Singing about Drinking Beer with Jesus

In looking for songs to sing, I have recently listened more closely to Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs than I ever had previously. Below are two of them that I particularly like, with the lyrics. First, here is “The Heavenly Banquet”:

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I would like to have the men of Heaven in my own house;
with vats of good cheer laid out for them.
I would like to have the three Mary’s,
their fame is so great.
I would like people from every corner of Heaven.
I would like them to be cheerful in their drinking.
I would like to have Jesus sitting here among them.
I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family
Drinking it through all eternity.

Attributed to St Brigid (10th century), translation by Seán Ó Faoláin

And one that I like even more is “The Monk and His Cat”:

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Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are
Alone together, Scholar and cat.
Each has his own work to do daily;
For you it is hunting, for me, study.
Your shining eye watches the wall;
My feeble eye is fixed on a book.
You rejoice when your claws entrap a mouse;
I rejoice when my mind fathoms a problem.
Pleased with his own art
Neither hinders the other;
Thus we live ever
Without tedium and envy.
Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are,
Alone together, Scholar and cat.

(W. H. Auden’s translation of a poem by an anonymous Irish monk in the 8th or 9th century)

 

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hey James, do you believe the historical Jesus was one night really drunk and even enjoyed it? :=)

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      There’s obviously no way to know. But there is a story about him making a ridiculously large amount of wine for a group of people who had already had ample opportunity to become drunk! ;-)

      • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

        How dare you say that doing a miracle in order to allow many people to get drunk is ridiculous?

        Where does your objective moral judgement stem from?

        To my mind, it would be quite godly to allow a bunch of desiring teenagers smoking the best weed out there!

        Actually, this would even be better than allowing them to drink a lot since Marijuana is demonstrably much less harmful.

        By the way, there is an atheist (but not anti-theist) scholar who made a good case that some writers of the Bible might have been under the strong influence of magic mushrooms.

        A reading of John’s apocalypse seems to leave no other possibility open.

        Lovely greetings from Europe.

        Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

        http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Actually the apocalypse is a literary genre. It is the belief that someone actually had the visions depicted that requires positing the use of narcotics. :-)

          • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

            It’s at the use of the word “require” we can see our main difference :-)

            In principle my worldview allows God to give someone genuine visions.

            The problem is that the apocalypse is a terror texts containing as many atrocities as adsurbities (provided of course the interpretation of the fundies is the correct ones).

            So, if they really saw all these things, I see two explanations:

            - they were deceived by an evil demon
            - instead of sharing bread at the Lord’s supper, they shared gigantic mushrooms

            Lovely greetings from Europe.

            Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

            http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com


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