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Song Parodies -> "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (or 'The Harking Of Angels Who Herald')"

Original Song Title:

"The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"

Original Performer:

Gordon Lightfoot

Parody Song Title:

"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (or 'The Harking Of Angels Who Herald')"

Parody Written by:

Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

Blame this one on Merry & Pippin, people. ;) They told TT of their plans to do Ed Fitz to "Hark", whereupon (naturally) TT challenged them to do it the other way around as well. They declined, so TT ... hey, it's a dirty, rotten job, but *someone* has to do it. ;-D

Full three-verse OS (Hark) lyrics here.
(btw, none of us knew any of the lyrics of the others' parody at submission time -- and here's hoping theirs made it in today. ;)


The angels sing on, as the newborn King is crowned
In a manger, away; Inn: not roomy
The King, it is said, resurrects all the dead
Reconciling: God, all sinners, through Me

Peace on Earth: white flags unfurled, bringing such joy to the world
Mild mercy, they herald aplenty
The nations all rise in a triumph of skies
Angels hail, proclaim Bethlehem's glory

High Heaven adored Christ everlasting, our Lord
Halls were decked for immac'late conception
Of the prophets who showed, He came later than most
With the gentlemen, merry, well-rested

Conceived without sperms, fleshly Deity confirms --
-- Pilgrims' faith, as they leave for Believe-Land
A Godhead in sight; oh such holy night
Do you hear what I hear: Angels singing?

From caroling choirs: "Our Emmanuel found!
"We are saved! No more mournful wailing!
"A Prince of Peace, new, and He's Heaven-sent, too
"Made us rich: what December's revealing"

The first Noël served to save us all from Hell
As we hail Son of Righteousness rising
On clear midnight came a redeeming Reign
Light and grace relieve hurt and pain: Mankind

The drummer boy drummed as three kings came to check --
-- Out the stories, and sure 'nough, they see Him
Gold, frankincense, myrhh, by the batch, they gave Her
Chose Madonna sans sin: God, to breed Him

Disciples: "Give a sign?" He turned water into wine
Shows the good path and not the immoral
So silent a night: Babe whose might quite smites our plight
He rejects Sin that, all men, imperiled

What child is this, who can bring us such bliss?
And whose words have such great healing powers?
He flies as on wings and does marvelous things
Of His glory, to all, a reminder

Our Savior's rise: so no more, Mankind dies
He prayed and spoke; preached; whole world: alter
He raised us from Earth and He gave us second birth
Live our lives as we certainly oughter

The Huron told a carol quite old
In the ruins of a Jesuit mission
From Wintertime's Moon comes de Brébeuf's tune
Canadian Christmas tradition

The first white men go to Ontario
The words of the Prophet, to render
And the angels still sing "Glory to the newborn King!"
Never fails: our Defender; His splendor

Ever trusting Christ, Paul; faithful, come, ye all
Or in Latin, "Adeste Fidelis"
As church bells chime, sing out His praises, sublime
May you find out where Heaven, not Hell, is

His glory lives on as the angels all beam down
Shepherds' crocks quake while flocks, watching duly
Hark! Heralding His way even unto today
If prevails: peace! Remember it truly


A bit of Lifeliver-style action, with "a few" other Christmas carols referenced herein (one of them in two versions). Not even going to give away the number. ;)

TT's holiday wish: That all writers here hark, and resurrect this site to its former glory!

btw, the above may or may not reflect the personal views of the author, but then again, he's never actually boffed a sheep, either. ;) All fun to write. Peace to everyone, from Tommy!

© 2012 Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail: tomm...@yahoo.com

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Pacing: 5.0
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Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 11

Voting Breakdown

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User Comments

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Peregrin - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
I'm happy to take half the blame if this is the result it inspires. Love the alliteration in "So silent a night: Babe whose might quite smites our plight" :)
John Jenkins - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
Amazing! The rhyming is better than TOS (which is not saying much), but the “fidelis/not hell is” rhyme and the line that Peregrin referred to are inspired. I think you are to be commended for omitting your footnotes. I enjoyed looking up Jean de Brébeuf, and I have to admit that your use of his Huron Carol is a very, very clever substitution.
Patrick - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
This could be sung in a cathedral at Midnight Mass. Wonderful blending of all the traditional favorites, pre-Grandma/Reindeer. The Brebeuf song is one of the last remnants of the Huron or Wyandotte language, once spoken in what is now Kansas City, Kansas, far from its Canadian homeland. You may have launched a new genre here, but one that challenges the author and reader alike. John Jenkins congratulated you on improving the rhyme scheme of the original. I presume that is allowed. You may have just inspired me and others to work on some more complex and creative material. That would be good for us all.
TJC - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
Holy Foley! Shekinah Glory aboundeth when TT 'sinks' his teeth into the 'smoosh'―*mucho* erudition on display here, Tommy, with doctoral thesis-level references, many of which transfatsubstanciated right over my cro magnon brow! Bravo!

BTW, me thinks thou doth protest too much in thy footnotes regarding 'sheep boffing', whilst thy verse laudeth 'Shepard's crocks [quaking]' whilst 'flocks [watch] duly'!
Wayan A. Manger - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
I'm not sure what I can add to the comments above-- other than to say this was just beautiful, TT.
Lifelver - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
Great to see you back in such grand style Tommy. There's something for folks of every religious persuasion (or none) here, and the disclaimer in the outro covers that to humorous effect. My religious content tends to be much more abrasive (which is why I'm leaving Xmas alone for the time being).

I'm flattered and moved that you included a link to one of my own re. working in song titles, not to mention familiar lyrics. Now it's my turn for a brazen plug. A possibly more relevant example would have been

http://www.amiright.com/parody/60s/thecarpenters5.shtml

which references various Xmas song lyrics, but mostly non-religious ones.

As for the OS, would you believe today was only the second time I've ever listened to it, though I've been an admirer of Lightfoot's ever since 'If you could read my mind'. The Wreck is not nearly so well-known outside North America, neither event nor song. It's certainly growing on me and I feel a shot at it is imminent. I just posted an AP and next cab off the rank is 'If G & S did AP' (virtually ready to go). I couldn't locate any attempts at that - you might be able to tell me if there is one.

Not much to add to the other comments except to endorse them wholeheartedly. I love the way you twist the syntax of the hymn lyrics around but still keep them recognizable, and encourage the inquiring mind to inquire further with your historical references. I hope you have time for more gems like this, but as I've said before, there's a goldmine in your back catalogue still for the lover of quality parodies.
Tommy Turtle - December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Peregrin: Thanks! I hoped also that you'd enjoy the internal rhyming. Or since someone rode in on a donkey, the ass-onance. ;)

@ John Jenkins: Thanks for citing two of the author's fave lines. Re: footnotes: While researching traditional carols to use, finding the Huron Carol, which tied to the Huron-Ontario parts of TOS, was a huge serendipity. After that much research, no way TT was giving it away. Glad that you too enjoyed the research and the bonus match to TOS that it produced.

@ Patrick: No, wasn't going to sully what was based on "Hark!" with modern junk. I did think of you when seeing the Huron/Wyandotte people of Ontario being the target audience of the Huron Carol, since you've mentioned the Wyandotte several times in our conversations. How did they stray so far, from Ontario to Kansas?
    Improving the rhyme scheme of the original is most definitely allowed, but deproving it is not. ... uh, you can't do "less" rhyming than TOS. (Here is where LL expects me to insert a cough.) A trademark of many of TT's parodies of "Major-General" (presently 14, plus one with Fiddlegirl) is addding a lot of internal rhyming where TOS doesn't, and some readers have commented kindly on that. As for tne end-rhymes, it's a choice between matching TOS's (non-)rhymes or improving. Glad you approved.
    Inspiring others to work on more complex and creative material would be the highest possible compliment to an artist. Thank you very much.

@TJC: LOL @ trans-fat-substantiation! Was that in the original Dogma? -- no, couldn't have been, as trans-fats occur in only very small quantities naturally; with most today leaking out of the abandoned Hostess factories. ;)
    The line about shepherds was one of those hidden Christmas Carol references. The disclaimer's link is to a parody that defames a traditional Xmas song by referring to the lambs in a different way. ;-D Thanketh thee for all!

@ Wayans Brothers Wayin' In: (LOL) Betcha' didn't think TT could do "beautiful", huh? xD ... Think of it as a Christmas gift -- or miracle. ;) May yours be happy (I can't say "Merry" on this one), and may you get a break. Thanks for r/v/c.

Lifeliver: Thanks. As noted to TJC, the "abrasive" religious parody was in the link in that disclaimer. There was at least one more; link on request only. I liked the Holly trib because they were all Holly songs, and also because I'd seen it. ;) ... btw, TT's first two parody-tributes to Buddy Holly were to the modern "Deck The Halls (with boughs of holly), an easy switch. Return plugs:

  2006, noob: http://www.amiright.com/parody/misc/traditional1078.shtml
  2007, much improved, with fooTnoTes and also with song refs:
  http://www.amiright.com/parody/misc/traditional1347.shtml
      I'm not fond of TOS myself, and rarely listen to its nasal whine. UK friends like Andy Primus have previously mentioned that it isn't well-known outside the US and Canada; not surprising.   Your implication is Maj-Gen to AP? Not aware of it. TT did EF to AP and back, and Supercal to Maj-Gen and back, but AFAIK, those are the only double-Big-7 smooshes around, done (cough) both ways on the same day (cough). If there are others, I missed them.
  Thanks for the kind comments. Time is a scarce commodity of late (probably because money is ;), but will try, and certainly appreciate any comments on any of the back catalog.
Timmy - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Joy to the (AIR) world. Some great, heartfelt comments at the end. Well done!
Dave W. - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Wow ! and they said it couldn't be done.J8Q
Patrick - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
The Huron sided with the Iroquois vs the French, French vs English, English vs Americans. By the 1840's the remnant of the tribe were in Ohio. The government coveted their farms so they moved them to Kansas, which was just outside the boundaries of the US at that time. Those who survived the winter and the typhoid divided over the slavery issue. So now they were fighting each other. The palefaces coveted Wyandotte County (the last time that would be the case) and shipped the rest of the Wyandotte to Oklahoma, where they sided with the Confederacy vs the Union. There is still a remnant in Quebec, another group in Oklahoma and a few in the Kansas City area.
Wendy Christopher - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Aaahhh.... how it always SHOULD have been written. :^) If they played this version in the churches they might get more people back in 'em! So many great lines it's hard to pick out just one - shame I can only give a 555. Enjoyed reading this very much.
Tommy Turtle - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Timmy: Thanks! ...although I "dreidel" get addicted to this site again. ;) (ref to your parody of same day, and an awful pun)

Dave W: This writer has always maintained that *anything* can be done, parody-wise, if one tries hard enough. Thanks for the kind comment, and is J8Q a vote, or a security code? xD j/k.

Patrick, thanks for the interesting history. Seems to be a lot of coveting going on -- isn't there a Commandment or something against that? LOL @ your sly ref to "last time paleface covets..."

Wendy Christopher: If you attend one, you might just suggest that! -- or at least, post the link so others can see how it should have been done. ;) Awesome compliment, that -- thank you!
Meriadoc - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Let's see - not counting the OS, I found 12 other carols in there. I just loved 'oughter' ! (We used oughter once in a parody title - not to mention otter, but I digress...). I'm going to go look up Brebeuf and learn something new now. :)
glen s - December 15, 2012 - Report this comment
Good form tt. And nice return. Lets get to 'resurrecting' our site indeed. Especially enjoyed 'he came later than most' 'redeeming reign' and the alliteration mentioned earlier in th e light/might/plight. I really enjoyed the tone of this as a Christian. And I can appreciate the careful wordwork as a parodist. Great job
Tommy Turtle, a/k/a Hide Sixteen Songs, And What Do You Get? - December 16, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Meriadoc: I count sixteen. ;-D
I too used "oughter", almost six years ago, in parody of same OS, but as a sub for "(took) water", rather than for "daughters" as here. You v/c'd in real time when posted, and again two months ago (xoxoxo muah!), so no need to tri-visit, but
  http://www.amiright.com/parody/70s/gordonlightfoot78.shtml
Thanks for the kind words. And given the apparent willingness of some readers to look up stuff, perhaps there will be others with few or no footnotes. ;) Loved that feedback from all.

@ glen s: Thanks for picking another of the author's fave lines. Finding the homonym of "rain/Reign" was one of those moments that make us wish we could write (even) more.
  'he came later than most" was the OS verse 2, line 3 (in the link at the top), "Late in time behold him come", adjusted to suit TOS, of course. Thanks for the very kind words.
Patrick - December 16, 2012 - Report this comment
The Hurons were converted to Catholicism by the French. After the tribe was dispersed they were prosletysed by the Methodists. The Chief said there wasn't enough difference to get excited about so the tribe became, and mostly remains Methodist to this day.
Tommy Turtle - December 16, 2012 - Report this comment
@ EVERYONE: Anyone else care to try to find all 16?

Patrick: I wonder how the Pope would feel about what the Chief said?
Michael Pacholek - December 18, 2012 - Report this comment
Not the first such attempt -- I did a considerably less reverent "The Christmas of Edmund Fitzgerald" in 2004 -- but it's (midnight) clear that this is appropriate.
Meriadoc - December 18, 2012 - Report this comment
Almost:

1. Away in a Manger; 2. Joy to the World; 3. Deck the Halls; 4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; 5. Oh Holy Night; 6. Do You Hear What I Hear?; 7. The First Noel; 8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; 9. The Little Drummer Boy; 10. We Three Kings; 11. Silent Night; 12. What Child is This?; 13. Adeste Fidelis; 14. As Shepherds Watch Their Flocks By Night; 15. Hark the Herald Angels Sing?

I can possibly Find Little Town of Bethlehem or maybe Come Oh Come Emmanuel, but not completly there.
Tommy Turtle - December 19, 2012 - Report this comment
  @ Michael Pacholek: TT arrived here in 2006, and so was unaware of your earlier work. Went for the reverent approach here, having already done a couple of irreverent -- nay, blasphemous ;) -- carols: The one linked in the outro (sheep shot), and a defacing of "What Child Is This?" Thanks for the read, vote, and (punny) comment.

  @ Meriadoc: My bad for not making it clear that "Hark" wasn't included in the count. The outro mentioned two versions of one, and right above "Adeste Fidelis" is "O Come All Ye Faithful". Double-counting? Wikipedia has this:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adeste_Fidelis

    " 'Adeste Fideles' is a hymn tune. The text itself has unclear beginnings, and may have been written in the 13th century by John of Reading, though it has been concluded that John Francis Wade was probably the author.

    "The text has been translated innumerable times, but the most used version today is the English "O Come, All Ye Faithful". This is a combination of one of Frederick Oakeley's translations of the original four verses and William Thomas Brooke's of the three additional ones, which was first published in Murray's Hymnal in 1852. Oakeley originally titled the song “Ye Faithful, approach ye” when it was sung at his Margaret Church in Marylebone before it was altered to its current form."

  So, we have perhaps six centuries and many translations from the original Latin, with a combination of varying English translations leading to the one generally accepted today. That seemed to be sufficient for the author to regard them as two different carols. IMHO. YMMV. ;)

  Regarding your first comment, that you looked forward to looking up de Brébeuf, that would have revealed the other. But John Jenkins already did that research, and his comment (2nd from the top) spelled it out: the Huron Carol. Thanks for coming back and playing! ;-D
TT P.S. @ Meriadoc - December 19, 2012 - Report this comment
*Very* sharp spot on "As Shepherds Watch..." Not so often heard as Silent Night etc., and the ref was a bit oblique.
  And *shame* on TJC's second paragraph! The one time TT tries to play it straight .... (sigh) ;-D

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