Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Barking Mad

A very dear internet crony, who has been feeding my ego by reading my books ;-) came up with the phrase "barking mad" to describe one of my characters, who is indeed slightly batty. A crank. Just at the moment, that's a bit how I feel.

I live next door to a Catholic church. Regardless of what we are all supposed to think about Catholicism (namely, that God Loves Them Too and that we should Pray That We May One Day All Be One, etc.), the fact remains that after Vatican II, they became horribly Protestant in their entire tone and structure. Their substance remains Catholic (and therefore, by Orthodox understanding, flawed), but the form has radically changed.

This particular church is about typical of most Catholic parishes I've seen in action: lots of emphasis on Peace and Justice Issues, lots of Programs, and lots of congregational singing of mostly Protestant hymns. Now, some Protestant hymns are gems--I'm thinking in particular of the hymns written during the Reformation, and those by the great J. S. Bach--but post-Bach, there came to be a movement known as the Quietist Movement, or maybe it was the Pietist Movement. Anyway, those marvellous old Reformation hymns were all transformed into 4/4 meter and rhythm, referred to by one Orthodox musician as the Plod of God, and so help me, he was right.

This place next door has an electronic carillon, and they play a lot of Plod-of-God hymns. Most of the year, I have to put up with, "Immac-u-LATE Mary, THY praises we-he sing," which gets old when you hear it twice a day, every day. At Paschaltide, however, they change the record, so now I listen to a variety of Plod-of-God hymns. This evening's was "The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ, Her Lord," which at least doesn't repeat the same dratted thing over and over.

My particular pet peeve, though, is, "Jesus Christ is risen today." As in, "A-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya." You know the one:
"Are try-umph-ant ho-ly- day-hay, a-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya."

In sheer defense of my own sanity, I have had to compose my own lyrics:
"Cheerless on the path we've trod, a-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya,
Marching to the Plod of God, a-a-a-a-a-a-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya!"

Please, PLEASE, somebody tell me you have heard a version of this hymn that actually SOUNDS triumphant and glorious?!?!? Otherwise, I shall shortly join my (very peripheral) character in the Barking Mad category. Thank you.


Catherine K. said...

I remember that particular "Plod" (though I've never head that particular term :). I don't think there IS a version of that song that sounds any better.

It's been almost 8 years since I last stepped foot into a Catholic church - and I have to say that I STILL remember that song and (even worse), "Gift of Finest Wheat". The lyrics are fine, what I can remember of them ~ the TUNE is the problem...

Ok, back to my indexing now :)

Elizabeth said...

I do so love the wondrous phrase "Plod of God" !!

All happy-clappy vapid tunes make me shudder, I`m afraid.

An electric carillon is an ABOMINATION ! Anathema !

The 11th century church round the corner from us has a peal of proper medieval bells, which I rang in my youth, along with a group of others, and they are wonderful to listen to.

Philippa said...

Oh 'cmom Meg. That's a great hymn! Especially the Alleluia!

I love that hymn!!!


Meg said...

WHOA. You must be hearing some very upbeat versions of it, then, Philippa, because all the ones I know really do plod, including this carillon version.

Catrin said...

I tried to remember one of those two "Plods" I mentioned - without the tune but just the lyrics.

I couldn't do it... I tried but just couldn't separate the words from the music. Something about that happy-happy-plod....

Philippa, I agree with Meg, you've been fortunate enough to hear a very different version!

handmaid mary-leah said...

I am still laughing! This is the best thing I have read all day, but I don't mean to laugh at your pain, I have just been hung up on persecution for days and if anyone really wanted to persecute the Orthodox this really is the means to do it!
Christ is Risen!
the handmaid,