Dies Irae for liturgical music

I was sent a very fine parody tune by honored guest contributor to this huble blog and acquaintance of many years, Tim Ferguson, a fine parody song smith himself. This is by an author still unknown to me but he deserves a cordial tip of my biretta for his efforts: o{]:¬)

Though it may also be on other sites by now, repetita iuvant. Thus, I present you with the…

Dies Irae for liturgical music


Day of wrath, O Day of mourning!
Earth to ashes now returning!
Gather, by the millions, burning!

Cleansed at last by cataclysm
Butchered rhyme and battered rhythm,
Neopagan narcissism!

On that day, Lord, when thou comest,
And our dreadful hymnals thumbest,
Smite the ugliest and dumbest.

Smite them, Lord, yet of thy pity
Take their songsters to thy city:
Even Haugen, Haas, and Schutte.

Spare them on the stern condition
That they feel a true contrition
for the Worship III edition.

Doom them not to loss and ruin
While the darker storm is brewing!
They knew not what they were doing.

On that day when Palestrina
Dare not touch a celestina,
What will Sister Ballerina?

With thine eyes that pierce like lances
Still her heathen silly dances
And her flirting with Saint Francis.

Purge us of the prim and prissy,
Ditties fit for Meg or Missy,
Not for Francis, but a sissy.

Cantors who thought nothing grander
Than a sheaf of propaganda
Writ like office memoranda,

Raise them to thy room to bide in
Where their hearts and ears may widen
To the strains of Bach and Haydn.

Let their hearts within them falter,
Hearing, as they near thine altar,
Seraphs sing the Scottish Psalter.

Seize those devils set to pen a
Hymnal neutered of its men, ah,
Fling ‘em all to black Gehenna!

Fling them one and all to mangle
Their pronominals, and wrangle
Lest a participle dangle!

Who held manhood in derision,
Preaching double circumcision,
Suffer now their own revision.

Though the songs of Hell are naughty,
None by Handel or Scarlatti,
At the least they’ll have castrati.

Pitch, O Lord, the bald and raucous
Slogans of a leftist caucus
Down to Sheol, or Secaucus!

Save their singers, though: restore ‘em
To a silent sweet decorum,
Saecula per saeculorem.

Various are the throngs of heaven:
Some were lump, and some were leaven,
Some as lame as six or seven.

When the demons hear thy curses,
And this world’s dense fog disperses,
Heal the hobbled, not their verses.

Hush me too, Lord, when I grumble:
In thy mercy make me humble,
Lest On Turkey’s Wings I stumble.

Though Haugen sing “Hosea” evermore,
Save me, I pray! but keep me near the door. Amen.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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4 Responses to Dies Irae for liturgical music

  1. Fr. Z says:

    I found the source of this marvelous parody. BettNet.com linked to its source, which is th blog of Touchstone entitled Mere Comments. So, even though I received it in e-mail, I tip my biretta to the abovementioned.

    o{]:¬)

  2. dad29 says:

    Certainly something which will bring a wicked smile to the face of our good friend, Mgr. Schuler…eh?

  3. Tony Esolen says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    Many thanks for your tireless efforts to instruct
    people on how much of our prayers we have lost …

    That parody has been published in the January 2006
    Touchstone Magazine, and first appeared in October,
    on the mag’s blogsite, Mere Comments, at http://www.touchstonemag.com.

    My editor wanted me to say that —

    As for the author, I’ll just quote Shakespeare:
    “This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine.” There were
    a couple more verses, but they weren’t as gentle as
    these …

  4. Tony, you seem to have a knack for parody songs. Do keep working on them!

    Fr. Z