Lament of the Old Choristers
 
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Lament of the Old Choristers
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(Some feelings after suffering a superfluity of ecclesiastical jingles thought to be 'modern' whilst remembering having sung many of them under protest at 'seaside missions' in the thirties whilst the rest of the world was enjoying itself.)

The publishers have conned us
Into buying 'Mission Praise',
To liven up our services
And modernise our ways.
It's cost a lot of money
But worth it in the end,
'Cos we are told by Jesus,
'To save, you've got to spend."

It's had its little problems
Like anything that's new;
We can't get used to jingles
Of which there's more than few;
They've ruined words and harmonies
That we have known for years
And syncopated rhythms
'till we are moved to tears!

We'd cheerfully have borne it if,
looking to the end,
The means had thus been justified,
Reversing modern trend
Of emptying of Churches
And thinning of the ranks
By boosting Church attendance
For that we would give thanks.

BUT

We've antagonised the 'oldies'
Who are our main support,
But where are all the youngsters
Who, happily, we thought
Would rave about the music
And rock in all our pews
And save their souls for heaven
With 'Rite A' and 'Good News'?
 

WELL

There's Kevin and there's Karen
(The Vicar's little pair),
And Mrs. Jones's Gladys
(Who often isn't there!),
But as for hordes of youngsters
We expected to obtain,
It seems our choral sacrifice
Has been, alas, in vain.

And so we mourn the passing
Of many a noble tune,
Which seems we'll never sing again
(Or once in the blue moon).
Thus Bach and Blow and Stainer
That we've enjoyed so long
Must wait for our rendition
With Heaven's eternal song.

WJG. 11.94.

The Estate of William John Green, 2004