Sunday, January 1, 2012

Would you sing it on a boat?

with apologies to Dr. Seuss

Would you sing it on a boat?
Would you sing it on a float?
Would you sing it in a theater?
Would you sing it in a meter?
Would you sing it with vibrato?
Would you sing it all staccato?
Is it sung with bounds and leaps?
Is it sung in mumbles and peeps?
Is the song most long and gangly?
Is it short and jingly jangly?
Do you play it on guitar?
Do you play it with scitar?
Does it make you swing and dance?
Does it make you nod and prance?

If so my friend you've found the cause
that makes me shirk and turn and pause.
These songs they make a fuss and scene
Just where all things should be serene.
Where soft and solemn all should be
These things blare and distract me.
They clash and clang and bash and bang.
They chatter and spatter and clatter and shatter.
They shatter the words they shatter the tone
They shatter the staid and somber zone.
They shatter the earth they shatter the sea
And I tell you now they're annoying me!

Yet such must needs not come to pass,
Just don't sing these things at mass.

I know now friend you surely ask
"In what music shall we bask?
If we sing not this repertory
Then what at mass will there be?"

Friend I tell you now don't frown:
The music we need has been passed down!
Passed down from ages long of old,
Passed down has been this flowing gold.
You can sing it sans piano,
You can sing it sans soprano.
Be ye alto, tenor or bass,
It matters not if ye sing with grace.
For sung by cantor or schola cantorum
You'll find none else with this decorum.
Gently rising, softly sloping,
Ever skipping, maybe troping,
It fits the words it fits the tone
It fits with others or alone.
It fits the mass, it fits the pace,
This music's called chant and the church is its place.

So grab your missal and chant with vigor,
Chant with love and chant with rigor.
Ord' and proper chant the mass
And chant the hours as they pass.
Chant alone or with a friend,
Chant the year from start to end.
Drop the rest. The chant will last:
The best for the future is the best from the past.


  1. It does sound extreme. Every single line seems to me interesting. Love to sing this "They clash and clang and bash and bang,They chatter and spatter and clatter and shatter". Thanks mate and keep it up!

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by. I got a bit carried away but that's the name of the game when one rhymes! Thanks again!

  3. Happy New Year! Sorry to have been so quiet.

  4. Not at all, Tom! And a very Happy New Year to you also! I'm sorry for being so quiet myself. I've had a number of projects waiting on a few books which I have just most generously been given so things ought to pick up (starting with some Bach!)