No More Hims of Praise
Anthony Esolen on the Contemptible Mutilation of Hymns
Even when a traditional hymn is included in the modern Catholic hymnals, one cannot settle in to praise God with words written by greater men than we are. Almost always, the lyrics have been so flattened, botched, castrated, and lobotomized that I’d almost prefer to sing “On Turkey’s Wings” (you know, “I will raise you up on turkey’s wings, la de da and la de da, la de da da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”).
Apparently it was not enough that the revisers had to aspire to heresy—the heresy that they call “inclusivity” and “relevance”—they had to be lousy writers, too.
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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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