A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun Through Hymn Distortion

As I wrote last week about the virtue of fun, I thought it appropriate to have a little fun with my blog this week.  This fun will be had by destroying some beloved Christian songs.  Bwha-ha-ha-ha.

It’s not that I want to destroy the music for you.  But once one pauses to think about the words with an eye toward humor, it becomes nearly impossible to sing them with a straight face let alone with feeling and sentiment.  

For example, the song which begins: “Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees.” It is a beautiful song which I loved.  Then, one day, into my head popped the image of people lined up holding loaves of French bread and simultaneously breaking them over their knees.  And so the song unravels for me as the next line “Let us drink wine together on our knees,” causes me to think we must be drinking a lot of wine if we end up on our knees.  Follow this with a little switcharoo, “when I fall on my face with my knees to the rising sun” and the song disintegrates into a drunken binge with us all flat on our faces surrounded by bread crumbs.  It is a great and moving song utterly destroyed by my own silliness.  Glad to share the destruction with you.  You’re welcome.  

Next comes the song about playing “hot potato” with Jesus.  Don’t recall such a song?  It goes, “I took Jesus as my savior.  You take him too.”  Can’t you just see this turning into a children’s game?  You get thrown a little stuffed Jesus figure and sing “I took Jesus as my savior.”   Then, you toss Jesus to the next person and say, “You take him too.”  The one stuck with Jesus at the end of the song loses.  Wait.  Perhaps not the message we should be going for...  The one holding Jesus at the end wins.  How very rapture-esque.  Or perhaps it is more like medicine or some dreadful chore.  “I had to take Jesus so you have to do it too,” whines the sibling.  Then come the next marvelous words, “Way beyond the blue.”  To which I simply say, “I’m sorry.  What?”

And of course there must be a nod to the delightfully gruesome song “There is a Bomb in Gilead.”   Oops.  Sorry, I guess it is “balm” not “bomb.”  Sing it with me:  “There is a bomb in Gilead to make the wounded holes.”  Oops again.  “Wounded whole,” and “balm.”  Right.  So sorry.

These are wonderful, meaningful songs and I apologize for toying with them.   But if it brings a few snickers and a little fun into the walls of the often sooooo boring church then perhaps it is worth the price.  These are simply the first three songs which came to my mind.  What songs make you chuckle?

by Sheri Ellwood
BTW, the next few weeks our blogging schedule will be a bit different.  We will still try to post something every Monday and Thursday but who does the writing may not follow our usual pattern.  If you want to know who is writing, there should be a name at the bottom of the blog.

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