This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Bad Hymns 4

Today's entry for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award is "Walk in the Light," which is apparently © Kevin Mayhew Limited, the artist formerly known as Damian Lundy. We invited Mr Limited to come along and discuss his hymn.

walking in the light

Walking in the light

E: Thanks for coming along, Mr Limited. Did you have a good walk here this evening? Streets not too dark?

KML: No, the streets were very well lit, thank you, Eccles. Just the way I like them.

E: Splendid. Now this hymn of yours: would I be right in thinking that its central message is "Walk in the Light?"

KML: Got it in one! There's no pulling the wool over your eyes, is there?

E: Well, the fact that the phrase occurs 30 times in the song, six times in each verse, gave me a clue. I hope that your message is not too subtle for other worshippers, however.

KML: It's a risk we have to take, Eccles.

E: If one removes all the "Walk in the Light" bits, what is left?

KML: Nothing controversial, I hope, Eccles.

E: Well, no, it is on the whole excessively banal. "To save the lost like you and me," for example. Are we supposed to point at particular people when we say "like you," or is it a general description?

KML: Well, I always gesture at the priest at that point to show him I know where the bodies are buried.

lost soul pointing

Pointing at a lost soul

E: Now, the clunkiest line of the song must surely be "He gave his Spirit to be our friend." Not only does it not scan, unless you say Sp'rit like an American cowboy, but it is theologically incorrect.

KML: Well, I needed a word that rhymed with "end," and somehow "He gave his spirit for the operations of grace and the sanctification of souls, and in particular spiritual gifts and fruits" seemed a bit too complicated an idea.

E: You have an answer to everything, Mr Limited. Mind how you go now, and only walk when the light is green.

Walking in the light

Walking in the light


  1. Another very interesting blog, doctor. It throws a completely new light on the hymn, which I always assumed was Chinese in origin. Whenever I heard it I imagined the words to be "Wok in the light" and saw in my mind's eye a parade of people at Chinese New Year, dancing in a lively way behind a wok held aloft under the merry bunting and Chinese lanterns.

    Did other readers also interpret it that way? I would be interested to hear.

    1. Further to Mr Gumbey's observations, I had always believed the hymn to be a work song originating with Chinese laundry workers during the soap making process. "Wok in the Lye" is how I have always heard it.

  2. I would like to know more about being sav'd. It sounds very interesting, doctor. I have had several problems with my brain and it is time to consider the advantages of being sav'd like you.

  3. I fink de fust step, accordin to dis blogg, is to walk in de lihgt. Maybe go to de North Pole, where dey has 24 hour daylihgt.

  4. Very late to the party, but this one brought back all kinds of memories...

    It was a favourite of our headmistress, who press-ganged every guitar-player in the school whenever it was sung in assembly. There wasn't enough sheet music to go round so we had to improvise; thus the words, for me, will forever be:
    Wa.....alk in the light
    Wa.....alk in the light
    E minor E minor, A minor A minor
    It's finished, thank the Lord!

    Something of an improvement, I feel.