Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Adventures in Hymnwriting



All right. I have totally lost it. This is quite possibly one of the weirdest, most obscure things I've ever written. But for some reason, the Holy Muse has decided that I had to write an adaptation of "The Dream of the Rood" (the oldest dream-vision poem in English...and that's Old English I mean) to the tune of "Brennan on the Moor". The medium speed MIDI is ugly but gets the tune and timing right, unlike most of what I found on the Web in these MIDI-degenerate days. (Oh, and all these lyrics folks are on crack. It's "Brave and undaunted", not "Bold, brave and undaunted". Heck, how the heck would you get all that in?)



*hangs head in shame* I don't know what the heck I was doing. But the image of Jesus as the valiant young hero is just as important to the Middle Ages as the suffering Christ was. And at least this is a lot more flattering than my hymn to the tune of "Whiskey in the Jar".... *attempts to look into own head* Boy, it's awfully weird in there!




Jesus on the Cross
Lyrics: Maureen S. O'Brien, 12/21/03
(after "The Dream of the Rood", Saxon trad.)
Music: "Brennan on the Moor", Irish trad.

I'll tell you of the best of dreams
I had one dark midnight.
I saw a cross, that reached above
The Earth, all ringed in light.
I saw the angels and the saints
All gazing on this tree,
It never carried criminals;
It was the vict'ry tree.

And then I heard that best of trees
Begin to speak, it's true.
"It's long ago, but I recall
The day that I was hewed.
They told me to hold evil men
And give the folk a show,
But then I saw all mankind's Lord
Eager toward me go.

(And it's)
"Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.

"I wanted so to kill them;
The Earth was trembling, too.
But God had bid me to stand firm;
That's what I had to do.
He stripped as if to wrestle
And embraced me in his arms.
He bore the pain unflinchingly
To save his folk from harm.

"Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.

"They pounded nails through both of us --
The wounds you still can see.
They mocked us both together, and
His blood's still staining me.
Then He released His spirit;
Clouds covered up the sun
To shade His corpse upon me.
All creation mourned as one.

(For)
"Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.

"His warriors came to fetch him,
I bowed, let him down light.
They gazed on his poor body there,
A-resting from his fight.
His warriors they buried him,
But soon in His glory,
The Lord rose up again -- so now
All people honor me.

(All for)
"Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.

"I've known the work of evil,
I've known how sorrow feels.
God's Son once suffered on me, and
That's why I now can heal.
Once I was worst of torments, and
Once all folk hated me;
But now I tell folk how to live,
God blessed me among trees.

"Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.

"One day the Lord will judge you,
And all folk fear that day.
He'll ask, "Which one would die for me?"
Folk won't know what to say.
But you won't have to be afraid
If my sign's in your breast,
For every soul who wants to,
Through the cross, with God will rest."

On Earth I've few to help me;
They've gone to dwell with God.
So I look forward to the day
I'm taken by the Rod
To where joy's great, God's people feast
Forever in delight....
May my Lord be a friend to me;
He freed us by His fight.

Jesus on the cross,
Jesus on the cross,
Brave and undaunted was our Jesus on the cross.


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