On Monday 24th September the 2018 World Cup of Bad Hymns will begin. This will be organised by a sequence of Twitter polls, one per day, on a knock-out basis, with as many rounds as are needed.
Badness may be defined any way you wish, either by stupid lyrics, bad theology (since people of all Christian denominations may take part, we won't get agreement here), or even by an appalling tune. Nominations for the competition close on September 23rd.
These are the entrants so far. You may nominate more bad hymns, either by commenting on this blog, or by replying to the tweet that announces the World Cup.
Anything that makes you shudder...
Alleluia Ch-Ch (Paul Inwood) Autumn days when the grass is jewelled (Estelle White) Bind us together, Lord (Bob Gillman) Christ be our light (Bernadette Farrell) Colours of day (Sue McClellan) Deep within my heart, I feel voices whispering to me (Fr Frank Andersen) Enemy of apathy (John L. Bell and Graham Maule) Follow me (Michael Cocket) Go, the Mass is ended (Sister Marie Lydia Pereira) God's Spirit is in my heart (Alan Dale) I saw the grass, I saw the trees (Estelle White) I, the Lord of sea and sky (Daniel Schutte) I watch the sunrise (Glynn) If I were a butterfly (Brian Howard) Jesus Christ the apple tree (R.H.) Journeys ended, journeys begun (Gregory Norbet) Kumbayah (anon) Lord of the Dance (Sidney Carter) Moses, I know you're the man (Estelle White) On eagle's wings (Michael Joncas) Our God reigns (Leonard E. Smith) Shine, Jesus, Shine (Kendrick) Walk in the Light (Damian Lundy)
"The next hymn is ... so put your hand up if you want to leave."
Addendum: We'd better stick to English language hymns (and Christian ones) to avoid strange songs from people worshipping Klingon gods.
Jesus Christ is waiting (John L. Bell)ReplyDelete
The world is full of smelly feet (Michael Forster).ReplyDelete
Caterpillar, caterpillar (Susan Sayers).
'Cheep!', said the sparrow (Estelle White).
There are hundreds of sparrows (John Gowans).
Eat This Bread (Jacques Berthier)ReplyDelete
Lyrics can be interspersed with humming. We always sang it at communion when the bread wasn't bread anymore.
The worst is the first bad one, from the 60's: They will know we are Christians by our love. No, wait, its partner is worse: Here we are, all together, as we sing our song, joyfully....But it's so bad it is not sung anymore.ReplyDelete
Only obvious one I can see missing is the "Funeral Hymn" (ahem !) "My Way" (Paul Anka)ReplyDelete
Ed Moran here, anything by Mauty Haugen is terrible (he is a Protestant), but 'Gather Us In' is particularly bad. His Easter Season 'Sprinkling Rite' song verges on sacrilege. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0BXa82F9MReplyDelete
"The Supper of the Lord" Laurence RosaniaReplyDelete
The Baker woman used to sort of creep me out at school in the 70s. I thought it had 'something of the night' about it but by heck, the one suggested by Tim Vasby-Burnie on your twitter feed delves far deeper into the night - more like into the bowels of the universe. I can't even bring myself to quote from it and certainly don't want to read the rest of the ...er...lyrics.ReplyDelete
PS Why are we mere mortals who don't twitter excluded from the vote? I think it's a hate crime and I'm going to stamp my foot and report you to the South Yorkshire Police :-)))
You can send postal votes to me c/o The Kevin Mayhew Book of Bathtime Gurgles.Delete
Now you're disrespecting me as well!!! Remember that when we build bridges, it's a bad idea to incorporate HOES in them.....make that HOLES....or better still HOLIES ... or even HOLLIES... which could hurt someone badly.Delete
I Love to Tell the Story. [...So let me tell you about the warm feelings inside me instead telling you about Jesus and His love]ReplyDelete
Never heard of all that stuff. All sounds a bit Proddy to me. (Shudder.) Ghastly Smoke of Satan. I blame that Council thingy. Mind you, I always rather like that little ditty at the end of Solemn Mass, don't ya know "Domine, salvam fac Regina nostram Elisabeth," . . . . Oh, what? Sorry -- thought we were saying stuff we liked. Getting old, s'pose. Hymns? In English. DURING MASS!! Surely not. Ridiculous!!ReplyDelete
Not sure if the first line is also the name...ReplyDelete
The Lord said "I'm going to set you free" and the people all said "Amen!"
"And the people all said, 'Sit down! Sit down you're rockin' the boat.'"Delete
I've only heard of ten of these; what a blessing to not know them all!ReplyDelete
That came from the Broadway musical Guy's And DollsDelete
Eleven of these are very familiar to me having sung them over the years. However I have to admit to once singing with great gusto 'Our God Reigns' in Wembley Stadium during the Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II. It was this memory that made me wish for it to be sung again but sadly I have never had the opportunity since. So I would not include this in my list of bad hymns as it brings back to me the happiness of that day.ReplyDelete
And Estelle White seems to have a thing about grass!
When I was a short-wearing innocent slip of a lad, I sort of enjoyed singing 'Colours of day' but thinking about it now makes me wonder if it wasn't composed by a pyromaniac on a bad trip - "Colours of day dawn into the mind, the sun has come up...so light up the fire and let the flame burn..."ReplyDelete
I can see the time coming soon when a new set of more inclusive hymns of accompaniment are adopted. My favourite will then be 'A Boy named Sue.'
Every hymn by Dan SchutteReplyDelete
Is Schutte still a Jesuit? I thought he'd left to get "married" or whatever it's called.Delete
"He left the Society of Jesus in 1986."Delete
Oh, yes. A thousand times YES!Delete
Dan schutte the worse ever.Delete
As soon as I see his songs on the hymn list.i shudder
"I was a donkey and the Lord set me free" (Palm Sunday processional)ReplyDelete
On less important matters, I just completed a three part book review of Henry Sire's "The Dictator Pope" and like Damian Thompson I think everyone should read it:
I'd have sworn that Estelle White is a creature of your imagination but, no, no.ReplyDelete
The Christmas carol about the Lord and the apple tree is rather sweet, I've always thought, although as it turns out (Wikipedia) it is by a Calvinist or Anabaptist or someone like that-- and have only ever heard it sung on recordings.
But will follow the course of the tournament closely, anticipating injuries and upsets and enjoying the professional commentary. The bars will be open around the clock, I trust.
Some of the songs I love. Here I Am Lord, is one of them. Here it is written as: I The Lord of Sea and Sky. Our God Reigns is awesome. The Charismatic Renewal used that song a lot and it is very moving. Many of these songs are more heartfelt than the old Traditional songs that are being shoved at us.ReplyDelete
"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!"ReplyDelete
My 5-year-old has just learnt this at school...
I remember a hymn being sung in our parish in the mid-1970s (I didn't join in). I can't remember the name of the hymn but I certainly knew the tune. After Mass I asked the priest if he knew that this particular 'hymn' was sung to the tune of House of the Rising Sun, a song about a brothel in New Orleans. He nearly fainted and it was never sung again.ReplyDelete
I remember "There is a green hill" being sung to this tune.Delete
'We are Called' to a jazzy piano accompinamnet. Not even the largely Haugen and Schultte fans could sing along with it today. Afterwards, since the mike had been left on, the pianist was heard asking why the folks did not sing along!Delete
"Anything Goes" (Cole Porter)ReplyDelete
Egosum - I am sure I remember that one too but had no idea of the origin of the tune - until now.ReplyDelete
It has reminded me of the time we were watching 'Z Cars' on television when the local C of E vicar called just as the theme tune was being played. My father (who happened to be an authority on Anglican church music) remarked to him that he thought that tune would make an excellent hymn. The vicar was not amused!
Such a rich field for harvest. Are we allowed to nominate many "songs"? (As our "choir director calls them.)ReplyDelete
If yes, then "Now we remain" by David Haas; anything by Haas. "All are welcome", Marty Haugen; anything by Haugen. "City of GOD", Dan Schutte; anything by Schutte. For that matter, almost everything in the Gather songbook.
And et al.
Who is the Alien? by Mary Louise Bringle/ Lori TrueReplyDelete
"Different in practice, and patterns of loving
Partnered in ways that seem strange to our own.
These are the outcasts we bar from the table
Failing to witness the grace we were shown."
This indictment of that rigid old institution that bans some from Holy Communion, was actually heard during Mass in a Catholic church.
Come back to me https://hymnsrepo.com/hymns/come-back-to-me/ReplyDelete
God of concrete, God of steel.ReplyDelete
The post-conciliar Church has built its musical reputation on a bedrock of excruciating doggerel.ReplyDelete
My vote goes to Faber's "O Mother! I could weep for mirth / Joy fills my heart so fast".
If "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" doesn't win this prize, there's no justice in the world. That, or any song by Schutte.ReplyDelete
"Let us build a church" ... to feed the hungry, but not one word about our spiritual welfare, heaven and hell. It is like building a welfare center.ReplyDelete
I haven't read every nomination on the Twitter page. I had to go to work several days this week. But I would like to vote for Laura Cameron's nominee: Who is the Alien. (See her 17 Sept comment.) I would say the authors of that drivel--it was only an excerpt!-- are the aliens, but I may be insulting the poor aliens.ReplyDelete
I'd actually defend Kumbaya.ReplyDelete
The refrain words mean "veni huc Domini, veni huc" and he verses seem an amateur version of a litany for the living.
That it is not everyone's taste and probably has been used out of proper context (which is some Evangelical black men thinking they are the Church) doesn't make it bad per se.
Apologies, we have to start late as I haven't processed all the nominations yet. No more please.ReplyDelete