Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Song I Can Get Behind

"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing
To work for a world without fear, without war
Unite all our people, bring peace to every nation
We pledge ourselves in fellowship firmly to stand."

These, anyway, were the lyrics sung at the Shady Grove School, in my youth, and still sung to this day on Thanksgiving by the Turbo Family (sometimes, even, in public.)

Only just now, researching the hymn on the web, did I learn that these are not the usual lyrics. In fact, as far as Google is concerned, this version of the lyrics don't seem to exist at all, outside of any fading purple-mimeographed copies which may still be filed in the long-lost binders of my grade-school classmates. Probably, the lyrics above were penned by one of our barely-ex-hippie music teachers, quite possibly in a cloud of cannabis smoke. The standard lyrics, while still reasonably pleasant, are considerably less world-peace-and-happiness. The lean considerably more towards God-is-on-our-side-and-will-bust-the-other-guys.

In fact, I was somewhat distressed to learn, the original lyrics were written in 16th-century Holland to celebrate a Dutch military victory over Spain. Granted, it seems that the campaign was one of self-defense/liberation for the Dutch-- but still, this was not the origin I had in mind for what I've always thought of a most peaceful song.

And speaking of lack of peace-- if you do see the Turbo Family preparing to perform this in public, I advise you run and/or apply earplugs immediately. It's going to be disturbingly off-key.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the locals. And to those elsewhere: give us a little time, we're trying to catch up.


Blogger Rach said...

Happy thanksgiving from the canadian up here! I still don't understand what the holiday is about exactly - I do know that I do get the benefits of all the sales too! :D

PS whatcha serving for dinnner???

11/26/08, 10:17 AM  
Blogger The MSILF said...

Shady Grove? Sounds suspiciously like Shady Pines.

11/26/08, 12:18 PM  
Blogger Roia said...

Your version is definitely much better. Thanks for some better lyrics (or, er, thanks to your "barely ex-hippy music teachers").

11/26/08, 12:48 PM  

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