Sunday, 5 July 2009

Time For Some "New" Hymns...

Chris plays the organ at the 9am Mass. He apparently asked, "Shall I play Colours of Day during Communion?" I'm pretty sure he was joking. "Yes," came the reply, "do that... and I'll send the boys round to break both your legs, and you can follow on with I watch the sunrise (through my hospital window)."

This led to a few more suggestions for hymns which might have unpleasant consequences if sung, (other than the usual stomach-churning nausea...)

Bind us together, Lord (with splints that cannot be broken)
One leg, one body...
This is my body (broken by you)
I danced in the morning (but couldn't walk in the afternoon)
All over the world, the Spirit is moving (but I'm not)
Father I place into your hands the things I cannot do (because I'm in plaster)
Here I am, Lord (because I'm unable to move)
You shall cross the barren desert (not on crutches, you won't)
I will raise you up (on traction strings)

Any other suggestions - in the com-box, please...

Further discussion reminded me of Stephen Colbert's classic take on The King of Glory and a parody of liturgical dance...



One point worth remembering: the "modern" hymns which are supposed to appeal to the teenagers of today, well, they were mostly written in the 1970s and early 1980s. That's around 30-40 years ago... ie. 15-25 years before your average teenager was born. In some cases, it's about the time their parents were born... by my reckoning, that no longer qualifies as "modern!"

47 comments:

Ttony said...

If I were a butterfly - you'd be pinned between the eyes onto that board there

gemoftheocean said...

ROTFL!!!! Hadn't seen that one.

Deo volente said...

The Adoremus Hymnal has been very popular in the U.S. with those who wish to see a return of the "more sacred." Here is a listing of the Hymns included (some in American vernacular). Note the number of Latin hymns.

I might also add that you have "New Liturgical Movement" as one of your blog listings. This is the blog of Musica Sacra and has abundant posts relating to sacred music both from antiquity and modern. I commend that to you as well.

Cheers!

Ches said...

'Drop kick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life' (oh, okay then!).

Ches said...

"Michael, row the boat ashore" (but not until I've drowned the cantor).

"How lovely on the mountain are the feet of him" (but we don't know where the rest of his body is).

"I the Lord of Sea and Sky" (will smite the folk group).

Ben Trovato said...

Shine, Jesus, shine, (while I attach the electrodes to that hymn-writer's earlobes...)

blogowner said...

We had 'Colours of Day' today. God help us.

-- A 20-something
year-old Catholic
who'd give anything
for some non-'modern'
Church music

dillydaydream said...

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening...
and then I'd like to see how you'd play that ruddy tambourine

And I would lift you up on eagles wings, and drop you from the top of the Tesco carpark

motuproprio said...

Lord of light(weight crutches)
All the nations of the earth (couldn't put Humpty together again)
Be still (while the plaster sets)
Ask and you will receive (what's coming to you)
Do not worry (Trust him, he's a doctor)
All that I am (will be in A&E)
Come, Lord Jesus, come mend my hands
Orthopedic Gloria
Do you know (that it's difficult to walk with both your legs broken)
Happy the man who doesn't end up in a hospital bed)
Go, the Mass is ended (because the organist's been carried out on a stretcher)

Mac McLernon said...

Dilly - If I had a hammer ROTFLMHO... I read this one in the middle of a restaurant, and was crying with laughter...

Deo volente - it's ok, most of the hymns I'm complaining about are no longer sung at Blackfen: they're on the Index... it's just the principle of the thing...

leutgeb said...

Follow me, follow me,
leave your friends and family

to a place a long, long way away, where you can learn how to make things rhyme...

Remember the Israeli Mass and all that? There was a whole crowd of them in them hymn books.

E G F# E E, E B A G G, G A G B A G A B.... with cool syncopation. don't get that in Chant, for sure.

Then there was the American Mass ( I think, what makes it American?)
D E G G, G F# E E, E G F# F#, E F# E D etc same tune for every bit of the Mass. I'd forgotten just how awful a tune that is... All the fun of the fair with 4 notes. Paradise for every recorder teacher. Then you could do the verse of Colours of Day with the same 4 notes, just adding A and B for the chorus. Brill.

Lucky peoplem were thinking of recorders and not violins. 4 notes a fifth apart would be very hard to sing.

Such nostalgia. Does anyone still sing 'em?

Fr Tim Finigan said...

Trying not to laugh out loud at some of those as I have a priest staying with me and he has gone to bed.

Checking my pristine copy of "Songs of the Spirit", I suggest:

All over the world the spirit is moving (but you won't be for a while)

Follow me, follow me (Oh - sorry)

Walk in the light (in about 3 month's time)

Mac McLernon said...

Ouch, Leutgeb... I had forgotten those: not being musical, I had to plink them out on Sibelius... I really wish I hadn't!!

Fr. Larive's workers said...

How about "one bread, one butter"

veniteadoremus said...

Oh my, I laughed so hard that I woke up my dad and he came down to see what the fuss was about! He will probably have Stephen Colbert nightmares tonight.

I'm afraid I've only been exposed to good Liturgy in English, but I can make a list in Dutch... :)

Elizabeth from Sussex said...

I've been crying too - but not with laughter.

Went to a FHC Mass on 29th June (Saints P&P) It felt like we had every one of those 'hymns' - actually I think it was All over the world, then Clapping Gloria (who should be shot). First Reading omitted altogether, the only reading was one from 1 Corinthians (not for the day)read inaudibly by a first communion child, psalm substitute was Here I am Lord with the First Communion children miming on the sanctuary led by a teenager singing solo in a fake American accent, then we did at least get the Peter and Paul Gospel. After that mishmash we had Bind us together and the Heresy Hymn - the one with the line I am with you in this bread and wine (consubstantiation)then after all the applause at the end I braced myself - I knew what was coming - you guessed it - shine Jesus shine. With clapping.

Outside afterwards everyone said what a lovely Mass it was.

I wish I could laugh, but I have an awful job not to cry sometimes.

Monica said...

"Fill my house" (and let's play bingo)......

"Gifts of bread and wine" (not much else today; ...I am with you, in this heresy)

"Shine, Jesus, shine" ('cos my batt'ry has just gone flat)...

"Be still" ( for the liberals are here and want your money now -2-3-4-1)...

Adoro said...

This is great, thanks! ROFL!

A year ago, musing how these "contemporary" songs would be better suited to the theatre, I wrote my own Mass using show tunes:

http://adorotedevote.blogspot.com/2008/08/liturgy-on-broadway.html?showComment=1219699560000

Sorry for the shameless plug, but..it's relevant. Unlike the "contemporary" music.

Mac McLernon said...

Adoro - very witty... and, far from minding the "shameless plug" (I've done that myself, a few times!), I thought I'd put up the link so that people can get it more easily by clicking here...

Patricius said...

But seriously, folks! Why are we so often asked to sing such utter codswallop? Why are we appealing to our blessed Lord to "shine"? Are we suggesting He's gone dim? And "Colours of Day"- is that about an acid trip? The one certain thing seems to be the close association of textual gibberish with a complete absence of any musical taste or quality.

leutgeb said...

Colours of Day an acid trip?

I'm loving it!

Kate said...

A bit late, but here's my contribution:
If you kum by yah one more time, I won't lay my hands gently upon you and there'll be no more walk, walk, walking in the light for some time!

John the organist said...

These are fantastic and I'm sure my other half could add a whole lot more. Think the comments could be put together for an interesting topic on the SSG forum or for themagazine. Liz.

Richard Duncan said...

"In Bed we bring you Lord"?

Agent Smith said...

A lot of the American summer camps that are for Catholic kids tell the children that there should only be:

One Bed, One Body

Domenico Bettinelli said...

Do you all have "Sing to the Mountains" over there? It makes a great drinking song.

Sing to the mountains, sing to the sea!
Lift your pints up, drink them, boys.
This is the beer the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad.

la mamma said...

Paulinus had a post some time ago with this, a hymn in lament of central reservation, of happy memory:

Here I am Lord,
Where are you, Lord?
Are you in that niche way over there?
You used to be, Lord,
Front and central
Now I cannot see you anywhere

Mark said...

Be careful of irony. See the catechism information by clicking here.

Kind regards,

Mark

Ben Trovato said...

Mark,

the Catechism says: "So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior."

I don't think we are aiming at disparaging people or maliciously caricaturing their behaviour; only some of the drivel that has appeared in our hymnbooks and churches.

IE no individuals are under attack; but laughter is both therapeutic and a good way of attacking silly thinking....

Silence in the face of heresy is also culpable...

George said...

Wot - not a single mention in 29 comments of my favourite (not!) all time 70's hit hymn/song?

Why none other than 'Kum-ba-ya my Lord' !!!!!!

Of course the version from 'up t'North' of England starts this way 'Eee-by-gum my Lord' !!!! It's only just bearable if you've had several pints of Newcastle brown ale and your mate has just lined up the next round!

mariaimmaculata said...

LOL!
very amusing but in some places a sad reality.
Yesterday I went to mass with my younger daughter. it was an english mass with all these typical songs and people in beach dresses, with flip-flops and so on. When the readings came, my small daughter asked me silently: "mom, why is this boy (and later on, the lady) going there?" We had just been in Rome for a week and went to TLM only. Hard to explain, why. I wish I knew that myself.

Ttony said...

Colours of Day - Colours of Bruises as you will find out

Bind us Together - Yes, sir, just as you ask

Here I am Lord - Maybe for the moment ...

Our God Reigns - Remember New Orleans

We are one in the Spirit - One has a capital "O" ...

Matthaeus said...

Loved the video of Stephen Colbert's 'liturgical dance' - unfortunately I can just imagine someone incorporating this into an entrance procession, complete with nice polyester albs (the sort with nice little pixie hoods on them), priest in woolen chasuble with nice rainbow overlay stole, etc, etc...

...I'd better stop.

Also, on the hymn theme, how about:-

'I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
but was unable to dance by the setting of the sun'

Patricius said...

I seem to recall Cardinal Newman using irony to send up some of the prejudices against Catholics current in his day. Oops! Hope that doesn't spoil his chances of canonisation!

Mac McLernon said...

George - you obviously weren't paying attention... possibly, like me, you were laughing too much.

You didn't spot Kate's contribution - about 8 comments above your own!

Napier's Bones said...

One of the most reverent ladies I ever had the privilege to know sang 'The Burger King' whenever 'The Servant King' was sung at Mass. I've never managed to sing this since without also substituting the words....

Mark said...

Hymn writing is an aspect of someone's behaviour -maliciously caricaturing hymn writing, emphasising the defects in an out-of-proportion sense, in an ironic sense, meant to ridicule, disparages the hymn writers.

I completely agree with you that there are defects in many of these hymns in terms of using them in the context of the mass, but there is a right way to deal with the defects.

I'd like to also point out that embryonic-stem-cell research is claimed to be for therapeutic purposes, but it doesn't make it right.

Silence in the face of heresy can be culpable, but isn't necessarily wrong - I believe that sometimes you can use the principle of tolerating a lesser evil to prevent a greater evil in this case.

Finally, in the posted video, I suspect copyright infringement might be taking place - this could be a grave offence against the author of the original piece of music. In the UK, there is something known as moral rights of an author in copyright - as far as I'm aware, the author has a right not to have his work cast in a negative light - I don't fully understand the nuances of copyright law so I might be getting this last thing slightly wrong.

Kind regards,

Mark

George said...

Mac and Kate - mea culpa - kum ba ya! Eee-by-gum I did not spot it!

One more comment - "MARK - LIGHTEN UP"!

carina said...

Reminds me of this funny post that parodies City of God...http://pennycake.diaryland.com/sappyhymns.html

Last Sunday in Church, when they sang that song, the phrase "Let us sing a ditty to God" kept interrupting my thoughts. :p

Monica said...

Mark - don't take it all too seriously. It's merely a modern-day version of what we used to do to some Christmas Carols - "While shepherds washed their socks by night and hung them on the line"; "Hark the Herald Angels sing, Epson salts are just the thing"; "We three kings of Orient are selling chocolate tuppence a bar..." etc.

No one is personally disparaging the writers. However, there is no reason why they shouldn't be advised that their trite nonsense is no more than that - and is often outright heresy. Parody can be a charitable form of passing on information.

gemoftheocean said...

Oh, Mark, put a sock puppet in it.

Adoro--Funny, but often times too true!!

Of course parodies of even Good hymns has been going on for some time. Well can I remember

"We Three kings, of Sloppy Joe's Bar,
tried to smoke a rubber cigar.
It was loaded, and exploded,
travelled we oh, so far."

Sandy said...

ROTFL!! You have some hysterically funny and clever followers! I'm here via Father Z and loved every minute of it.

Scelata said...

Mark, I'm fairly sure that in the US, where the program that featured Colbert's "liturgical dance" originated, such satirical use of otherwise copyrighted material is legal.

And as for hymn parodies, they are often written and sung of hymns one admires.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

truthfinder said...

The tears are running down my face; I can't stop laughing! "Sing to the Mountains" DOES sound like a drinking song, and we sing it often in our parish. Much. Too. Often. Apparently, "Colours of Day" didn't make it into our hymnals here in the States. But we have PLENTY of other gems! I'm longing for Holy Week where such stuff is usually abandoned in favor of the traditional. I didn't become Catholic to sing bad theology and worse music, but often that is what we have at Mass. The Eucharist is what I treasure, in spite of all else.--- Rosemary in Missouri

Mark said...

Okay, I admit that you might be using irony in a valid way, however I am going to keep my reservations for the time being.

Mark said...

The following comment is from my interpretation of catholic teaching and offer no guarantee that it is correct.

One last thing, according to the sin of detraction, if some individuals are guilty of poor hymn selection, it seems that it would be better to approach those whose jurisdiction it is, to control the liturgy (possibly the bishops and hymn writers), assuming that it would be effective and exposure of the fault would be less when compared with your method of joking-
(See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04757a.htm for more information.)

Kind regards,

Mark

Patricius said...

I think you have touched a nerve here!

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