Fortunately for everyone concerned, I have crawled out of my post-Easter fetal position and have once again been inspired by my muse: coffee.
If you're familiar with the Episcopal Church's Hymnal 1982, you know how to find your favorite hymn when all you can remember is the first few words. You flip to the back, to the invaluable "Index of First Lines."
With Easter on my mind since, you know, it lasts for 50 Days of Fabulous, I thought I'd take a look. Hence, here is the...
Index of First Lines: Easter Snark Edition
1. "Now the green blade riseth" -- Yeah, it's spring. Get a lawnmower.
2. "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain" -- After a long winter, it's time to return to the gym. And strain a bicep.
3. "This joyful Eastertide" -- Low tide always smells less like Easter lilies and more like rotting fish.
4. "Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands" -- Are you sure this is actually an Easter hymn?
5. "He is risen, he is risen" -- Insert middle school Viagra joke.
6. "The strife is o'er, the battle done" -- The strife may be o'er, but this hymn goes on forever.
7. "We walk by faith and not by sight" -- Especially at the beginning of the Easter Vigil when we stumble around in the dark with fire.
8. "Welcome, Happy Morning, age to age shall say" -- Actually nobody has ever said this. In any age.
9. "Christ is alive! Let Christians sing" -- Um, we already are singing. It's an Easter hymn.
10. "Jesus Christ is risen today" -- Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Hail thee festival day blessed day that this hymn lasts forever
"Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands." - Whoa dude, like Megadeath, Judas Priest, Metallica, Black Sabbath.
Number six has tried my patience for a long time now. I can't decide whether this could be improved with a more upbeat tempo, or it it's just a bland melody and unexciting lyrics......
"We walk by faith and not by sight" -- Especially at the beginning of the Easter Vigil when we stumble around in the dark with fire.
And we hear lots of people stumble and restrain from saying Oh, sh*t!!
Solange wins this comment thread. Brilliant. (That hymn has always creeped me out, too.)
"O love, how deep, how broad, how high" - so does this love make me look fat?
Try singing #6 more like a lively waltz. (And I dare you to clap on beats 2 and 3).
"Over the chaos of the empty waters...." - we had no baptisms this year :(
"Christ the Lord is risen again!" (And he's gonna keep doing it until you all get the message!)
Easter, aka Arthur Sullivan Sunday. My favorite is "led them with unmoistened foot".
Hail thee vegetable day, blest day that art salad forever...
Forth to the potluck we come with seven-layered vegetable offerings...
Pouring on all salad greens infinite dressings of love..
The only amusement in The Strife is O'er is noticing that the tenor line of the second phrase is the same as the soprano lines of the first and third. Just typing this out has sapped my will to live.
Here's what redeemed "The Strife Is O'er" for me. It's in French, with chanted verses between the hymn verses. I love this tempo.
Track 8 (click on "Extrait"):
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