Aging Hippie Paradise

No… this is not about the offices of the NCR.

It is actually about a rap music song.

I have always thought that rap did for music what S&M did for romance… but I digress.

I came by a rap song by a rapper I had never heard of… which doesn’t mean much … named “Zuhlio”.

Rap is sometimes about social issues.  This is about liturgical issues.

What I find odd about this is that the words were attributed to a “T. Ferguson”, coincidentally the name of the official WDTPRS parodohymnodist.


Readers have been asking for the lyrics.  With ZUHLIO’s permission I repost them here.  Many thanks to the lyricist, the official parodohymnist of WDTPRS, Tim Ferguson.

To the tune of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”

(Modernist Priest): As I stroll to the altar and I bow at the waist
The choir sings banal lyrics of questionable taste
But I’ve been celebrating Mass like this for so long,
that even Eagle’s Wings sounds like a cool song
and I ain’t never worn a maniple or done an asperges
An amice or a cincture? You know I don’t wear these!
my church walls are bare now, I’ve got long hair now,
Following the rubrics? you know I don’t care!
I really hate to chant, or to genuflect,
I face the congregation, givin’ them respect, fool
I’m the kinda priest I think the kiddies wanna be like
Full of jokes, hugs and smiles,
With very little insight.

(with choir) Been saying Mass this way, though the congregation’s turning grey
Been saying Mass this way, though the congregation’s turning grey
Keep saying Mass this way, ‘til the congregation’s gone away
Keep saying Mass this way, ‘til the congregation’s gone away

(Traditional Priest) Here’s the situation, God you’re not facin’
Turn to the altar fool, and follow the book!
Red are the actions, the black words you read,
We’re not here to entertain, but to intercede.
You’re an educated fool, with your Kung and Bultmann
But your people wanna hear Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
You’re an outdated hippie, folk music and sandals,
Ignorant of piety, liturgical vandal, fool
put the hashpipe down, stow the guitars away,
Can the geriatric “teen” choir and the crap that they play
It’s past the millennium, Bob Marley is gone,
Can the rainbow vestments, put a fiddleback on!

(Modernist Priest) Tell me why was I, so blind to see
That the Church just wants reverent liturgy?

(with choir) Been saying Mass that way, while the congregation went away
Been saying Mass that way, while the congregation went away
In a modernistic haze, led the congregation all astray
In a modernistic haze, led the congregation all astray

(Both priests) Sin and absolution, end all the confusion,
More Latin, less ad libbing, that’s the real solution!
Put the veil on the chalice, give the deacon a dalmatic,
Reassemble the communion rail that’s stored up in the attic,
The rubrics can be learned, there are priests out there to teach you,
Send a shout out on the internet and Fr. Z will reach you! [“YO Z!”]
It’s not so hard, just read the cards,
The Missal too, and you’ll say Mass like you’re s’posed to
(Modernist Priest) I said Mass Bugnini’s way, but the congregation went away
I said Mass McBrien’s way, but the congregation passed away,
Now I’ve turned the eastward way, and choir chants the Kyrie,
The Sovereign Pontiff I obey, off’ring Mass the Roman way

(choir) Tell me why were we stuck in ’73?
using Broadway tunes, tinged with heresy?
Now we’re celebrating proper liturgy,
Ditching Haugen and Haas, using Pergolesi!

Who knows when Zuhlio will strike again?

Original HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in HONORED GUESTS, Lighter fare, Parody Songs and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. r.j.sciurus says:

    Are you sure there is not an NCR connection? I’m pretty sure I heard this tune coming from a car near there recently. A lot of smoke coming from the tailpipe as well. Smelled like incense.

  2. De Tribulis says:

    Hee hee! Zuhlio is da man!!


  3. Magpie says:

    Interesting discovery Father. The guy obviously has talent.

  4. Dr. Eric says:

    As they say in my neck of the woods- don’t quit your day job. ;-) [I look forward to your version! o{];¬) ]

    Actually, I’m glad to see that you are in a good mood today, Father. :-)

    The rap was funny. :-D

  5. r.j.sciurus says:

    For Zuhlio’s next hit, might I suggest…

    Priest turned around
    Priest turned around
    They say we are all fools with our priests turned around
    Facing the east
    Ad orientem, priest turned around.

  6. Hidden One says:

    I could’ve sworn that I’ve heard that voice before… nice.

  7. sjlehn says:

    I’m not much for rap (or rock, or hip-hop) – but I think I could get to like this “Zuhlio.” Keep up the good work Father, I love your blog!

  8. irishgirl says:

    Hey, Fr. Z does rap! Cool!

    I was bopping away [quietly] while listening to this in the library…

    Nice job as always!

  9. wanda says:

    I loved it! Thanks Fr. Z. That’s what I call layin’ the Proper Liturgical smack down! I pray your fine effort will bear much fruit.

  10. Niall Mor says:

    I’m down with that, yo! Word! Or should I say Verbum!. :)

  11. mfranks says:

    Loved it!

  12. PomeroyJohn says:

    You can’t fool us “T. Ferguson”! About 1 minute in and my daughter said, “Hey! That’s Fr. Z!.”


  13. Agnes says:

    My daughter hopped on my lap and we both giggled over this. Verbum up!

  14. Tim Ferguson says:

    verbum ad matres tuas, domi

  15. Tim Ferguson: Eu, canis!

  16. ejcmartin says:

    Hey wasn’t Zuhlio that Latin fusion artist I read about in the WAPO? Can’t wait to see the video.

  17. Ed the Roman says:

    Shouldn’t that be exaltavit verbum?

  18. Jason C. says:

    I have always thought that rap did for music what S&M did for romance… but I digress.

    With all due respect, Father, this is a very ignorant comment. I do not mean “ignorant” in a pejorative sense, but in a factual sense…your comment is uninformed and stereotypical. [Uh huh.] There is an abundance of literature on the sociological and artistic significance of rap music. I don’t imagine that your exposure to rap music goes beyond random songs that you hear on the radio (which is understandable, given your age). [And even that was too much.] But before you make a blanket statement like this, I would suggest you familiarize yourself with what rap was all about, particularly in the 80s and early to mid 90s. [That’s when I formulated my abovementioned opinion.] Rap was actually used as a way to diffuse violence among young black youths…a way to creatively channel competition rather than resorting to gangs. A lot of rap music had violent themes…but do did Shakespeare. I would suggest that you read some of the very insightful scholarly treatments of rap music to get a better understanding of the social and artistic context in which it was born. [yahhhhh…. I’m gonna do that because rap is soooo underrated. ]

  19. Jason C. says:

    *That should read “but so did Shakespeare.”

  20. Jason C. says:

    *And of course, I’m not suggesting that rap music is entirely positive or morally perfect…but it is, in my opinion, an remarkable contribution not just to black art, but American art.

  21. Jason C: I think you haven’t gotten the point of this.

  22. Jason C. says:

    I understand the point, Father. But I think that by dismissing rap music as akin to musical S&M, and then using rap music in your performance, you are making a mockery of it. You may have formed your opinion in the 1980s and 1990s, but that does not make it an informed opinion. Maybe I am wrong and you know a lot about rap music…but I am willing to bet that you know next to nothing, which is why makes your mockery of it disappointing. [Okay… it’s still awful.] I’m not saying you have to like it…but I cannot agree with your dismissal and mockery of it. I doubt you could name 5 of the great rap acts from the 1980s, the “pioneers” as they are called. [I can live with that.]

    Anyway, I’m not trying to be disrespectful. Just suggesting that you become better informed and reconsider your sweeping dismissal of rap music. [Noooo…. this is waaaay to serious. And you are dragging this into a rabbit hole. The hole is now closed. And rap is still bad.]

    In hip hop, so-called Gangsta Rap is an echo of the folklore tradition of lionizing the outlaw, the robber of banks, and stealer of men’s lives—a tradition that gets its start in black music with the blues. Within blues and hip hop, the outlaw has a distinct hue—his crimes are the inevitable product of a system that has made slaves of human beings and left babies to inherit despair. …In hip hop, as in the gangster flick, we witness the spectrum of emotion telescoped down to the poles of anger and cool and character motivation driven by greed or loyalty. …Hip hop is Jimmy Cagney shouting out his mama from the top of the world. …The gangster is a particularly American product. This country did not invent crime, but the gangster’s stylized aesthetic version of villainy is native to this soil. And that understanding of violence—both real and implied—as a form of beauty is impossible to understand outside the influence of American cinema. …Look closer at hip hop’s fascination with the gangster and what you recognize is a stained and battered allegiance to the American dream.

    –William Jelani Cobb, “To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic” (pp. 126-128)

  23. DominiSumus says:

    Zuhlio is my favorite new artist. I so want to make this my ringtone. It’s awesome.

  24. JonM says:

    I agree with DominiSumus, Zuhlio now signals incoming calls.

    Father, do you have advanced info on when Zuhlio will release his albumn? I heard it might include Can’t Touch This, an anthem against EMHC abuse and Changes, Zuhlio’s condemnation of Catholic on Catholic crime especially in the form of altar ‘renovation.’

  25. JonM: I believe Zuhlio may have come to the conclusion that rap is less than optimal for his talents and time. He may be focusing on other genres. But you never know. Terpsichore may have a nutty and strike again!

  26. JonM says:

    LOL I will keep that in mind and know to credit/blame the Greeks if we get another single.

  27. jennywren says:

    I LOVED THIS!!!! Thank you, Father..

  28. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Thanks so much, Father. That was hilarious. Never knew rap, which I also dislike, could be elevated to such an intellectual level. :-)

    Just one question. Had a little time understanding a couple of the lyrics.

    Last chorus something like:
    Tell me why were we
    Stuck in ‘73.
    Using Broadway tools stitched (?) with heresy
    Now we’re celebratin’ proper liturgy
    Ditching Haugen and Haas,
    Using <- Didn’t catch this/don’t know the reference.


    You’re an educated fool with your Küng and your Bultmann <- [did I get that right?]
    But your people want to hear Matthew Mark and Luke and John

  29. Tim Ferguson says:

    Cincinnati priest,

    Tell me why were we stuck in ’73?
    using Broadway tunes, tinged with heresy?
    Now we’re celebrating proper liturgy,
    Ditching Haugen and Haas, using Pergolesi!

    at least, I believe, that’s what’s in the textus receptus…

  30. That was funny stuff. Good job!

  31. Semper Idem says:

    Father, that was great. It made my day.

    I’d like to hear you crank out a version of Young MC’s ‘Bust a Move’.

  32. It was funny and very clever…didn’t see it coming. Can’t wait for the remixes to hit the streets.

    Before I go, I would recommend checking DJ Shadow. He makes amazing music, all in tune and on time, completely from samples. It is pretty amazing what can be done with music from the past, rearranged into something new. Kind of like jazz…I guess I’m just another in a line of people not agreeing with the musical S&M analogy, but I too digress.

  33. dimsum says:

    Father Z,

    This put a smile on my face. I am into classical music and opera, but still enjoyed Zuhlio’s performance…….will he be doing a Chinese version?

  34. dimsum: A Chinese version of a parody song of a rap song. Just trying to get my head around that.

  35. Darii says:

    Perhaps the rap parodies should be left to Weird Al instead? [Thanks for your kind comment.]

  36. Agnes says:

    Please please please, Father, keep your day job! [I am sure you can show us all that you can do a much better job. How about you send us YOUR version?]

  37. Dr. Eric says:

    Since Father threw down the gauntlet, I am trying to come up with a parody song to America’s “A Horse With No Name.” (The cheesiest whiniest 70s song that I could think of that people would recognize.)

  38. Dr. Eric says:

    I won’t quit my day job either. :-D

  39. Nathan says:

    Huzzah! ROPL (Roll on the praedella laughing)! By the way, Father, did you see that Vincenzo made Zuhlio an album cover?

    In Christ,

  40. don Jeffry says:

    I loved it… What liturgical color was your bandana and your ballcap?

  41. irishgirl says:

    I almost laughed out loud in the library when I saw Vincenzo’s ‘Zuhlio’ cover!

    I got tears in my eyes, the whole thing’s too funny! Bravo Vincenzo-and all the other creative WDTPSers!

  42. gmarie says:

    Two thumbs up!

    Humorous doesn’t even begin to describe this masterpiece! Thanks for reminding me what the alternative to “saying Mass the Roman way” could be if it weren’t for the impending demise of the ‘spirit of Vatican II.’

  43. Nathan says:

    Father, after this I’m sure you’ll be sorry you asked for our input. Try out the M.C. HighMass rap “U Can’t Touch This:”

    U can’t touch this
    U can’t touch this
    U can’t touch this
    U can’t touch this

    My-my-my-my (U can’t touch this) rubrics hits me so hard
    Makes me say,”oh my Lord thank you for blessing me
    With a mind to obey and two readin’ eyes”
    It feels good
    When you know you’re sown
    A super-curial presbtyer from St. Agnes
    And I’m known as such
    And this is a biret-tuh!
    U can’t touch this

    I told you hippieboy
    U can’t touch this
    Yeah, that’s how we prayin’ and you know
    U can’t touch this
    Look at my maniple, man
    U can’t touch this
    Yo, let me bust the funky NCR
    U can’t touch this

    Fresh new black saturno and Vesperale
    You got it like that now you know you wanna Kyrale
    So move out of your seat
    And get the Introit and catch this beat
    While it’s rolling
    Hold on
    Genuflect a little bit and let ’em know it’s going on
    Like that
    Like that
    We’re using the Graduale so fall on back
    Let ’em know that you’re too much
    And this is a beat
    They can’t touch

    Yo! I told you
    U can’t touch this
    Why you standing there, man?
    U can’t touch this
    Yo, sound the bells, kneel at the rail, brother
    U can’t touch this
    Give me a paten and cloth
    Not in the hand!

    That’s the word, because you know
    U can’t touch this
    U can’t touch this

    Break it down

    Stop. . . Zuhlio time

    Contritely in Christ,

  44. Zuh-Zuh-Zuh-Zuhlio!


  45. Mary Kay says:

    Do you go out of your way to insult? In your zeal to attribute everything disparaging to the “aging hippie” generation, you’ve made an association which is simply inaccurate.

    While I know little about rap, I do know that it was *not* part of what you call the “aging hippie” generation, but was of a later generation.

  46. Mary Kay: It sounds as if you might be a liturgical liberal.

  47. isabella says:

    Somebody sent me a link to a YouTube by Flipsyde called Happy Birthday. (not sure if I am allowed to post links – I just listened to it again). It is a prolife song about a man still grieving the loss of his unborn child and still makes people cry even though it’s kind of old. Google for it if interested.

    It’s possible to like rap and chant – just at different times and in different places.

  48. isabella says:

    Oh heck – there are other links. This is the original version of the song. Yes it is rap but it is not horrible.

    Some people even had it on their iPODs during the last 40 Days for Life. No swear words or violence, just heartbreaking.

  49. Rachel says:

    Mary Kay, the song associates rap with both hippies and the traditional Mass, and it’s obviously ridiculous either way. It’s a parody!

  50. ipadre says:

    The multitalented Fr. Z – you speak for us all! Love it!

  51. MikeM says:

    Fr. Z! You hate rap music AND guitar masses?!?!?!

    How will you ever connect with Catholic youth?

  52. xsosdid says:

    The only rap I’ve ever heard that was worth spit!!

  53. Erik P says:

    Maybe a Latin rap “song” is in your future…

    That would be quite the challenge

  54. Think YouTube, Zuhlio!!!

  55. gradchica says:

    Hah. I need to anonymously get this our ponytailed band leader who treated us to “Say Hey! to the Carpenter” last Sunday.

  56. An American Mother says:

    I can’t believe nobody’s posted a link to this one yet . . .

    caution: not safe for work. But extremely funny.

  57. Copernicus says:

    Fr Z, give up your day job! [So very kind.]

    (Is that better? :-))

  58. irishgirl says:

    Thanks for providing the lyrics there, Father Z!

    I was mouthing them quietly-and bopping to them quietly-while here at the library.

    I’m with Erik-maybe there’s a Latin rap song in the future!

    Go ‘Zuhlio’! You da man! : D

  59. MikeM says:

    I usually go to a campus mass, but I went to confession at a local parish last weekend and they had mass afterwards so I stuck around. They opened Mass by asking everyone to walk around the (near empty) church to get to know each other… they had one announcement for Parish programming for the week, which was a Gay and Lesbian Ministry potluck with the discussion topic “Who was Jesus?” I kind of wanted to cry.

    Then, the music started, and with excessive vibrato the cantor sang a song I hadn’t heard before, where the music was actually, no joke, a mash-up of a tune from Les Miserables with one from Phantom of the Opera. I walked out with Zhulio’s rap stuck in my head “Why were we stuck in ’73, singing Broadway tunes tinged with heresy?!?!”

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