If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings.
Eccles: So, welcome, Brian Howard, author of "If I were a butterfly." Yours is a wonderful hymn - I heard it sung in the London Oratory recently, to the Gregorian chant Si papilio essem. Or was it a Bach cantata? I forget.
BH: Thank you so much, Eccles. It's great to be recognised on a blog of this distinction.
E: Do butterflies actually thank the Lord for giving them wings, Brian? Or are you supposing yourself to be trapped in a butterfly's body? In which case wouldn't you be saying "O Lord, get me out of here!"?
BH: That's too deep for me, Eccles. Still, I can also offer you robins, fish, elephants, kangaroos...
E: "If I were an octopus, I’d thank you Lord for my fine looks." Do you think that octopuses have "fine looks?"
A fine-looking octopus.
BH: Well, compared with some ugly spotty children I've seen... and of course cephalopod molluscs may have different standards of beauty from the rest of us.
E: Now, the hymn does have a chorus: "You gave me Jesus and you made me your child," etc. Not bad, really. But those animals... You couldn't drop the animals and keep the chorus, I suppose?
BH: What, and lose lines like "If I were a wiggly worm, I’d thank you Lord that I could squirm?"
E: Is squirming a good thing? Or were you stuck for a rhyme? Still, let's come to one of the highlights of the song, and the bit where the grown-ups present start squirming.
Si ursus fuzziwuzzus essem...
BH: "If I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear, I’d thank you Lord for my fuzzy, wuzzy hair." Note that bears do appear in the Bible, unlike octopuses.
E: Ah yes, Elisha, who didn't have fuzzy-wuzzy hair, summoned two of them to eat up some rude children. 2 Kings 2, in fact.
BH: We don't teach that bit in schools so much nowadays.
Elisha - spare the bear and spoil the child.
E: Before you go, I would like to mention another hymn: this one's by Mick Gisbey. It's the grasshopper song. Shall we sing it together?
Both: I'm not a grasshopper I'm a giant in the Lord! I'm not a grasshopper I'm a giant in the Lord! I'm not a grasshopper I'm a giant in the Lord! I'm not a grasshopper I'm a giant in the Lord!
Not a giant in the Lord.
BH: Of course if I were a grasshopper, I wouldn't sing that song.
E: Let's not go there, please. Brian Howard, thank you very much.
Previous entries for the Eccles Bad Hymn 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. Colours of day. The red flag.
Go, the Mass is ended. I watch the sunrise. Bind us together, Lord. Our god reigns.
My way. Ding-Dong! The witch is dead.