Thursday, 22 December 2016

Church Choirs and Humour.

The clip alongside is the Carol we sang at St Mary's last Sunday morning.

An old well-established favourite of most choirs it has become (inevitably) known by most choristers as "Highly flavoured gravy".

For anyone left on the planet who doesn't 'get' it, this is a paraphrase of "Highly favoured lady" etc.

Equally awful is the schoolboy/girl version of "A Gaelic Blessing", known as "Garlic Dressing".

The list is long and tedious, the sense of humour involved pretty primary-school basic but, every now and then someone in a choir somewhere comes up with a new one which is gleefully seized upon and added to the repertoire.

We have, as I mentioned in an earlier post, been singing "The Jesus Child" by John Rutter and have had great difficulty fitting the words in to the music at the speed expected of us.

One line refers to "The kings from the Orient bringing gifts of Gold Myrh and Frankincense " This was causing one of my colleagues real problems and at the run-through before the service she suddenly blurted out "Mould fur and mankincense".  Total collapse  of whole choir.

Only those who have sung in a church choir will even begin to understand the amount of giggles this sort of puerile humour can evoke.  I can only think that long exposure to juvenile humour weakens the brain.

Roll on Midnight Mess.


  1. Ray, I don't think I agree that it weakens the brain, but it can for a while cloud our sense of delivering something important through the songs.I know what you mean though and have lots of good examples to bring forth. I have in my possesion a series of books with missunderstandings of church language and bible quotes. It's absolutely hilarious but nonintelligable for non swedish people.
    This time of year makes people tired and full of tension and stress but the gospel keep breaking through with its light and serene joy. So we can afford to collapse with laughter. And Rutter do put in lots of words ......Merry Christmas Ray!!!!

  2. Yes, I think humour though universal is very individual at the point of delivery. I have often sat in glum silence while people are roaring their heads off around me, and sat helpless with laughter while others have looked on in total incomprehension.
    One thing i am sure of is that we all need to laugh as often as we can.
    Merry Christmas to you too Solveig.