Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fisking Bad Hymns #1: Jesus Christ is waiting

Jesus Christ is waiting,
waiting in the streets;
[Fair enough: so far, so innocuous. But what is he waiting for? A bus?]
no one is his neighbour,
all alone he eats.
[No, he made everyone his neighbour, Samaritan, Syro-Phoenician, Roman centurion; as for eating alone, it wasn’t his bag. Our Blessed Lord was not one for getting a takeaway kebab and watching ‘Match Of The Day’ on his own]
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I am lonely too.
[Aw diddums! You should get out more. Anyway how could you be lonely with all those Alternative Liturgy/J'n'P/We are Church Conferences you go to?]
Make me, friend or stranger,
fit to wait on you.
[OK – not a bad end to some pretty ghastly middle bits]

Jesus Christ is raging,
raging in the streets,
[What the….?????!!!! He is reported to have been cross once – in the Temple; this is an attempt to turn Our Lord into Che Guevara or George Galloway]
where injustice spirals
and real hope retreats.
[Well, there are plenty of sink estates like that – what are you going do to about it apart from writing to The Tablet?]
Listen, Lord Jesus
I am angry too.
[I bet you are –but what about? Abortion? Teenage pregnancies? People trafficking? Polish brickies who in truth are literature professors living 5 to a room on £3 an hour? Rubbish liturgy?]
In the Kingdom's causes
let me rage with you.
[Our Lord does not want you to rage. Where does he ask you to rage in Scripture or Tradition? To thirst for justice, yes. To give alms, visit the sick, bury the dead, help the widow and orphan, welcome the stranger. But rage? Yeah, man. Rage against the machine]

Jesus Christ is healing,
healing in the streets;
[Spot on]
curing those who suffer,
touching those he greets.
[OK. He touched lepers in a way which broke the taboos of His time. But he wasn’t Princess Di with a beard]
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I have pity too.
[Look Jesus, me too, ME TOO!!!!]
Let my care be active,
healing, just like you.
[Yes, it’s sooooo, important to be active, busy, doing, seen to be doing]

Jesus Christ is dancing,
dancing in the streets,
[“…in Chicago… down in New Orleans…. ….in New York City… …. All we need in music….sweet music…” bwahahahahahahahah!]
where each sign of hatred
he, with love, defeats.
[“…dadadadadaaaah ….all you need is love, love - love is all you need!!!”]
Listen, Lord Jesus
I should triumph too.
[Me, me, ME Lord – I want to triumph]
Where good conquers evil
let me dance with you.
[Liturgical dance….all you need is luuuuurve….yes, we know where you’re coming from]

Jesus Christ is calling,
calling in the streets,
'Who will join my journey?
I will guide their feet.'
[OK, that’s fine]
Listen, Lord Jesus,
let my fears be few.
[OK but if fear is your Cross, how about picking it up? Oh no, sorry how does it go again? "If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, let him affirm himself, put down his cross and have a rest.”]
Walk one step before me;
I will follow you.
[Not a bad finish to a truly execrable ‘hymn’/’worship song’, though it does have echoes of the awful “Walk with me oh, my Lord…”]

So there you have it, Jesus Christ is a raging madman, dancing in the streets affirming all those lonely, angry baby boomers in their Guardian/Tablet/New Statesman –inspired anger at oh, let me take a guess: perm any three from:



  • “Islamophobia”


  • “Homophobia”


  • The fact that women can’t be ordained


  • The existence of the State of Israel


  • The election of Pope Benedict


  • The Latin Mass (whether EF or OF)


  • George W Bush


  • The lack of a really good organic/fairtrade coffee house within a three mile radius, thus necessitating the guilt-ridden use of the 4x4 to drive into Banbury.


Can anyone else tell me of any other truly awful hymns?

BTW is it a duty to sing along with this or should one stubbornly maintain one's silence, hymnbook closed on the bench if anything like this comes alng?

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20 Comments:

OpenID ebomania said...

I think my feelngs on "Fill my House" are well known.

The first verse suggests we'll get better attended masses if we offer the "bread and wine" to anyone that wants it.

"I saw the Grass, I saw the trees" is a reflection from someone on a hell of a bad trip who kept meeting a man.

"Go the mass is ended". Really? Then why are we all standing singing? Did it not end when half the congregation left after Holy Communion or is Paisley Diocese different - lol?

6:24 PM  
Blogger Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Well fortunately we don't have that problem!

6:43 PM  
Blogger Fr PF said...

Do people really sing this somewhere?

8:15 PM  
Blogger Ttony said...

First question: absolutely anything at all ever written by Estelle White. "Colours of Day": I rest my case. Anything new published by Mahew Macrimmon during the 70s or 80s.

Second question: you put down your hymn book and say in a voice loud enough to be heard by the bench in front and behind "I'm not singinging this heretical sanctimonious rubbish" then fold your arms and look furious. Your wife and children curl up crimson with embarassment. The nice man from the shop turns round and gives you a wink. The Lady with the Purple Cardigan who "does so much for the Church" flashes daggers at you. Most people wonder what all the fuss is about.

But at least this is well-meaning (I assume) heretical sanctimonious rubbish written, I imagine, by somebody imbued with the "Spirit of Vatican II" anmd who quite possibly doesn't know anything better.

But what about the people who have bowdlerised the hymn books with stuff such as the new version of "I'll Sing A Hymn To Mary" so that instead of "When wicked men blaspheme Thee" you are supposed to sing "O may I imitate thee (small "t") And magnify God's name".

Something involving boiling oil on this earth to prepare them for what the gates of Hell, gaping wide to welcome them, will reveal once they are inside!

The answer in this case is to sing the real words, very, very loud. Wife and children will turn crimson again, but you are more likely to rouse people to join in and sing the hymn properly.

I suppose I should apologise to the the lady in the purple cardigan for saying "Bo***cks!" to her when she remonstrated with me, but it was a Mass Centre, not a Church, and it was after Mass had ended, so the Blessed Sacrament was no longer present.

I don't like modern hymns, incidentally.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Mac McLernon said...

"I saw the grass, I saw the trees,
and the goats upon the floor..."
(Oh sorry, doesn't it go like that?)

We had an INSET day at my last school where my supervisor gave a line-by-line explanation of this ditty... unfortunately, he was serious, and claimed it was his favourite hymn...

Now please tell me what I have done in my life that actually deserves THAT as a punishment?? I know I'm no saint, but THAT bad????

8:51 PM  
Blogger Mac McLernon said...

There is also the song "If I were a butterfly" sung at First Communions at a previous parish... the children got to stand on the sanctuary and sing it, complete with actions...

One of the verses went "If I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy wuzzy hair..."

It generally occurred to me that Herod was a much-maligned individual about two verses into this monstrosity...

8:56 PM  
Blogger WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

"Love is his word" is a dirge that goes on and on...and on and on...

And of course there's the song with the 'highly flavoured lady'.

Happy Epiphany :)

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Vernon said...

With 99.99% of modern hymns the only answer is to refuse to sing them. If Mass has ended then why not simply leave the church as soon as the rubbish starts. If during Mass then kneeling and praying privately is the best thing to do.

When the hymn is an old established one whose words have been changed to 'politically correct' ones then sing the original words as loudly as possible.

11:07 PM  
OpenID ebomania said...

If i were a butterfly - oh the memories! A bit like "Like a Sunflower".

I had the misfortune of working with a liturgically challeneged / hard of thinking youth worker who would have the kids singing this at the drop of a hat.

Suffice to say he is now writing jingles for (ice cream vans? Phones?) local radio.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Do people really sing this somewhere?

Sad to say, Fr PF, a parish about 4 miles from your own.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

Gack! Who wrote this dreck?

5:21 PM  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

That butterfly one is definately one of the worst!!

My not so favourite!

"Follow Me Follow me leave your homes and familieeeees...leave your fishing nets.etc."

Also worth a mention is "Walk in the light", Where everyone thinks they are in Dire Straits. And maybe we are...

9:47 PM  
Anonymous pelerin said...

I have not yet heard 'If I were a butterfly' but it can't be worse than the popular (Protestant) Sunday school hymn 'Jesus wants me for a sunbeam!'

9:09 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

I'm not sure, but I think that hymn rings a bell... alarm bells, probably!

When I'm confronted with a 'hymn' of this calibre, I keep silent. Really, I can't cope with such tosh.

3:47 PM  
Blogger denise said...

at least you can understand the words

1:30 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

at least you can understand the words

Well, yes, but that could be said of Three Blind Mice. It's not exactly the sole crterion for a good hymn.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited a church who sang this song, and couldnt stop laughing, not only could someone get away with writing this, someone actually picked to sing in a church service. Oh dear!!! Saying that it was in a Church of England service.... :-| My search for a proper church with proper bible teaching and powerful passionate modern, god exalting worship continues!!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Praise the Lord! I visited a Church last week and they sang this song. I felt so sick inside when I heard it. It is a TERRIBLE song! I hated it! In fact to say Jesus Christ is raging to me is well... wrong!I am so glad that I am not alone! Everyone else loved it... I guess I am one of those old fuddy duddy believers who actually BELIEVES what it says in the Bible and likes the old scriptural hymns. Lord preserve us from these TERRIBLE songs!

12:26 AM  
Anonymous RevPerfection said...

Ahh, home at last among the snarky and the snide!I've waited so long to find others almost as perfect as myself. Well, I guess you'all have to do for now.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Melbara said...

Sang this in Church this morning. My local Church is an Anglican parish where we normally sing established traditional hymns. I had never encountered the hymn before altough the tune seems vaguely familiar from somewhere else. I simply couldn't believe my eyes when I read the words in the hymn book. It seemed almost blasphemous to be singing such a hymn.

1:57 PM  

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