Spoof Poetry: Or Gripes From The Chancel

Posted at 05:10am on 20th March 2010

No time for a blog today because we're about to go away for the weekend. So I thought I'd put up this poem for your enjoyment. It was sent to me some years ago.


(Tune: St. Denio)

1. Immoral, impossible, God only knows
how tenors and basses, sopranos, altos
at service on Sunday are rarely the same
as those who on Thursday to choir practice came.

2. Unready, unable to sight-read the notes,
nor counting, nor blending, they tighten their throats.
the descant so piercing is soaring above,
the melody only a mother could love.

3. They have a director, but no-one knows why,
no-one in the choir deigns to turn him an eye.
It's clear by his waving, he wants them to look,
but each of them stands with his nose in the book.

4. Despite the offences, the music rings out.
The folks in the pews are enraptured, no doubt.
Their faces are blissful, their thoughts are so deep,
but it is no wonder, for they are asleep.


  • Original, verse 1, by Austin Lovelace.
  • Verses 2-4 added by Ron Hodges (choir of St. Mark’s, Palo Alto, California, USA) for the church’s 50th anniversary in November 1998.

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