This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bad Hymns 7

Today's entry for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award is God's spirit is in my heart, by Alan Dale, which is also known as The two shirts song. As usual, we invited the author along to explain himself.

Eccles: A most interesting hymn, Alan, and I see that you managed to get it set to one of the most peculiar hymn tunes in common usage. It starts off as a minor-key Russian love song as best sung by a basso profundo, and it ends up as a music-hall waltz, something like "Down by the old Bull and Bush, bush, bush!"

AD: Yes, indeed. We do get many people singing "The news that God's Kingdom has come, come, come!"

Music hall

And lastly, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your own delight, a final chorus of the two shirts song!

E: Still, in these interviews we are more concerned with the lyrics. Are you sure, for example, that God's Kingdom has come already? Don't we have a little-known prayer which says "Thy Kingdom Come," as though it were something we needed to pray for?

AD: Er, well of course most of the words are based on Jesus's own instructions to his disciples.

E: But should those words really be sung in a different context?

AD: I suppose you mean the bit about "you don't need two shirts on your back?"

E: Yes, I've heard of several people catching pneumonia by assuming that the climate in Britain was the same as in the Holy Land.

Overdressed man

This man is wearing too many shirts

AD: Well, we now print the hymn with a warning that we bear no liability if people misinterpret the words.

E: Yes, "tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more," is another example.

The great escape

Maybe prisoners for a bit longer?

AD: Apparently, we've had some complaints about that too. And I told a blind person that he could see, and he promptly got up and walked into a statue of St Kevin of Mayhew.

E: Well, thank you very much, Alan. That's it really. Fancy joining me for a drink down at the Old Plymouth Hoe?

AH: Hoe, hoe!


  1. May I offer an alternative third verse?

    "Don’t carry on like Bonnie and Clyde,
    You don’t need two Jags on your drive
    A workman can get lots of sleep
    After eating his tatties and neaps"

    This really is a multi-purpose tune!

    1. Very good. Wuold anyone else like to write some more verses?

      I was finking dat de chap whose black car is being serviced by a costume holly man in de post below looks a bit like Jhon Prescott.

  2. I like that one we used to sing at school about saying "a great big thank-you" which I rightly 'mustn't forget'. It has that immortal line about bacon which still comes and ambushes me from nowhere, and slaps me in the face like a giant smelly wet kipper. The lyrics are:

    "...smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces,
    and the song the milkman sings,
    no I mustn't forget,
    no I mustn't for-ge-et,
    to say a great big 'thank-you' I mustn't forget".

    This song has ruined my life and I need urgent mental de-programming and counselling. What it gave me, apart from the sub-Telly Tubby fondness for similarly moving music, was the false hope of having a full English breakfast every time I went to Church.


  3. Eccles, another classic! I've given up on all the rest of it, but I will still look in here. So funny.

    Are readers' requests encouraged? How about Daniel Schutte's "Here I am Lord"

    1. Fanks for de luvvly comments, Frere Rabit. Suggestoins are always welcome. I will see whevver Daniel Schutte is avialable for an interveiw. Singed Eccles (saved).