This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Bad Hynms 12

The Eccles Bad Hymn Award judges are pleased to welcome Sue McClellan, to tell us about her highly irritating hymn Colours of day dawn into the mind.

A grey day for Monet

A grey day for Monet.

SM: It's lovely to be here, Eccles. Pity it's such a dull day, eh? What a dreadful fog!

E: Good to see you, Sue, which I probably couldn't do if we were outside. Is this the sort of colour of day you had in mind?

SM: Something sunnier would be better, Eccles.

SM: Yes I see: The sun has come up, the night is behind. I expect you ask priests to get a reliable weather forecast before scheduling this hymn in their services?

Singing in the rain

Singing in the rain, an alternative hymn for bad weather.

SM: It's metaphorical, Eccles. Think of God, rather than the sun itself.

E: I'm still wondering how colours can dawn into the mind, but let's move on. Go down in the city, into the street, And let's give the message to the people we meet.

SM: Ah yes, that was unfortunate. The church tends to empty at that point, as some people take it too literally.

E: Perhaps the hymn should say: After the service, go into the street...?

SM: Good thinking, Eccles. I'll consider that for when I revise the hymn. Unless of course people want to stay for coffee? After your coffee, go into the street...?

Pope drinking coffee

Just a quick coffee, then we'll go into the street.

SM: Now, do you like the chorus? So light up the fire and let the flame burn. Open the door, let Jesus return. Take seeds of his Spirit, let the fruit grow.

E: I suppose we could cook the fruit on the flame. Or Jesus could come in and warm Himself by the fire.

SM: I got an award for my mixed metaphors, you know.

Let the flame burn

Let the flame burn.

E: Go through the park, on into the town. Did you write these words yourself, or was it your SatNav?

SM: Ah, I have had some complaints here, Eccles. People kept telling me that the way into town didn't go through any parks.

Go through the park

Go through the park, on into the town. Then ask again.

E: I'm not sure that there's much to say about the rest of the hymn. It seems to be all about the sun and light, but you do stretch the metaphor almost to breaking.

SM: Oh, but Eccles, dear, there was even an extra verse that I deleted:

The sun's got his hat on, isn't that great?
The Spirit is with us till half past eight.
The sun disappears in late afternoon,
But God made the cow jump over the moon.

E and SM (together): So light up the fire and let the flame burn...

God makes the cow jump over the moon

A little-known work of the Spirit.

Previous entries for the Eccles Bad Hynm Award:

Lord of the Dance.    Shine, Jesus, shine.    Enemy of apathy.    Walk in the Light.
Kum Ba Yah.    Follow me.    God's Spirit is in my heart.    Imagine.    Alleluia Ch-ch.
It ain't necessarily so.    I, the Lord of sea and sky.


  1. This is such a great tribute to my favourite hymn that it makes me feel like singing.....

    "Gloria (clap clap) Gloria (clap clap) in Excelsis Day-ay-oh .." and repeat at length....

  2. But what about the tune? Beginners' piano lesson 1 - four fingers, middle C to F, plodding up and down again for the verse and then - pay attention now - you have to learn the rest of the octave for the chorus.

    It sticks in my mind most horribly because it was always begun on too high a note in school assembly, meaning that each chorus ended in an ascending agonized bleat.

  3. The caption on the pic of the Holy Father made me LOL.

  4. A priest once told me that this hymn had been chosen by a no-longer-practicing Catholic family for their relative's funeral... unfortunately they were in the Crematorium chapel for the Mass...

  5. You've heard of the Tristan chord, now the colours of day tetra chord. As much fun as you can have with the first four notes of a major scale.

    Some people think ubi caritas does it better but they is wrong.

  6. I thought this hymn had been banned as it was an incitement to increase carbon emissions.

  7. Is the attraction of white European Catholics to appalling music a pathology? I suspect it is and linked to contraception. It reached its apotheosis with the lesbian nun Jeanine Deckers who wrote "Dominique". A song which amused me as child because it seemed to my ears, as yet untutored in the French language, that she was singing about “knickers”.

    Paul VI’s decision not to approve the contraceptive pill in 1968 was a devastating blow to Deckers who a year before had recorded a song entitled "Glory Be to God for the Golden Pill" - a her own personal paean to artificial birth control under the name Luc Dominique. Deckers left religious life and then had, what could be called, a chequered career, committing suicide with her ‘partner’ in 1985 after a number of business failures.

    Her “sound”, however, lives on in parishes the length and breadth of the white Catholic World. Perhaps Ray Liotta in “Goodfellas” sums up the Catholic experience of the period when referring to the assassination of his and Robert De Niro’s friend, Joe Pesci, on the orders of senior mob members: “We just had to sit there and take it”.

  8. While unfamiliar with this (must be a Brit thing…), the lyrics sound oddly familiar.

    Was Ms. McC plagiarizing? Surely this has already been done by Harry Belafonte, viz.:

    ”Day-o, day-ay-ay-o. Daylight come and me wan' go home"

    Sounds like the congregation might “wan’ go home” too after being subjected to it…