Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's surprisingly easy to Paganise Christian hymns

Did you know that if you take Christian hymns out of context, they are decidedly (Neo-)Pagan? There was a hymn I heard yesterday, that was about "the Son". If you changed that one word to "Sun", the whole song, bar a couple of lines, turned into fully-fledged nature-worship. It was kinda cool.

Historically, Christians were very eager to Christianise the Pagans by converting Pagan customs and places of worship into something more, well, Christianised. So why not return the favour, at least with regards to songs?

Here are some examples, starting with How Great Thou Art:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook, and feel he gentle breeze

See what I mean?

If we skip a couple of verses and change "Lord" for "Mum" and "above" to "beyond", For The Beauty Of The Earth sounds like something you could sing while casting a Circle:

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Mum of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and Moon and stars of light,
Mum of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends beyond,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Mum of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

All Things Bright And Beautiful is somewhere around Dianic Wiccan if you replace "Lord God" with "Goddess" and "He" to "She":

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings
She made their glowing colours, She made their tiny wings

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

The purple-headed mountain, the river running by
The sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden, She made them every one

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

The tall trees in the greenwood, the meadows for our play
The rushes by the water, to gather every day

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

She gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How great is Mother Nature, who has made all things well

All things bright and beautiful, aall creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful, the Goddess made them all

I Come To The Garden Alone, however, seems to be about schizophrenia.

I'm sure there are countless other Christian hymns you could Paganise very easily, but I'm not particularly familiar with British hymns (being Swedish and all), and I really can't be bothered looking up the entire top fifty list just for the lulz. I'll leave that to those who are less secular (and less atheist) in their Pagan practices than myself.

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