?)

#211 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:44 AM:

I thought I was over the flu enough to be able to read this thread without (too much) coughing.

I was so very wrong.

I made it to #38, and could no longer breathe properly. The rest will have to wait further healing.

#212 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:50 AM:

JennR, I wasn't raised in any particular church-- somewhat to my shame, I have taken Communion, but I shouldn't have and I knew it at the time-- so I've picked up bits from various mostly-Protestant services and my somewhat cultish Masonic youth group (also a source of mild shame regarding oaths and such; I think my brain says, "Well, you don't take it at all, but you can at least take it seriously). The only bit that's stuck is, "May the Force be with you." "And also with you."

#213 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:52 AM:

Serge, 209: Lex et Ordo: Unitas Specialissimarum Victimarum?

As a translation into Latin, this is inexcusably foul, up there with ROMANES EUNT DOMUS, and I offer my sincere apologies to abi et al. for the lapse.

My Latin dictionaries want to translate "special" as praecipuus, not I word I'm familiar with, and I have no idea what to use for "unit" in the sense intended - manipulus, maybe? I usually don't regret skipping over Caesar straight to Cicero in high school, but I feel the deficiency here.

I wonder what the Vatican TV listings use. They must be in Latin, I'm sure.

#214 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:18 AM:

Hmmmm....

Praise song lovers boring rhythm banal words in church song mouth
See their lips the praise songs utter as the unison goes south
Loudly they recite their recite their prayers and
Loud their claims of piety,

Dissonance is reigning, reining, raining,
Dissonance it rains on you and me!

Wars of words and tunes conflicting values change for some not all
Old parts better music harder words translated form a wall
Where the new words are inclusive
Those who cling to old complain,

Dissonance is reigning, reining, raining,
New is bad all change is bane!

But the old words have lost meanings and translations somewhat wong
With society so diff'rent comes demand rewrite the song
In this modern world of wonders many changes here to see,

Dissonance is reigning, reining, raining,
Dissonance it rains on you and me!

Old way new ways hymns a-clashing pick which prayer books from to choose
And which language shall the hymns be or for Christians or for Jews
Come the joyous singers' noises to the Lord all songs sing,

Dissonance is reigning, reining, raining,
Dissonance is raining, hear it ring!
Dissonance is reigning, reining, raining,
Dissonance is raining, hear it ring!

#215 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:54 AM:

Cleanse My Scalp of Dandruff, Lord

Cleanse my scalp of dandruff, Lord
Make the itching leave my skin
Take the white flakes all away
Let the healing now begin!

Glorious the feeling
Of the wonderous healing
And my head now is fed
No more surface peeling
And my head now is fed
No more surface peeling

Make my sunburns go away
I do not want the pain to stay.
Red skin peeling is a drag
Worse still when on boobs that sag!

I was wrong to lay in
Sunlight the whole day in
But my head now is fed
No more surface peeling
And my head now is fed
No more surface peeling

Bless my facial treatment now
Make the lotions work and wow
Make my skin glow in the night
Make me glow with holy light!

I ask answer for my prayers,
"Specially in cosmetic lairs
Grant me grace make my face
Light to lead the human race,
Grant me grace make my face
Light to lead the human race.

#216 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:59 AM:

Edit - change the "glow with holy light" to "shine with holy light"

#217 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 03:33 AM:

Elise@204: Oh lord, I remember having to *play* that hymn... I think it was in the old green Presbyterian hymnal? (There was a newer dark red one, and a newer still dark red one... I sort of, um, was involved in three separate Presbyterian churches, pretty much simultaneously, in my teens... one that I was a member of, one I was in the choir of occasionally, one I was assistant organist at... yeah, it got complicated, especially since I didn't have a driver's license. *wry*)

All of you: I'm beyond awed.

#218 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 04:40 AM:

209: I still can't hear the story of the Last Supper without hearing Hercule Poirot explaining "Mes amis, I have called you together for zis reason: one of you will betray me!"

#219 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 06:08 AM:

Chris Quinones #213: Lex et Ordo: Unitas Specialissimarum Victimarum?

Lex Luthor was victimizing Johnny Unitas? I guess Luthor was a Joe Namath fan, then. heh.

#220 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 06:13 AM:

213: My own Latin is barely at the stage where I get the jokes in "Romanes Eunt Domus", but I think that "Ordo" is "order" in the sense of monastic order. I can't find a Latin word for "order" in the sense of "keeping order". "Insolitus" is special in the sense of "unusual"; it's a choice between that and "specialis" - "special" in the sense of "good, particular" - which isn't really right.

I'd go for a free translation:
"LEX ET SALUS POPULI: VIGILES INSOLITIS PATIENTIS".

"The Law and the Health of the Republic*: The Watch for Unusual Sufferers".

(*as in "SALUS POPULI SUPREMA EST LEX", which is a good Latin cliche like "Law and Order" is in English)

#221 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 07:46 AM:

Chris Quinones @ 213... People called Romanes, they go, the house?

#222 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 08:01 AM:

I can't find a Latin word for "order" in the sense of "keeping order".

I'd guess the Romans would have used pax in this sense. It was not necessarily a politically neutral word: ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant.

#223 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 08:10 AM:

#153 re #149: I am quite sure I've heard "sex" rhymed with "De minimis non curat lex" before, but with quite a different purpose.

From memory, though I've seen other versions:

There was a young fellow called Rex
Who was sadly deficient in sex:
   When arraigned for exposure,
   He said with composure ...

#224 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 08:53 AM:

Somehow I keep reading the title of this thread as Composting the rejected canon. I don't think it's entirely due to the need for new glasses. I think it's an involuntary reaction to one of those painful hymnal/prayerbook revisions.

I could be wrong.

#225 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:21 AM:

Fidelio, I've also read it as "composting" and have no insight as to why. I do not compost nor do I have any opinion about liturgical revisions. (I haven't been a churchgoer for the past 50 years.)

But I'm enjoying the thread a lot.

#226 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:26 AM:

fidelio #224: Nah, I see that too, and I've never even been a Christian, let alone a singing one.

#227 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:38 AM:

fidelio @ 224 ...
Somehow I keep reading the title of this thread as Composting the rejected canon. I don't think it's entirely due to the need for new glasses. I think it's an involuntary reaction to one of those painful hymnal/prayerbook revisions.

Y'know, "Composting the rejected Canon" seems like a fine title for a historical murder mystery...

#228 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:39 AM:

fidelio @ 224 ...
Somehow I keep reading the title of this thread as Composting the rejected canon. I don't think it's entirely due to the need for new glasses. I think it's an involuntary reaction to one of those painful hymnal/prayerbook revisions.

Y'know, "Composting the rejected Canon" seems like a fine title for a historical murder mystery...

#229 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:41 AM:

Composting the rejected canon -
Lord, we give it back to Thee.
Let Thy divine voracious earthworms
Set the ill-loved precepts free.
May ink and paper scatter broadly
Forth through earth and root and tree
Till one day there shall come a better
Missal to give praise to Thee.

#230 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:45 AM:

Y'know, "Composting the rejected Canon" seems like a fine title for a historical murder mystery...

"Composting the can[n]on" could also be a fine title for a hymn should anyone be so inspired...

#231 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:07 AM:

xeger @227--Y'know, "Composting the rejected Canon" seems like a fine title for a historical murder mystery...

Either that, or one of those English cosies, where an intrusive new member of the cathedral chapter gets killed and is found when a foot is seen sticking out of the compost pile in the gardens of the episcopal palace.

#232 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:08 AM:

Gosh, Debbie is fast--before I could even send my post into the flurosphere. Sweet. (I thought I checked the thread before hitting the button).

#233 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:10 AM:

Sheesh I know it's "fluorosphere"...

Back into lurker-mode.

#234 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:18 AM:

"Composting the rejected Canon" could be the title of a new Hornblower movie. I'm sure Ioan Gruffud wouldn't mind. And he sang hymns in "Amazing Grace", didn't he?

#235 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:33 AM:

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
We can't sing this during Lent.
Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
So what's the line now?

For forty long days sing, "Glory and Praise"
Only to change it for Easter

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
We can't sing this during Lent.
Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
So what's the line now?

Even the choir gets this mixed up,
The congregation is totally lost.

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
We can't sing this during Lent.
Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
So what's the line now?

Don't try to visit another church,
They'll use a totally diff'rent verse.

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
We can't sing this during Lent.
Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
So what's the line now?

(optional descant on refrains:

Alleluia,
Schmalleluia,
Alleluia,
What's the line now?)

#236 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:19 PM:

205 Elliott: Ours is:
"With God our Creator, children all are we;
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony."

- which has the benefit of scanning, and is actually good liturgy.

I have issues with changes to hymns to project inclusive language. Not doing it - I totally understand the limitations of male-centric visions of God and our fellow Christians - but that most of the people doing the changes clearly don't sing, and turn beautiful, flowing hymns into clunky monstrosities. One of the many reasons we're happy with our minister is that he can rewrite texts to scan *and* be inclusive (and demilitarize, and...)

And on that note, 160 Juli: the proper tune/harmony for "Ein Feste Burg" is the one we stole from you, of course.

#237 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:35 PM:

Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

Which irrestistibly leads to

I got twenty acres
And you got forty-three
But I've got a brand new combine harvester
And I'll give you the key.

#238 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:42 PM:

Hymn wording changes... I am wholeheartedly against tone (and prose)-deaf changing of words, such as the Mormon change to Joy to the World wherein "Heav'n & Nature" singing is limited to "Saints & Angels". Not only is everyone familiar with the original, the new is alarmingly exclusive.

I do have sympathies for changing things like "brothers" though, because I am female, and no matter how many times I am told that "Man" = "Human", it still rankles. I will never be anyone's brother. I still find "Neighbors" kind of, well, icky.

#239 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 12:42 PM:

Ajay:

I got a fine new shiny Paraclete,
You got a brand new Creed...

#240 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:08 PM:

Mycroft W @236 said: I have issues with changes to hymns to project inclusive language. Not doing it - I totally understand the limitations of male-centric visions of God and our fellow Christians - but that most of the people doing the changes clearly don't sing, and turn beautiful, flowing hymns into clunky monstrosities.

Perzactly. The bit that drove our whole choir to mass, undiscussed revolt was attempting to sing 'NEEEEEEEIIIIII-borrrrrs' on those particular notes of that song. It squinches your mouth up when the rest of the song is wide-flowing ohs and ays and such. 'Let us walk with each other' was also awkward, but wouldn't have, alone, provoked mass civil disobedience.

Heck, we put up with our choir nun's insistence we sing 'Balm of Gilead' such that 'whole note' meant 'about 6 seconds' -- and there are parts of the refrain that tie three of them together! Dirgelike and awful. When I (much later) heard it sung uptempo by a swaying, clapping Gospel choir, suddenly I understood why it was a hymn anyone BOTHERED with! We didn't rebel publically over 'Balm,' though. We just made up our own stress-relieving version to sing when she wasn't around:

There is a Balm (-2-3-4-5-6-7)
In Gilead (1-2-3-4-5)
To make (-2-3) the woun(-2-3)
-ded who(-2-3-4)-ole(-5-6-7-8-9)! ...
And so on. With the numbers gleefully shout-chanted, because the nun always dutifully counted them out to make sure we were "giving each note its full written measure."

She was a nice lady, mostly, but inflexible as adamantium knickers on certain hymns. Others, she wrote rather pretty descants for. She was also the first nun who ever answered the intrusive, childish question, "Do you have any hair [under the wimple]?" by flipping the back up to show us. :->

#241 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:24 PM:

Mycroft W @236:
most of the people doing the changes clearly don't sing, and turn beautiful, flowing hymns into clunky monstrosities.

In my cynical days in the 80's at the Newman Center in Berkeley, I did sometimes wonder if the clunkiness was deliberate. I mean, if the change is invisible, then we won't notice how very good we're being about being inclusive. We might just think about the content of the song or something, untroubled by concerns of assumed inequality, back-patting equality, or (as I was) total lack of quality.

The medium, I guess, was the Mass age.

#242 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 01:29 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 240... She was also the first nun who ever answered the intrusive, childish question, "Do you have any hair [under the wimple]?"

That is one of the many questions I never asked myself, even when nuns rapped me on the knuckles with their ferula.

#243 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Mycroft W.— My problem with, for example, writing a Gloria is that it is very difficult to come up with something that is both gender-neutral and theologically correct. Why gender-neutral to begin with? To avoid having some hack screw it up.

I had a choir director once who, after we practiced "Balm in Gilead" would sing, "There is a balm in Gilead... and it's set to blow your head right off..."

And on the whole vampirism bit, every so often you run across a line in the Catholic hymnal about "eat this flesh and drink this blood and you shall live forever." Some of them are actually pretty modern. :D

#244 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 03:43 PM:

ajay @ #237

"I've got a brand new combine harvester"

Suggested (with an evil grin) by the systems programming manager as the ideal "music on hold"
for the company phone system back in (hand gesture) 1986 or so, when this moose worked for
Massey Ferguson.

Fortunately nobody ever did it, not even on 1st April.

#245 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 04:41 PM:

Wandering afield, but the helpdesk at a company I worked with had hold music of "whatever the helpdesk employees decided to bring in today" (provided it wasn't totally offensive, I guess).

The day someone brought in the RHPS Soundtrack, they had people asking to be put back on hold until the end of the song.

And yeah, out here, "There is a Balm in Gilead" has always sounded like a modern news story, rather than a soothing hymn. Blame local accents.

Elliott (again): there's a reason for the dirge-like tempos of a lot of Victorian church music (and the way the hymns were set, and the reason we mostly ignore it now). I've sung in the Grey Nuns Cathedral in Buffalo NY, and it had a 5-second echo. We always started our concerts with a pattersong, and our first attempt at it during dress collapsed under the strain. Once we were prepared, the choir director had us sing one of the welsh hymns we had just retired from the repertoire - and you could *hear* the smiles on the faces as they heard it in a place like it was written to be sung.

We finished the concert with an arrangement of Jacob's Ladder at 60bpm; it took the house down.

#246 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 04:49 PM:

abi @ #241: "The medium, I guess, was the Mass age"

Groan!

#247 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 04:53 PM:

"The Driving Hymn" reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker; the one that says

"Warning: I drive the way you do"

#248 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 05:12 PM:

B Durbin @ 243... writing a Gloria is that it is very difficult

Gloria Graham? Swanson? De Haven?

#249 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 06:05 PM:

Serge @ #248, carrying it further: Van Morrison's "Gloria," performed by The Troggs or by Patti Smith?

#250 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 06:31 PM:

Serge, I cannot think of anything funny to say at the moment. So I'll just link to the new translations for the missal. Scroll down to the Gloria and see what they've done to the first stanza, and realize why anyone who has ever written a Gloria is scratching his head and thinking, "How am I supposed to fit that in?"

#251 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 07:28 PM:

B. Durbin@250:

I don't think it's any harder to set than "Glory be to God on high; and in earth peace, goodwill towards men. We praise the, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty." Four and a half centuries of Anglican composers have handled that.

And both are far closer to Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens than the paraphrase in the older translation.

Come to think of it, all three have been equally well set to masses like the Missa de Angelis.

#252 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 07:52 PM:

B. Durbin, 250: But "pax hominibus bonae voluntatis" means "peace to men of good will." The new version is much closer to the Latin, which pleases my inner philologist.

#253 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 08:12 PM:

abi at #241: Ow, ow, ow, ow!

Now, #251 and #252 remind me of the photo album (compiled by "Benny Dictus"), from a tour taken by the choir a friend of ours is in. One picture shows a member helping load folks onto the motorcoach heading to the next city, and the photo is captioned "And in terror, packs 'em on a bus".

#255 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 08:51 PM:

B. Durbin @250

I'm far from a regular churchgoer, but twice a year as a child was enough for me to still remember how it went. My first reaction on reading that page was "They did what?!" My second reaction was "Whoever rewrote all that has no ear for language. Particularly in ritual, sound is critical."

No doubt, this is a prime example of why writing should never be assigned to a committee.

#256 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:06 PM:

The page reminded me of how much better a version the new translation is. The RCs seem to have gotten over the fear of sounding Anglican that afflicted the ICET in the 1960s and are much closer to the original Latin than the ICET/Missal 1970 version. This particularly applies to the Gregorian Canon (Prayer 1).

#257 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:26 PM:

*delurks briefly*

nerdycellist #238: Hymn wording changes... I am wholeheartedly against tone (and prose)-deaf changing of words, such as the Mormon change to Joy to the World wherein "Heav'n & Nature" singing is limited to "Saints & Angels".

At a certain Jewish summer camp, a campfire songbook included the unfortunate lines,

And the three men I admired most / Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov / they took the last train from the coast...

#258 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 09:32 PM:

A couple of touchstones regarding principles of not changing the texts of hymns:

Hark how all the welkin rings,
Glory to the king of kings...
(Charles Wesley)

Have mercy on us, Lord most high,
Who lift our hearts to thee;
Have mercy on us, worms of earth,
Most Holy Trinity.
(Frederic William Faber, also author of "Faith of our Fathers, referenced above).

#259 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 10:05 PM:

Mycroft W at #193 writes:Jesus watching over you .... You could put Him in the kitchen maybei

I have in my kitchen a Paint-by-Number version of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper", which my sister did for my aunt (mumble)ty years ago and which eventually came into my keeping. Not great art (at least in the P-by-N version) but a bit of a family heirloom nonetheless. My aunt had it in her dining room but I don't have a dining room.

#260 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 11:00 PM:

James @ 251: It's not that it's harder to set; it's that it's hard to re-set. If you've written a particular rhythm, putting new words to it is excruciating. As anyone who has heard a re-written hymn can attest.

Basically I wrote a mass setting for my wedding lo these many years ago. I decided I wanted to submit it to OCP and was advised by a music director to wait for the new translations. (They weren't going to accept any new settings until then.) So I did, and now I don't just have to change the words, I have to change the melody line, the harmonies— basically, I have to come up with a whole new setting because the old one won't fit.

I have yet to hear a new Gloria, and the translations are couple of years old. While part of that is any congregation's reluctance to throw new settings in (many of them are, shall we say, more experimental than singable), I think part of it is that composers aren't quite sure how to work the new rhythms as opposed to the ones they've known all their lives. I mean, I can recite the old Gloria from heart, despite the slight variations from piece to piece, but this throws me a curveball.

#261 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2010, 11:06 PM:

In regards to the title "Just One More Hour, and Then We Go Home":

When I was young, I thought it rather odd that we'd end the mass by saying "The mass is ended." "Thanks be to God." We were happy it was over?

Just one more hour,
And then we go home;
Thanks be to God.
The homily was endless
But now it is done;
Thanks be to God.

When your toddler is squirming
When the fans are not working
And the choir drones on through the hymns
We remember the martyrs, the saints, and the lowly
And know that some tortures endure.

Just fifteen more minutes
And then we'll go home;
Thanks be to God.
And all lose our tempers
At the other drivers;
Gee, thank you, God.

Ooh, donuts!

#262 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:27 AM:

Lyle Lovett has tackled this theme of long church services with excellent results.

#263 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 01:17 AM:

B Durbin @ #261, Oh, do I recognize that state of mind.

I used to deliver Sunday morning newspapers at 5:00am, then bike back home and go back to bed for a couple of hours. Then my oh-so-cheerful father would wake me up, I'd shower, and off we'd go to Mass. I would typically fall back asleep during the sermon and revive only when the service was over. If I got lucky we'd go on up the road to the Three Chefs restaurant for breakfast/brunch, by which time I'd finally be awake enough to appreciate the rest of the day.

#264 ::: landon dyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 01:40 AM:

An attempt:

O Lord, we really prefer not to know
Just what was in Janet's casserole
It filled our tummies, and then our colons
Now half the congregation's groanin'
While the other half, in anxious ranks
Fills the porta-potty tanks

O Lord, please blot from our recall
The potato salad of last fall
Our flock is small, we can't afford
Further decimation, Lord
Hear our voices, raised in praise
Please disinfect the mayonnaise

Can you, O Lord, arrange for rain?
Earthquakes or frogs? Or anything?
This picnic every Sunday noon
Will lead to our embarrassed doom
So, unless you intervene, big fella,
We're gonna die, from salmonella

#265 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 02:44 AM:

#260 & #261 B.

The mass is in the cold, cold ground.
The old words and the old tunes no longer are around.
The mass in in the cold, cold ground.

#266 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 06:22 AM:

@255--
"I'm far from a regular churchgoer, but twice a year as a child was enough for me to still remember how it went."

in my case, i rememember that people tried to lead me in the responses, but i wasn't amen-able.

#267 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:05 AM:

B. Durbin@260:

The ICET translations are less than 50 years old, and have been in consistent use for a little over 40. In the history of thw Western Rite, this is a minor blip.

To some of us, the ICET texts are still "new", and very much of a period whose ethos was, well, poorly adapted to liturgical expression.

The fact that they resorted to heavy paraphrase meant that the older settings could not be adapted for them. I have seen adapted Palestrina settings for the Cranmer translations, since they at least matched clause-for-clause; this was impossible for the ICET texts. (In contrast, I think this could be managed for the new translations.) Five hundred years of polyphony down the drain; I have seen more Anglican churches use Victoria and Palestrina than Roman ones in recent decades.

There are reports that the ICET commission frequently avoided obvious translations (e.g. "and with your spirit"; "Lord God of hosts") because they were afraid of sounding "too Anglican". I notice that these are back.

The only older settings I have seen adapted to the new ones are Orbis Factor and de Angelis; and being non-melismatic plainsong they can be used for just about anything.

One reason you haven't seen much in the way of new settings, of course, is that the introduction of the new missal has been attended by foot-dragging on the part of some of the hierarchy, especially in North America.

#268 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:25 AM:

B. 261: When I was young, I thought it rather odd that we'd end the mass by saying "The mass is ended." "Thanks be to God." We were happy it was over?

Another bad translation. The Latin scholars may correct me, but I believe 'Ite, missa est' means something more like "Y'all go now; that's a mass." You're glad that you've done mass again, not specifically that it's over.

#269 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:45 AM:

... and now I'm reading the title of this thread as 'compositing the rejected canon', and wondering who messed up the shadowing this time...

#270 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:49 AM:

Xopher @ 268

I think "Ite, missa est" has a swallowed participle, the same way Latin swallows verbs--they're understood from context, and so not actually said or written. So it would really be something like "Ite, missa est finita"--assuming I'm crrect about the swallowed partciple. The online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia has some thoughts covering other possibilities, which have doubtless been expanded even further in the last 90+ years.

#271 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:52 AM:

"Mass" is derived from "missa", but "missa" was not originally the name of any rite, just one form of the supine stem of mitto. Ita, missa est was just a generic formula of dismissal in Latin.

#272 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 10:42 AM:

Linkmeister, #249: No contest. Patti Smith pwns that song.

Rymenhild, #257: Oh dear. Wince. Oh dear.

Tim Walters, #262: Strangely enough, I sent that very song to one of my co-moderators just the other day.

#273 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 11:15 AM:

James: I'm in my early thirties, so obviously my perspective doesn't go back fifty years. :D

When I was growing up, I found it odd that many Christian denominations talked about how Catholics didn't sing— after all, I learned to sing primarily through church (though I'm sure the real! music! lessons! in school helped a lot.) I learned to pick out harmonies and read music and all.

And then I went to another church. And another. And I found out that my church was known throughout the city as "the one that sings."

I've now been in the choirs of six different churches, and alas, the only one that was better than my home church was the chapel choir in college, because that was primarily composed of music students and we had a LOT of fun. My current church's choir isn't bad, and they want me back, but see "squirmy toddler" above.

Incidentally, in terms of "new Catholic music" vs. "traditional Catholic hymns" I'm of the opinion that good music is good music, and like much of both. But not Carey Landry. "Rain down your love on your people" is lyrically juvenile.

#274 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 11:41 AM:

B. Durbin:

Yes, well, there's even a book by Thomas Day (a Catholic church musician) called Why Catholics Can't Sing (which lays a chunk of the blame at the feet of the Irish in the English-speaking world). And the Sistine Choir is notoriously bad; the only Roman church which seems to be considered an international model on the choral side is Westminster Cathedral. There are also the Solesmes Congregation monasteries which use the Graduale Romanum, but they are plainsong-only.

In theory (following the Council) the Graduale should have pride of place; but I've never heard it used in a Novus Ordo Roman church other than Westminster, a monastery, or an oratory.

The textual issue is sort-of-related, in that the same urges which produced the guitar masses of the 1960s -- I'm just 50 this year and can remember them in their original heyday as a member of the young generation to which they were supposed to appeal (they did not) -- were a contributory factor to the choice of a particular register and style for the English-language adaptation of the Novus Ordo.

One gap which I tend to note is the relative lack of using the genuinely Catholic reservoir of hymns in the plainsong office and processional hymns, of which Catholic hymnals tend to be remarkably short. Genuinely good hymns are in relatively short supply, and many of the texts by e.g. Fortunatus and Sedulius are very good to stellar, as are the traditional tunes.

#275 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 11:43 AM:

B. Durbin @273:

"New Catholic music" means only one thing to me. :)

#276 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:00 PM:

Singing Wren - (# 235)

Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
We can't sing this during Lent.
Alleluia, Schmalleluia,
So what's the line now

I have to remind myself, when the liturgical season changes, to keep an eye on the "playlist" of the music I play for the preludes before M/a/s/s/ services * -- Some Things You Simply Don't Play. :)

Since I'm not part of the regular choir, nor employed by the church, the pastor and music director are gentle in their redirections.

I *try* to keep the recognizable liturgital choices in their proper season.

Of course, when what you play is a steel-strung harp/zither, you can get away with playing most Bach or Carolan to fill in if you are not sure.

----------
*Being a "Roman Reject" who has passed over to the Dark Side of the Episcopal divide, There are some things I've never been able to shake -- like calling "services" "Mass", or the recitation of the the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds in their *proper* forms**
** ohhhh, I get to play foosties with notes

#277 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:07 PM:

Craig R. --

"Mass" is OK.

We use it at our Anglican church.

#278 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:14 PM:

Lenore, commenting that we couldn't sing a certain Hovahness piece at the funeral: "What are we going to sing, 'Jesus Christ is risen today, A-word, A-word'?"

(Yes, I know funerals aren't technically part of Lent. We decided it would be out of place anyway, and we're doing it at Easter (where, IMO, it belongs).)

#279 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:21 PM:

James, B.Durbin;

In Australia, Richard Connolly (composer) and James McAuley (poet) wrote a very nice set of hymns in the early 60s that were traditional in musical and textual form, but still clearly C20th.

These were quite popular for a while, among the very small fraction of Australian Catholics who sing, but they don't seem to have made it as exports.

Nowadays one problem with them is that they predate gender-inclusive language and are sufficiently densely written that it is very hard to change any words without the poetry coming apart completely. This makes them feel much less modern than I am told they did when they were written.

(B.Durbin: I agree completely on Carey Landry, but, empirically, quite a lot of people prefer this sort of music over, say, Bernadette Farrell, or David Haas, or Charles Wesley. It's very strange).

#280 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:31 PM:

B. Durbin @250 said: Serge, I cannot think of anything funny to say at the moment. So I'll just link to the new translations for the missal. Scroll down to the Gloria and see what they've done to the first stanza, and realize why anyone who has ever written a Gloria is scratching his head and thinking, "How am I supposed to fit that in?"

I'm a little more shocked by what they've done to/with the Nicene creed -- who thought 'consubstantial with the father' was better than 'one in Being ...' Also, "he suffered death and was buried" is radically different in MEANING than the "he suffered, died, and was buried" I grew up with. I mean, that's a major theological distinction, at least as we were taught it by the priest preparing us for First Communion -- according to Fr. Noone, it's in the Creed because it's (was?) important to always keep in mind while reciting it that Jesus suffered, physically and degradingly, and that he chose to do so, for our sins.

B. Durbin @273: When I was growing up, I found it odd that many Christian denominations talked about how Catholics didn't sing— after all, I learned to sing primarily through church (though I'm sure the real! music! lessons! in school helped a lot.) I learned to pick out harmonies and read music and all. And then I went to another church. And another. And I found out that my church was known throughout the city as "the one that sings."

Catholics supposedly don't sing? I mean, sure, the congregation is usually iffy, but I grew up in a parish (in the choir for a parish) that had very high choral standards. Not, like, professional-performances high, but still. Huh.

One of my very favorite songs we did, because it was so beautiful, was considered 'new worship music' at the time -- it was a setting of "On Eagles' Wings". The one that has the high note-cascades at the beginnings of the verses (YouTube link; this is the only audio track of it I can find on YouTube, but we didn't sing it quite that 'stuffy').

B. Durbin @273 again: Incidentally, in terms of "new Catholic music" vs. "traditional Catholic hymns" I'm of the opinion that good music is good music, and like much of both. But not Carey Landry. "Rain down your love on your people" is lyrically juvenile.

Um, yeah.

Actually, you might know -- is there any real way to get one's hands on issues of the Missalette from, say, the mid-80s? The Archdiocese says they don't keep an archive, and the 'current' stock of Catholic hymns just aren't the ones I grew up with. Ebay has failed me.

#281 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 12:42 PM:

While I have a similar visceral reaction to Praise Songs that others here do, I remind all that one of the greatest (and most difficult) religious settings is 5-odd minutes long, with exactly one word, repeated a little more than 11 times. (yes, I know I'm cheating a bit. How about the 7-11 "And with His stripes"?)

Repetition can be interesting. Pity it isn't, mostly. On the other hand, the good part about the old, interesting music is that Sturgeon's 90% has been weeded out (we sang a month ago a T. Tertius Noble piece that hadn't seen the light of day in our church for over 60 years. I'd sing it again, it was interesting, but "a piece of its time" is about the best one can say for it...)

#282 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 01:12 PM:

Mycroft W.:

I'll grant the greatness of the piece you link to, but "most difficult"? Compared to, oh, say, motets by Gesualdo?

Elliott Mason:

Neither "he suffered death and was buried" nor "he suffered, died, and was buried" is a close translation of "passus et sepultus est" (the Cranmerian "he suffered and was buried" nails it): both want to insert something about the death to make it explicit. The new translation does merge it back into two rather than three actions, though. Overall, the creed seems (unsurprisingly) to be closer to the original in the new translation than in the old (consubstantial being a direct derivative of "consubstantialem" and always having had exactly that meaning -- I think I prefer it or "being of one substance " to the vaguer "one in being".

The reason for that bit being in the creed was to make it clear, as opposed to various heresies which held that Jesus was either a man in appearance only or that his presence as son of God was withdrawn before the passion to prevent the scandal of God being said to suffer (via communicatio idiomatum), that the suffering was real and not apparent and was the suffering of the second person of the Trinity.

#283 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 01:15 PM:

Mycroft @281 : multifold Amens (of any count) don't count as 7-11 songs. And not every song that is "one phrase repeated" is a praise song. To say otherwise is being annoyingly pedantic. (Many spirituals, f'rex, are of the same pattern as praise songs; but they're a lot more fun to sing. I suspect because they grew out of a tradition, rather than being written to spec.)

Thomas @279: while I understand your complaint, there is lot of Chas. Wesley that isn't worth performing any more. If it ever was. (I currently attend a Methodist Church -- every once in a while we get one of his clunkers.)

We did "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (ca. 1921) last week as the opening hymn -- a soprano and I were the only people in the building who'd ever done it. I expect that we'll be working it into the repertoire, though. It's quite nice.

Our church occasionally gets into "Fanny Crosby" mode, which can be just as annoying as "praise" mode.

#284 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 01:49 PM:

I'm rather looking forward to the changes in the liturgy. I expect I'll dislike some of them, but having to recite new phrases Sunday after Sunday will at least wake up my brain.

I have promised myself, however, that no matter how clunky the revisions are, I will try to not respond with the kind of outrage that I reserve for truly serious stuff, such as MY church using MY donations to buy ads attacking gay marriage, or bishops protecting child abusers, or the many ways in which my church cannot deal with women. I intend to keep a sense of proportion. Clunky liturgical language is painful (in fact, we hates it forever) but somehow I think we the Church will weather it. The choirs and music directors will take it in their stride, the folks in the pews will adjust, the priests will get used to it and we will all continue to find ways to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, and our Lord, despite our clunky language, will hear us, and be merciful.

#285 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 06:09 PM:

A specialized anecdote for the liturgically-minded:

My former beloved Episcopal church had a Seventh-day Adventist Portuguese organist. He was a lovely person and played mostly by ear, very well indeed.

But. During Communion on Maundy Thursday (the night before Good Friday if you're keeping score at home), he began his usual eucharistic noodling with...

...wait for it....

I come to the garden alone.

Keeping a reverent expression at the altar rail was difficult.

#286 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 07:09 PM:

Re: New translations for the Roman Missal

I'm a cantor in our church choir, and I have yet to see an arrangement of the new translations. We've discussed them a bit, but B. Durbin's link above was the first time I've seen the new text.

I'm really, really hoping for all new settings. If we get updated versions of the old settings, I know most of the congregation will sing the old texts. For that matter, so will some of the choir members.

Even if I can sing Mass of Creation in my sleep*, I'm willing to give that up just to keep everyone on the same text already.

*Say, by the second Mass I sing on Easter Sunday, which will be my third of the weekend, or my fifth major service of Holy Week, or my seventh event since that Wednesday....

#287 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 08:36 PM:

I guess I'm the odd critter out --I actually like the few Taize pieces we do. Granted, we don't have a steady diet of them.

James -- (#277) Fairly often, if I'm not talking to a fellow ex-Roman, a reference to the services as "the Mass" gets a very puzzled look.

Ledasmom (124) -- Now I'm trying to figure what tune I could fit that to.

#288 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 10:25 PM:

I grew up in a Methodist church. When we did liturgy, it was basically 1700s Anglican, so it's very strange to be around Catholic services where the responses were translated a couple hundred years later.

And while I won't say that all of the hymns had their original words or original translations into English, most of them were in relatively original form back in the 60s. Methodism also has a lot of Welsh choral singing tradition behind its music in addition to the Anglican, and Charles Wesley might not have cranked out inspired words every time, but at least they scanned pretty well. I'm not a regular attender these days, but I occasionally get to my mom's church when I'm visiting her, and they've done far more "improvement" to hymns by now then they had in the 80s, as well as abandoning the tradition of listing all the authors, so you can't even tell which tin-eared non-poet to blame. Some of it's making points about gender or inclusiveness or theology, but some of it seems to be just gratuitous editing. And sometimes you can do minor adjustments to theology without being offensive, but sometimes you just shouldn't try; if you don't like the song's message, don't put it in the book even if you like the tune (e.g. one version of "Holy Holy Holy" gets rid of the word "Trinity", probably because they were trying to attract some Unitarians or something, and "Come Ye Thankful People Come" is irreparably Calvinist...)

Some other musical traditions - Baptists have a wide variety of music of varying styles; some of the most interesting is older Southern modal stuff. There was one town that we lived in where we ended up going to a Missouri Synod Lutheran church - I liked some of the tunes, but many were pretty much unsingable, even in German. We visited one local Methodist church here in Silicon Valley, and the choir was amazing - they're from the Fijian-language part of the church, and their choir director had lived in South Africa.

Also, Lutherans make better coffee than Methodists, but Southern Baptists make much worse coffee; stick to the iced tea.

#289 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 10:40 PM:

Thomas: I love Bernadette Farrell. And not just because of her name. I think it helps if the choir has a certain level of musicality; some of the choirs I've taken part in did the old hymns (ad nauseum, no less) because they didn't "get" the more difficult music.

Elliot Mason: Thus far, the only method I've seen for getting old hymnals is through having the foresight to ask the church if you can snag a copy at the end of the liturgical year (right before Advent.) I have several years' worth that I've gotten that way.

However, you may have luck if you call around the retreat houses in your area. I've been at some which had old hymnals thrown in a box because it's cheaper than updating.

I find I have to grit my teeth a little bit when "On Eagle's Wings" is sung because that was one where the timing— especially the triplets*— was hammered in really hard, so when people sing it the usual little bit off, it's difficult.

James: There was one time when the choir was on break and the cantor they got was obviously Protestant (sung "Ay-men" instead of "Ah-men") and completely lost (doing the mass parts in the wrong place.) Somebody took pity on him and sat up next to him so the rest of the service went smoothly.

On the Gloria— I actually think I might have it, as long as a tiny bit of phrase re-arranging is allowed. I'll have to bash on it for a while, but hey, it's better than I had at the beginning of the thread.

*How do you learn to sing a triplet properly? Replace the phrase in question with "pineapple." "Under his wings" then becomes "pineapple wings."

#290 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 10:50 PM:

In some places you can have an 'old' hymnal (meaning worn out, more than old in years) if you buy a replacement. (How I ended up with a 1935 Methodist Hymnal. With a church address that hasn't existed in nearly 50 years.)

#291 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 10:53 PM:

Mycroft @ 281 - I still find myself humming that soprano line, almost 10 years later. Last Sunday's anthem had an Amen that must have been one of the inspirational predecessor pieces (from 1564), because it felt like a 4 measure encapsulation/summary of the amen chorus.

James @ 282 - oh yes. The motets will not be attempted by any but excellent musicians. Handel will be attempted by far too many church and school choirs where the competent are struggling to maintain the correct melodic and harmonic lines against the enthusiasm of the rest of the choir.

Bill @ 288 Lutherans see coffee as a sacrament. Therefore, it must be done well (unlike the cheap merlot), or as egg coffee (which some feel is good coffee).

Telling a tale of Lutherans and coffee...There is a church in North Dakota that celebrated it's quasi-quince-centennial not too many years ago. For this, they pulled out the original church by-laws which proudly state as the first point: "No meeting of this church shall be considered convened or valid until coffee has been served."

I have been in favor of placing this in every single set of church bylaws ever since. Who's with me?

#292 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2010, 11:35 PM:

I keep trying to think of entries for this, but all I can come up with so far is

Oh, for a thousand tongues to lick
Our Great Redeemer's abs...
...and really not getting much further even with that. Nothing on the listed titles at all. Sigh.

Well, no man has all talents.

#293 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 12:09 AM:

I got lucky and found my old Methodist hymnal (not as old as PJ Evans' @ 290 but like the ones I grew up with in the 1960s) on a booksale shelf at our library. Also an old pre-Vatican II (i.e., in Latin) missal and a 1929 Book of Common Prayer. (My Union Prayer Book, which is Jewish, I found at another booksale. It sits next to the BCP without complaint.)

As someone who grew up Methodist, converted to Catholicism (in the seventies, when the English liturgy now being revised was new to everyone, not just me!), has attended Lutheran and Episcopalian liturgies, but is currently not attending any church, I am throughly relating to much of this conversation. Cringing like everyone else at new translations of liturgy and politically-correct meddling with beloved hymns even if I'm no longer quite at home with any of the theology.

#294 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 12:15 AM:

For some reason, this congregational response is stuck in my head. May it be so in yours.

Minister: Holy holy holy lord, God of power and might. Heaven and Earth is full of your glory, Hosanna in the highest.

Cong: Because for that is what we are doing.


#295 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 12:53 AM:

Sins of the forefathers vs. Faith of the Inlaws
(sort of)

And did those Sweedes in ancient time.
Trod upon England's gardens green:
And was the heavy force of arms
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Vikings come ashore,
to plunder all our cloistered halls?
And was Jerusalem hidden here,
Away from knife, axe and sword.

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from this great Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have sent the Sweeds
Back to their far away land.

#296 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 02:21 AM:

#294 Eric

Now I am being earwormed by a fragment of Jewish services, for which what you quoted, is an inexact translation.... the original is something like in transliteration Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, Adonai tsivaot, mihlo caul ha'aretz k'vodoh...."

"Adonai tsivaot" translates as "Lord of Hosts" , I don't remember what mihlo is, caul = all, ha'aretz = the land, and I forget what k'vodoh means....

#297 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 03:53 AM:

Paula, that's the Kedushah.

#298 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 03:59 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 296: Our siddur gives the translation: "Holy, holy, holy is the Creator of all, whose glory fills all the earth." (And a transliteration of "Kadosh,kadosh kadosh, Adonai ts'va'ot, m'lo chol ha-arets k'vodo").

The previous siddur gave the translation "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of all creation, the whole earth is full of His glory."

#299 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 04:05 AM:

Eric @294, I've had a similar Jewish call-and-response routine in my head ever since Kid Bitzer's "Because for that is what I am doing" comment, way back when.

Not the same as Paula's earworm, though. Mine is the Hebrew version of the first four lines of Psalm 118, known in Hebrew as "Ki L'olam Chasdo", which is the phrase that ends each line, and which means "because his mercy endures for ever."

#300 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 05:08 AM:

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,
I AM hath sent me unto you. Because for that is what I AM doing.

#301 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 06:53 AM:

Avram: I see we duplicated on the Kedushah translation - and provided three translations between us.

Re. earworms, luckily for me, I find "Because for that is what I am doing" so clumsy that there's no way it's sticking in my head: evey time I look at it my brain rejects it as "not English". So, no earworm.

#302 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 07:07 AM:

B. Durbin #289: Hmm. "My flying pineapple got eaten by a flying pig!" ?

#303 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 09:58 AM:

Augh, Avram, that's part of the Seder, and now I'm earwormed with my dad and my uncles singing it just that little bit off-key!

#304 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 10:34 AM:

Say, I wonder if IAMs pet food purveyor is secretly a front company for a religion....

#305 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 10:35 AM:

Bill Stewart @288: Maybe "Come Ye Thankful People Come" just needs a tweak:

Come ye thankful people come
Raise the hymn of Harvest Home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin,
Mother Nature doth provide
For our wants to be supplied --
Come ye thankful people come
Raise the hymn of Harvest Home.

(Are there more verses to the original?)

#306 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 11:08 AM:

Oi! Found the other verses, and yes Calvinistic fits the bill. I was able to do this with Verse 2, but have found no graceful way to redeem 3 and 4:

All the world’s the Grain Lord’s field,
sheaves as praise to Him we yield;
all the seeds together sown,
how bounteously have they grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of Harvest, grant that we
share Thy bounty happily.

#307 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 11:23 AM:

293
Lois, I remember that version also. THe instructions on doing plainsong are worth it; the inclusive-language hymns - not so much.

#308 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 11:29 AM:

305: very nice hymn, but how much does it have to say to the 98% of us who aren't actually farmers?

Come, your praises do not stint,
Now this book has gone to print,
All our deadlines now are met,
Every typo marked with "stet".
Joy abounds in every heart
Now we've proofed the cover art,
Cleared the galleys, typed the blurb,
Raise the roof and pass the herb!

#309 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 11:33 AM:

I love the Amen Chorus, and I agree that it is tricky (the acCENT ends up on the wrong sylLAble a lot), but from the description I thought you meant Randall Thompson's "Alleluia", with which I am now happily earwormed. (Technically it has 2 words, though; a fact I'd forgotten in the decades since I last sang it.)

(NB: I scanned YouTube and picked the first good version I found--defined as the first one that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It happens to be performed by a choir made up of Indonesian engineering students. This makes me happy.)

#310 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 11:55 AM:

eric (294): SWL*!

*shrieking with laughter

#311 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 12:52 PM:

Yep, I'm definitely the flavor of geek that finds other people's shop-talk interesting. I have no religious background (I believe I've attended four events in my life that were technically religious services, all associated with weddings or funerals), am rather vehemently anti-religous, can't read music, and am finding the parts I can follow of the discussions of liturgical music quite fascinating. Thanks, all! (And much of the poetry is very good. A higher proportion than I'm used to actually scans right, too.)

#312 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 01:12 PM:

Lila @ 309: Thanks for that link!

#313 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 03:37 PM:

Lila, 309: I was thinking of the Thompson, too. They do sing well; I hope that, coming from Surabaya, they think to arrange Weill's "Surabaya Johnny" for themselves.

#314 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 03:38 PM:

ajay @ 308: nice one!

#315 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 05:31 PM:

"Adon" = Lord.
Adonai, the -ai is a suffix, can't remember exactly what it means, "my" ?? .... but "adon" is "lord". "Creator" is not a literal meaning there.

#299 Avram
Given that"Ki L'olam Chasdo", is a refrain.... and that shoved a different earworm on me,
"V'yhal kulahm, elohai suh'leehoot, s'lachlaneu, ... cahpehr laneu."

Getting back to the Kedushah, however, given that it started out in Hebrew, has some spinoffs in Aramaic, got translated into Greek, -then- Latin, and from Latin into English in various Latin to different generations' and different countries' and different religious branches and subbranches' versions of English, flex in the results is not unexpected!

What is somewhat astonishing, thinking about millennia, cultural differences, technology differences, social differences, knowledge base in general differences... that so much has -not- changed. E.g. rock/stone references and puns and metaphors surviving translations across multiple languages ("my rock and my redeemer" "rock of ages" and in Christianity all the St Peter lines and jokes derive from peter = rock...), all the sheep and flock metaphors. Yes, there is a lot that the translations are awkward/painful/difficult/require extensive annotation and still don't work, but....

#316 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 05:38 PM:

Lizzy L @284: our Lord, despite our clunky language, will hear us, and be merciful.

I find it periodically necessary to remind myself that in our Father's house there are many mansions, and that some of them will inevitably have black velvet paintings of Elvis hanging on the walls.

#317 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 05:43 PM:

Debra @ #316, for that is the one true faith, doncha know?

#318 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 05:47 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 315:

Alternate translations of Adonai are kind of the point these days, although in the new American Reform siddur it's sometimes left as Adonai in English (which I do not like at all).

"Eternal One" and other appropriate synonyms have been used much more in Reform/Liberal settings over the past couple decades because they're much more inclusive. Since "Adonai" is traditionally used as a stand-in for God's name in the first place, I have no problem with the translation not being 100% literal.

I'm desperately trying not to be earwormed by Avram.

Aside: if I were to specify that something was set to the tune of Adon Olam, would I provoke a huge argument, or would everyone just gang up on me?

#319 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 06:19 PM:

Elliott Mason @180: (Late to the party as usual) I can't resist contributing the following: When I was introduced to Minneapolis fandom in '80, I was carefully indoctrinated that, "The right to freedom of speech does not include the right to shout David in a crowded party."

I absent-mindedly did so once and no less than five people turned around.

#320 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 06:25 PM:

KeithS @318, I'd laugh.

Also, I'd be very tempted to mentally set your lyrics to either "Suicide is Painless" or "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General."

#321 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 06:30 PM:

Jacque@319: there's a reason we used to schedule "David photos" at Minicon!

I forget who is / was around exactly when, but off the top of my head we had Davids Wixon, Cargo, Egge, Dyer-Bennet, Cummer, Stever. And of course, at Minicon, sometimes a lot more. I'm sure I'm forgetting at least one important obvious one from the period, but at least it's not ME.

#322 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 07:18 PM:

The Kedushah, as it stood at the beginning of the CE, is indeed the direct ancestor of the Sanctus, in direct descent from the Synagogue service of the first century. "Tsivaot" is maintained in the Latin as the unsassimilated sabaoth. The Benedictus which follows is an indirect descendant of the "Baruch Kevod Adonai Mimkomo" -- it substituted a different text beginning with "Barukh" as a response.

#323 ::: alec ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 07:41 PM:

I Thank Thee, God, for Buttocks Firm:
I mean not mine but hers.
Her Yoga Classes, Come to Term:
I'll cover her in firs.

Work All Day, do I, my Lord:
to cover her expenses.
And yet, I Am, so Well-Repaid:
when buttocks doth she tenses.

What Other Fruit, my Lord, I Ask?
What Other Chaff, aside this germ?
No Other Fruit, so Ripe, when Hard:
I Thank Thee, God, for Buttocks Firm.

#324 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 09:17 PM:

#318 Keith #320 Rikibeth

Which tune for Adon Olam [Lord of the World] are you referring to? It will even scan to Suicide Is Painless!! It's got one of those rhythm and meters which there are LOTS of different tunes that can apply to...

#325 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 09:19 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 324:

Yes, exactly.

#326 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2010, 10:04 PM:

As long as we're sharing doxologies, my denomination considers this one suitable for congregational singing, at least in alarger and slightly more talented congregation thanmine.

#327 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 12:33 AM:

#323, Alec
I'll cover her in firs

Surely yew jest?

#328 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 12:57 AM:

There should be a story about terraforming a planet to have forests called Venus in Firs.

#329 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 02:43 AM:

Debra Doyle @316:
I find it periodically necessary to remind myself that in our Father's house there are many mansions, and that some of them will inevitably have black velvet paintings of Elvis hanging on the walls.

Very well put indeed. I will remember that one.

#330 ::: pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 08:03 AM:

KeithS @318, Rikibeth @320, Paula @324:

The local Reform Shul here has a habit of setting Adon Olam to 'Ye Banks and Braes', which has resulted in me doing some interesting mental contortions when my partner's church hosts its annual Burns Supper.

#331 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 09:38 AM:

Craig R. @ #287: Ledasmom (124) -- Now I'm trying to figure what tune I could fit that to.

I was going to say that there ought to be plenty of options, because 8.7.8.7. is not an uncommon meter for hymn tunes; but most of them turn out to be 8.7.8.7.D., like Patrick and Theresa's Driving Hymn, and require either 8 line verses or an even number of stanzas.

Of the ones that aren't, "Omni Die" fits quite well. "St. Sylvester" is also not bad. (Midis of both are at Cyberhymnal.org, here.)

#332 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 09:55 AM:

On the subject of fitting tunes to hymns, I have read that the tune now commonly associated with "Amazing Grace" was first connected to it decades after it was written - and not by the hymn's writer, who was by then long dead. This means that it's not authoritative and you can really sing "Amazing Grace" to any tune that fits it.

With the right singer, "The House of the Rising Sun" fits it really well.

#333 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 10:08 AM:

@322--

mehercle you're right!

#334 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 10:13 AM:

The hymn tune I find myself singing "You Have to Admit, This Sounds Pretty Farfetched" to is 'St Clement', the tune that goes with "The Day Thou Gavest" (or "The Day You Gave Us", depending on the predilictions of the hymnbook editors).


You have to admit, this sounds pretty farfetchéd:
You say this "Jesus" rose from the dead?
I hope you won't think I am utterly wretchéd
If I believe something quite dif'rent instead.

#335 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 11:04 AM:

Fidelio @ 270 - And now I have a vision of Animal popping up from behind the altar and shouting "GO! HOME! GO HOME!".

Dave "several of these hymns would lend themselves rather well to interpretation by various Muppets, come to think of it" DeLaney

#336 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 11:17 AM:

Erik Nelson @ 328... That sounds like a sappy love story.

#337 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Paul A. @ #331 - I remember my childhood delight at figuring out what the metrical index to tunes in the hymnal was all about. From then on, I used to find hymns I was trying to recall but had lost the words to by going to the metrical index.

Patrick, in your initial post, you wrote:

O saints who died in gruesome ways
We picture you on charms
And venerate the garishness
With which you bought the farm

Would those be those nummular hesperian charms on eBay? (For anyone who hasn't done it, I recommend doing an eBay search on "nummular" and/or "hesperian" and seeing what you get. I still have no idea why those terms are what gets that result. Must be a story there.)

#338 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 03:48 PM:

Whoops! Just looked, and they're Hesperian Juggernauts now. And "nummular" seems to have become widely dispersed and no longer associated with "hesperian."

Tracking eBay terms is fascinating, really.

#339 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 03:57 PM:

Rainflame @ #327 :commented:
#323, Alec
I'll cover her in firs

Surely yew jest?

This moose will be just over here, pining for the fnords.

#340 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 04:30 PM:

KeithS @ 318 Aside: if I were to specify that something was set to the tune of Adon Olam...

*chortles*. Which one, indeed!

#341 ::: strangetikigod ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 10:16 PM:

I must admit, when writing my take on "I Thank Thee, Lord, For Buttocks Firm" way back up there at #34, I had one song in my head from which I drew inspiration. It's called "Huma's Hymn" and it's from the soundtrack to the most recent film version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." In it, the praises of the Great Green Arkleseizure are sung, who sneezed the universe into existence. His followers await the day when the coming of the Great White Handkerchief bring them all back into his fold. Or possibly nostril.

"O, Mighty Arkleseizure,
Thou camest from high above.
Thou sneezed,
From out thy nostrils,
A gift of boundless love.
The Universe around us
Emergeth from thy Nose.

Now we await,
With eager expectation,
Thy handkerchief,
To bring us back to Thee."

#342 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2010, 10:39 PM:

Fortunately I read that before I took a sip of hot tea. Otherwise I'd have had cleaning to do.

#343 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2010, 08:02 AM:

Re: writing by committee: I'm fairly sure that the King James translation of the Bible was prepared by one. And I suspect that the Edwardian version of the Anglican BCP was. (Despite the fact that authorship is normally attributed to Cranmer, I can't really believe it didn't involve collective authorship.)

#344 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2010, 08:46 AM:

the kjv written by committee? not in the least.

what happened is that king james the sixth of scotland, first of england, gathered together seventy-two elders, and ensconced them each one in a separate jacobean tavern (these were your up-market pubs, with sleeping accommodations, the so-called "inns of court").

then allah sent the angel moroder to visit the elders. and the angel moroder brought to the elders certain golden discs, bearing the words "love to love you baby". and the elders, who were all named smith--joseph, jacob, jepthah, and so on through the alphabet--were sore afraid. and the smiths all danced a morrissey dance.

and their dance was pleasing in the sight of the lord, and he said unto the elders, "you can dance if you want to, for it is safe to dance," and lo! straightway the elders did cease from their dancing, which is ever the effect of these words.

and the angel moroder appeared again unto the elders and commanded then, saying "recite!", and they did write at his dictation.

and when their writings were compared, it was found that they were all identical. and the cause of this was that they had all parroted the bits that the angel dictated. and thus they proved that the copies contained no errors, using the parroty-bits.

and so, my children, the kjv is not the product of some mundane committee. it is the direct product of divine inspiration.

#345 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2010, 10:47 AM:

'it is the direct product of divine inspiration.'

Still written by a committee, then - at least on an orthodox Christian view. Just not a mundane one...

#346 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2010, 11:03 AM:

well, so long as the trinity enjoys comity it's more unity than committee.

that's not actually in the nicene creed, but it's in robert's rules.

#347 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2010, 12:20 AM:

#344 kid
ROFLMAO

#348 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2010, 12:35 AM:

In all seriousness, the King James Bible is about 95% identical to the Geneva Bible, which is in turn about 90% identical to the translation of William Tyndale. The vast majority of it was the work of one person. There was a committee, but they took the easy way out and cribbed from the best available.

#349 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2010, 04:29 PM:

#332: Amazing Grace; The House of the Rising Sun; While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night; On Ilkley Moor Bah't Hat; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Because I could not stop for Death; all interchangeable -- they don't call it Common Meter for nothin' -- and generally they sound better to one another's tunes. (Actually, most of them sound best to THotRS.)

#350 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2010, 04:35 PM:

kid bitzer @ 344: I feel love.

#351 ::: g ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2010, 04:38 PM:

Further to #349, I've always been rather fond of this particular interleaving: "There is a green hill far away / It's called the Rising Son / Where the dear Lord was crucified / And me, O Lord, for one." (The other way has better grammar but worse theology: "There is a house in New Orleans / Without a city wall / It's been the ruin of many a poor boy / Who died to save us all".)

#352 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2010, 12:38 PM:

DD-B @321: Romm, Emerson, Leslie...

Go, League of the Super-Davids!

Is Apa-David still running?

And how could I have forgotten the rest of that story--? After I'd committed the expressly-verbotten faux pas, the Davids forgave me by enclosing me in a five-David hug.

#353 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2010, 12:45 PM:

g @351: Is this the set that also fits the theme from Gilligan's Island, "Stairway to Heaven," "Darling Clementine," "Joy of Man's Desiring," et al.? (Where are the punctuation police when you need them>?)

#354 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2010, 01:01 PM:

re: "Cut up, or skinned, or shot from guns"

I tried to find out if there were any martyred saints who were catapulted or trebucheted; St. Johannes of Nepomuk was flung from a bridge, but that don't hardly signify, as I doubt there was much of an arced trajectory in that. The martyred peasants who were flung from an over-sized trap thrower by Louis XVI of France before the French Revolution don't get nearly as much recognition as the Carmelite martyrs of Compiègne from that era.

#355 ::: JCarson ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2010, 04:06 PM:

Jacque @ 351- It is indeed that set - also, many of Emily Dickinson's poems are in common meter, leading to my entire poetry class singing "because I could not stop for Death/he kindly stopped for me" to the Gilligan's Island theme. Gives it a whole different feeling, really.

#356 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2010, 07:21 AM:

Moose, I was still driving a Massey Ferguson combine harvester in those days. And the particular header wasn't supposed to be in the UK. It had a long-pitch roller-chain in one place, instead of a belt, and the drive for the knife had been pushed that little bit too far and needed re-building every year.

So the next combine harvester was a John Deere.

#357 ::: ASG ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 01:09 PM:

@332 and @349, you forgot "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing." I hope I didn't just ruin all Emily Dickinson poems for you forever and ever.

#358 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2010, 01:47 PM:

#346: The Divine Committee?

#359 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2010, 10:47 AM:

A friend just pointed me to Steve Martin's Atheist's Hymnal, which I leave here as tribute.

#360 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2010, 11:11 AM:

I think g's 349 is particularly effective when sung to the tune of 'Ilkley Moor baht 'At'

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