Category Archives: Humor

“Goldtongue”: A Patristic Filk.

Copied from my Maria Lectrix podcast blog, and inspired by today’s patristic Thanksgiving selection by St. John Chrysostom. “Chrysostom” is a nickname. It means “gold tongue”. (In English, we tend to talk of someone being silvertongued, instead.) Here’s a very short resume of his career.

To the tune of “Goldfinger”:

Goldto-ongue –
He’s the man, the man with the honeyed words –
Not moneyed words.
His old tongue
Beckon you to break from your chains of sin,
But will he win?

Golden words he will pour in your ear,
But what’s true has to move past your fear.
For the Golden Horn’s lord knows his hyssop
Is a kiss-up’s death
From Bishop

Goldto-ongue –
Little men beware of his heart of gold –
Their hearts grown cold.

They don’t know real gold.
Lonely gold.
His word’s gold.
He speaks only gold.
Lonely gold.
His love’s gold!

One of my secret ambitions when starting the podcast was to write filks about the stuff I was reading, or the authors. I think this is just about the first time I’ve managed it.


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Never Say Never — “On Eagle’s Wings” in Latin

Probably Holy Whapping has already done this, but it’s good fun for me.

So, by popular demand of the comboxes of The New Liturgical Movement:


Pinnas Sicut Aquilae
To the tune of: “On Eagles’ Wings” by Michael Joncas and the Bible

Latin Lyrics: Maureen S. O’Brien and the Vulgate

VERSE 1 (Psalm 90/91):

Qui habitat in abscondito,
in umbraculo Domini,
Qui habitat in umbraculo
Domini commorabitur,
dicens Domino “spes mea —
Deus meus, confidam.”

CH: (Psalm 40/41, Isaiah 46:4, Matthew 13:43)

(Et) adsumet pinnas sicut
aquilae et faciet
te fulgere sicut sol;
portabat te in pugillo, pugillo.

VERSE 2 (Psalm 90/91)

(Li)berabat de laqueo venantium,
de morte insi
Veritas eius, scutum.
Sub alis eius, sperabis.


VERSE 3 (Psalm 90/91):

(A) timore nocturno, non timebis;
a sagitta volante.
A latere tuo cadent
(mille), non adpropinquabit.


VERSE 4: (Psalm 90/91)

Quia angelis suis mandabit de
(te in) omnibus viis tuis —
in manibus
portabunt te, ne
offendat pes tuus ad lapidem.


Pretty much straight from the Vulgate, albeit with some chopping; but Latin is pretty easy to rhyme and rearrange. I’m afraid I paid no attention whatsoever to the quantities, though.

Now, in the original song, you’ll notice that it’s not “my God in whom I trust”, as in the psalm, but “My Rock in whom I trust”. I’m pretty sure that this is entirely for valid songwriting reasons (nice hard sound, “rock”). But if you find it easier, feel free to sing “Petrus meus, confidam.” It would even be strangely fitting, after last week!

I do not apologize for changing other bits to hew closer to the psalm, like “And famine will bring you no fear”. Also. the Vulgate does say that God’s truth will be our shield and protection, not His faithfulness. (Just so you know that I’m not making this stuff up.)

I do apologize for not solving all the English version’s scansion problems. Variable numbers of syllables put to the same piece of music are fine in a folksong learned orally, but they are a royal pain in a hymnal.

UPDATE: Slightly revised to deal with some of the problems noted above. Besides the obvious edit in the first verse, I also added “te” to the chorus in a couple places. (Which actually comes in handy to smooth out the scansion, as well as adding more purty internal rhyme.) I like the first line of the chorus better without a “te”, but you can put one in between “et” and “adsumet” if that’s what you really want. You can also change “dicens” to “dicet” (present or future), if it’s really bothering you, as one of the Vulgate translations does say it that way.

Sorry for the deficiencies of the audiofile; but it’s just for proof of concept, and it was recorded at 7 AM.


Filed under Church, Humor, Translations

Well, Dang! This Can’t Be Right.

The Truth Laid Bear’s Ecosystem is currently being updated — a situation which is often a source of valuable egoboo. At the moment, it says that this blog is an Adorable Little Rodent (at #20759) and that Maria Lectrix is a Flappy Bird (#24205).

Wow. I think I’m getting an altitude headache already. :)

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I have been bad.

(Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, which has managed to provide the world with either a picture of an annoyed wolfhound who has been woken from his/her nap, or a very alert wolfhound preparing to lunge for food.)

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Creepier ‘n “Cthulhu Calamari Co.”

Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning.

Yes, it’s a real company.

*brain hurts*

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Scenes from the Life of a Vatican Librarian

“For the record, the Vatican Library has acquired a certain reputation for manuscripts it does not possess or that have never existed. Among the requests for information are questions about the decrees of the Roman Senate concerning the trial of Jesus (in fact these are Medieval remakes taken from an ancient apocryphal text, the Acta Pilati), or the Necronomicon, a sort of “book of the next world” that the American writer H.P. Lovecraft mentioned as the presumed source of his “Gothic” novels. The author of one modern apocryphal work even maintains that he “transcribed” it from a “Nestorian manuscript” that the Library has never possessed.”

From an article on the Bodmer Papyrus. You have to scroll all the way to the end for the Lovecraft thing.

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The Great Foundational Myths of Dayton

Over on Video meliora, our Columbus friend discovers on an old tome chronicling the full extent of the terrible 1913 Flood. Which was indeed widespread and terrible, even more than I had ever heard. (For example, I didn’t realize it hit Delaware, Ohio — I’ve never seen these pictures before.) This was worsened by Omaha having had a big tornado as part of the same Easter Sunday weather system. It must have been some kind of super storm system, like the one that produced the April 1974 tornadoes.

In Cincinnati and many other cities, the 1913 Flood is a thing fairly well known and remembered.

But in Dayton, it is one of the Great Myths, without which the town cannot be understood. (Not only was there a really horrible flood of very low-lying land, but also a gas explosion and huge fire. And everybody knew people who were only saved by their attics or roofs.)

Here are the Great Myths, in case you’re interested:

1. In the beginning, Tecumseh was born just outside Oldtown. He went on to kick butt. His brother was nuts and hated dogs, and William Henry Harrison kicked his butt. But Tecumseh was an enlightened guy who saved the butts of Americans at Raisin River, and we’re sad that he died. Although not sad that he didn’t take over the US. Tecumseh probably cursed the US presidents in years ending in 0, or at least it’s entertaining to think so.

2. A bunch of Anglos from New Jersey moved here and named the place Dayton. The most important guy was Newcom, who founded the tavern.

3. And God said, “Let there be canals.” And it was very good.

4. And God said, “Let there be airplanes.” And it was all Wright.

5. It rained for forty days and forty nights. And lo, God spoke to John Patterson, the guy who founded NCR, and told him to walk down to the edge of the river and look at the water. And Patterson did look, and then he did tell his factory workers to quit making cash registers and start building boats. And lo, he did have a plan for a boat, too. And lo, the waters came rushing down to drown Dayton, but John Patterson did organize and save everybody’s butts.

6. And the people said, “Remember the promises made in the attic.” And they raised money privately instead of raising taxes. And they built levees all over and five huge dams, because paranoia is good.

7. Then came World War II, and Dayton did kick butt all over. For we had Wright Field and GM and NCR and all the rest. And lo, we did kick Alan Turing’s butt with our decoding computer, which was all a big secret at the time but now is more evidence of our coolness.

8. The Soviets made Dayton a first strike target, thanks to Wright-Patt and the Miamisburg Mound nukes. Even after the SAC bombers moved away, we were still really important and sure to die. And there were tons of Soviet spies in town. Everybody else was jealous of these amenities.

9. A mighty tornado bore down upon Xenia, but lo, the new cool weather radar gadget had just been installed shortly before at WHIO. And so Gil Whitney the weatherman did warn the people to get down in their basements, and only a few people died horrible deaths even though most of Xenia got flattened. For the rest of his life, Gil Whitney could do no wrong and was a sort of weather saint. And the people of Xenia swore a mighty oath to be prepared for all disasters, and to help anyone else needing it. And they have kept those oaths to this very day.

10. We won the Cold War and then got a treaty signed for Bosnia. Okay, other people helped.

Btw, the book does include a couple of Dayton 1913 stories that I’d never heard before.

Rescuers went through the parish of Emmanuel Church in Dayton, distributing ham sandwiches and other food to the famished flood victims.

“We will not eat ham sandwiches,” said some of them. “This is Friday.”

Father Sieber held aloft a sandwich and said, “It is all right to eat this,” and suited the action to the word. He invoked a rule of the church which permits the suspension of certain religious obligations in time of stress…

Sister Helen of the Notre Dame convent of North Dayton saved 70 persons from the flood by throwing a rope from a window and then pulling refugees in off debris and out of the water. All the sisters in the convent were saved. The nuns prayed aloud while the water was creeping higher and higher on the walls of the convent.

This almost certainly refers to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who used to be over in Our Lady of the Rosary parish or somewhere close to there.

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