Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Sunday that likes to say 'Si'!

Following Mulier Fortis' foray into hymn treatment, I thought I'd make my own contribution for Sea Sunday. I have always thought that there is something deeply thrilling about the hymn Eternal Father, strong to save; melody, harmony and words come together particularly euphoniously, showing the English hymn tradition at its very best. A few years ago, one trendy hymn book reviser thought to revise this hymn to the point where

O hear us as we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea  

was now to be rendered

O hear us as we cry to you
for those upon the sea so blue.

Let us set aside the tasteless doggerel for a minute, and just think of the implications. If the sea were blue, then there would be no peril, of course. So this must be a hymn praying for the benefit of those who like blue sea, which is to say, holidaymakers.

So here is my bid for the new-hymn Eurovision, especially timed for Sea Sunday:

Eternal parent, strong to save,

whose arm does guide the gentle wave

to purify each golden strand

that girdles Spain’s blest sunny land!

O hear us as we pray for those

who paddle round in pedalos.


O Saviour, whose affirming words

blessed bunnies sweet and twittering birds,

who paddled in Lake Galilee,

but never visited the sea;

O hear us as we think of you

who never saw the Med so blue.


Creator Spirit, who would brood

If it were not so jolly rude,

Politest pigeon, gentle dove,

Keep airplanes in the skies above,

O help them safely fly through air

for some do suffer mal de mer.


Ungendered three and sexless one,

Who only want us to have fun,

Who made the mighty ocean deep

For surfers o’er its foam to leap:

O hear us as we cry to thee

For those who like to water-ski.




If some find the grammar a little complicated, they can easily dumb it down in approved fashion:

Ungendered three and sexless one,

You only want us to have fun,

You made the mighty ocean deep

For surfers over foam to leap:

So hear us as we call again

For those who holiday in Spain.


7 comments:

Ttony said...

The organist at Mass this evening must have read this - that's why we had "Lead Us, Heavenly father, Lead Us" for the first time!

leutgeb said...

Not since Paulinus re worked 'I, the Lord of sea and sky' have I laughed so much.

Pure genius, Father!

Mac McLernon said...

Very amusing... I'll ask Fr. Tim if we can have it this week...
;-P

Rachel Gray said...

I love those lyrics!

gemoftheocean said...

:-D Of course bunnies are blessed! they have so many offspring!

Patricius said...

Brilliant! An interesting experiment might be to substitute your texts for the originals and see how long it took to achieve the "lumberjack effect" (cf. Monty Python Lumberjack Song)

Delia said...

Brilliant! More hymns, please.