Monday, 7 December 2009

The Dogma Song

I've Been In The Loft

Rewiring the bedroom lighting, and fetching down the Christmas decorations. I found this: a mildly amusing, language-game lyric, written in 1979 - aye, three decades ago! On an electric typewriter! - written, as I was saying, at the time when my good friend Tom Fox, philosophy scholar of this parish and a great fan of the writings of Thomas Aquinas, was leaving these shores to further his studies in Rome.

Utrum Omnes Lex Humanitus Posita A Lege Naturali Derivetur
A young Italian student, he
Was being where he shouldn't be;
And while he being was, you see,
A prefect leaped down from a tree -
Up which, he'd every right to be.

Said him to he, "And what gives you
The right to don't as Romans do?
For up there, down here, I did view
Your trespassing, and heedless to
Such penalties as might accrue."

But Foxy, with a wily look,
Knew he could counter this rebuke;
And from his ample cassock, took
All fifteen volumes of the book
From which this poem's title's took.

"You say that I'm at fault, because,
Down here, with you up there, I was.
Your reasoning is full of flaws!
Which says, among your Roman laws,
Where I can't plant my fox's paws?"

The stage was set; in sequence, they
Produced their books, and had their say,
With eloquent verbosity.
So it continued, night and day,
They'd curse and argue, fight and pray,
And neither man has given way.
That's why, until this very day,
You'll find them on the Cassian Way,
Or any map of Italy.

Copyright © 1979 by John M. Kerr.

This is my original text, including the mega-pretentious title, which I still like. Later, the "poem" became a "story", got itself some choruses, renamed Dogma, and sung to a tortured rearrangement of Benny Hill's Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West). Tortured but humorous, as the odd number of lines forces each verse to end with an anticlimactic fade...

Why no, actually. No, in fact I have no plans to record it for YouTube. Seriously. Shut up.

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