Thursday, September 4, 2008

One Hundred!

This is my one hundredth post on the blog!

Considering that this is the third try at doing this (no one reading this now ever saw the first two versions), it's a bit of an accomplishment. I didn't know if I could find enough to write about, but here we are almost eight months later. The real test will be the second year. But I haven't actually marked all the hymnic birthdays and anniversaries that there are in the calendar, and many of the people I have written about have more hymns and stories to be showcased.

So today I'm doing something completely different, though if you watch much television you've probably guessed what it will be. I've had this post in reserve for a long time, but kept hesitating about putting it up. But it's definitely hymn-related.

There was this video that used to be on YouTube but I suspect it was taken down because of protests, so you have to go here to watch it. Go on. I'll wait.


........humming some more...

And, you're back.

Now, as you undoubtedly know, this is a parody of the hymn Joyful, joyful, we adore thee by Henry Van Dyke, with a tune adapted by Edward Hodges from a melody in Beethoven's Ninth Synphony (1824). Many people object to it because it "makes fun" of the hymn (I bet this is why it got pulled from YouTube). You can read some of their objections back on the web page with the video (warning -- not always nice language).

I don't think Beethoven is particularly worried about his reputation; he's had other tunes used in commercials. Van Dyke has a bit more reason to object, because the jingle is clearly based on his text. I'm not really offended by that, though some might be. The people who produced the commercial apparently thought that the commercial would be effective because most people would know the hymn.

My main objection is the clumsiness of the parody text.

Manwich, Manwich, we adore thee,
Fun and easy and sloppy too.
Napkins now unfold before thee,
Manwich, joy does spring from you.

The first three lines are fine, but it all falls apart in the last line. If you're using "thee," then the verb has to be "doth," not "does." But wait! It gets worse -- you can't use both "thee" and "you" in the same text! Would it have been so hard to come up with another rhyme for "too"? Bad. Bad. Bad.

I think I still heard this about a month ago, though I think there's another Manwich spot out that may have finally replaced this one (which has been playing for quite a while).

Well, I hope no one is too offended. Unless you're the type who can never sing the Beethoven/Van Dyke hymn again without thinking about Manwiches for Sunday dinner -- that would be a problem.

P.S. Another anniversary-related fact: I put the counter in about a month ago (over on the right). We get about nine people a day visiting the blog (and I know who most of them are, even though they never say anything), which is ok; it's actually going up a bit more recently.

Also, I promise we'll be back to real hymns tomorrow!


Dorothy said...

Congratulations, C.W.S.! A fun way to celebrate your 100th post!

P.S. I actually never saw that commercial. Never even knew it existed.

Leland Bryant Ross said...

You may not be able to use "thee" and "you" in the same text, but thou canst! Frankly, that single abominably ungrammarianly act is almost enough to make me avoid sloppy joes in ordinary time! (I avoid asparagus in Lent.)

Leland aka Haruo

C.W.S. said...

Hmmm -- now I wonder if some parts of the country didn't get the commercial for fear that they would be more likely to be offended.

And is asparagus even in season during Lent? I suppose you could still get it if you wanted...

Leland Bryant Ross said...

It's the senseless mixing of thees and yous that had me incensed, not the song itself. And it would be sinful to go out of one's way to purchase the object of one's fast, think ye not?