Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Modern Hymnody, Correctly Understood

From "JB"

Day of wrath, O Day of mourning! / Earth to ashes now returning / "Gather,” by the millions, burning!

Cleansed at last by cataclysm / Butchered rhyme and battered rhythm, / Neopagan narcissism!

On that day, Lord, when thou comest, / And our dreadful hymnals thumbest,/ Smite the ugliest and dumbest.

Smite them, Lord, yet of thy pity / Take their songsters to thy city: / Even Haugen, Haas, and Schutte.

Spare them on the stern condition / That they feel a true contrition / For the Worship III edition.

Doom them not to loss and ruin / While the darker storm is brewing!/ They knew not what they were doing.

On that day when Palestrina / Dare not touch a celestina, / What will Sister Ballerina?

With thine eyes that pierce like lances / Still her heathen silly dances/ And her flirting with Saint Francis.

Purge us of the prim and prissy, / Ditties fit for Meg or Missy, / Not for Francis, but a sissy.

Cantors who thought nothing grander / Than a sheaf of propaganda / Writ like office memoranda.

Raise them to thy room to bide in / Where their hearts and ears may widen/ To the strains of Bach and Haydn.

Let their hearts within them falter, / Hearing, as they near thine altar,/ Seraphs sing the Scottish Psalter.

Seize those devils set to pen a / Hymnal neutered of its men–ah, / Fling ‘em all to black Gehenna!

Fling them one and all to mangle / Their pronominals, and wrangle / Lest a participle dangle!

Who held manhood in derision, / Preaching double circumcision, / Suffer now their own revision.

Though the songs of Hell are naughty, / None by Handel or Scarlatti,/ At the least they’ll have castrati.

Pitch, O Lord, the bald and raucous / Slogans of a leftist caucus / Down to Sheol, or Secaucus!

Save their singers, though: restore ‘em / To a silent sweet decorum, / Saecula per saeculorem [sic].

Various are the throngs of heaven: / Some were lump, and some were leaven,/ Some as lame as six or seven.

When the demons hear thy curses, / And this world’s dense fog disperses,/ Heal the hobbled–not their verses.

Hush me too, Lord, when I grumble: / In thy mercy make me humble,/
Lest On Turkey’s Wings I stumble.

Though Haugen sing “Hosea” evermore, / Save me, I pray–but keep me near the door.

Amen.

HT: Christus Vincit

1 comment:

JB said...

Ah, you caught the typo for saeculorum. I didn't when I swiped it from somewhere else. I can't remember precisely...I think First Things.