12.06.2005

Caroling

I just got a video clip from my brother. In it, Larry the Cable Guy sings carols for his encore. The one that sticks in my mind goes like this:

O Come all ye Immigrants
Gi-it yer Green Cards
Learn some damn English
And then how to drive.
(The views expressed are not necessarily those of the blogger)

The response I sent my brother begins with a "WooooHooooo" and ends with the lyrics of my all-time favorite altered carol:

God rest ye Unitarians, let nothing you dismay
There's no historic evidence there was a Christmas day
When Christ was born is just not known, no matter what they say,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact
A folklorist could have a field day with tracing the different versions of these lyrics - the first page of google results contained the lyrics I remembered, a pagan history version, and version with an extra dose of cynicism. The UUA's santioned lyrics are listed beside this selection from the Gilbert and Sullivan songbook:
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian :
Far broader than a Catholic, Hindu, Jew or Presbyterian.
I know the world's religions and can trace their roots historical,
From Moses up to Channing, all in order categorical.
Speaking of Unitarian Universalist irreverent music, it was at UU camp that I learned it is possible to sing most of the hymnal to the tune of the Gilligan's Island Theme. (Thanks, Evad!)
Start your humming:
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour,
a three hour tour
Now, switch lyrics but keep the same tune:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see
Was blind but now I see

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.
It works on hymn-influenced verse too, see:
Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.
We slowly drove—He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility—
-Emily Dickenson

Comments:
these carols are awesome. thing about unitarians is, at least they can laugh at themselves. don't try that with 'christians.' have you see "Saved!" Just saw it last weekend and laughed my ass off.
 
My UU church went a-caroling to some older members in their nursing homes just yesterday, and our pastor launched into "God rest ye, Unitarians." Made me chuckle. So did the ex-Catholic we were serenading. When we asked if he had any requests, he said, "Sing me something informative." Curiously, that was not a subject heading in our Traditional Carols book.
 
My brother responds: "Do me a favor -- Let's not sing this one at christmas."

I will grant this favor.
 
Some very funny stuff there.

Here's a scarier one for you:

My husband discovered that the Rime of the Ancient Mariner can be sung to the Gilligan's Island themesong.
 
Wow, Lis, I tried it and it's eerie.

And I just remembered, in Dirk Gently's Detective Agency Douglas Adams re-casts Coleridge's Mariner as a (reluctant) Raelian intelligent designer. "Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs / Upon the slimy seas"

Someone over at Pharyngula pointed out that Emily Dickenson (and so, presumably, half the hymnal) can be sung to "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Battlehymn of the Republic" but I really think the Gilligan's Island theme is best.
 
Get into the spirit of the Christmas season with a Christmas caroling party for your friends. Delight your neighbors by singing carols at their doorstep or just gather around a piano in the family room if you prefer.
bye
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