Friday, October 5, 2007


Bad music infests many UK parishes too.

After all, you've heard about Paul Inwood, right? Our good friend Damian Thompson has revealed the British equivalent of NaPalM, the Society of St. Gregory (not to be confused with New Haven CT's St. Gregory Society, which promotes the Extraordinary Form; sounds like the "People's Front of Judea" and the "Judean People's Front" from Life of Brian, eh?) Here is their latest CD, Baptised with Fire, a compilation of some really bad music. Yes, you can click on the titles to listen to excerpts. Definitely the equivalent of, let's say, the first volume of Gory and Puke.

Needless to say, Damian's post made someone cry. Boo hoo! The truth hurts once again! Damian needs not feel guilty. Why?

First, the Mass settings produced by the “composers” of the SSG really are bad: they range from nails-scraping-down-a-blackboard painful to stuff that sounds like a wicked parody. Someone needs to say – in a loving way, of course – that it’s drivel.
Second, I’m getting a bit sick of the liberal response to any criticism, which is to bang on about how “hurtful” it is. The message is: emotions come first. So a congregation has to sit through a decade of wailed “folk Masses”, because if you complain you’ll hurt someone’s feelings.

Sounds just like my experience on NaPalM's message boards more than once. Promote the good, we're "arrogant". Decry the bad, we're "hurtful".

Strangely, no one seems to have worried about the feelings of old ladies who loved singing “Soul of My Saviour” and other traditional Catholic hymns and suddenly found them replaced, overnight, by “Bind Us Together, Lord”.

If that isn't true, what is? Though over here the replacement "hymns" are Gather Us In and All Are Welcome, with a dash of Beagle's Things and Here I Is, Lard.

Kudos to Damian Thompson, and a big RSCT to Gerald Augustinus.


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