Thursday, 13 May 2010

No wicked men, no blasphemy....

We had it again at Mass today. That bowdlerised version of 'I'll sing a hymn to Mary.'

The last lines of each verse should be:

When wicked men blaspheme thee,
I'll love and bless thy name.

But in our hymn book they are now:

Oh may I imitate you
And magnify God's name.

A worthy sentiment, perhaps, but why change it?

Are there no wicked man any more? Do we no longer even believe in wickedness? Is there no longer any sin of blasphemy? (For to say simply that there is no blasphemy is clearly ridiculous).

And above all, why credit the lyrics to John Wyse without acknowledging that Thos Bowdler or his heir has got at them!


JamesP said...

I remember once hearing a priest read Luke 15 where it says "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?" as "What person among you..."

But then, a few lines later where it says "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?" he read that as "Or what woman..."

For some reason, "man" becomes "person" but "woman" doesn't.

Funny that.

Elizabeth from Sussex said...

Do as I do and bawl out the real words as loudly as you can.

Ben Trovato said...

James: Curious indeed!

Elizabeth: I do when my wife's not there...


Ttony said...

It ate my last try!

bawl away, and reflect on the fact that the change isn't just a silly feminist nonsense like saying dustbinperson, but a clever way of distracting away from a Marian devotion, veneration of the Name of Our Blessed Mother, to something else entirely.

Ben Trovato said...

It certainly has that effect, Ttony - can we be quite sure that was the intention, or is it merely inept PCness?

Like you I have my suspicions, but I wonder if anyone knows who changed the words, and when, which might give more clues as to why...

Patricius said...

I agree that this isn't just the silly feminism one so often encounters elsewhere. Rather, I suspect that it is someone who has problems with the idea of blasphemy as applied to Our Lady- either because they disagree with the concept or because they feel it is irrelevant. In any case they lack any sense of poetry or of the tradition it articulates. The versicle and response following the Ave Regina Caelorum is as follows:
V. Dignare me laudare te Virgo sacrata.
R> Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.
V. Grant that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against thine enemies.

The hymn's original refrain, I suggest, draws on this traditional prayer with its almost chivalric overtones of fierce affection besides which the replacement is feeble an, dare I say it, limp-wristed.

Patti Fordyce said...

I think this comes fromthe same feeble, don't-believe-anything-much-at-all kind of false ecumenism that objects fo the singing of 'Faith of Our Fathers'.