Friday, March 23, 2007

False Advertising?

My daughter was reading Gilbert this morning, and told me there was a little big of what she felt was false advertising on the cover. It says:
"Sing Along with 'The Logical Vegetarian' page 45"
and you turn to page 45 and there is the poem, but no music. I think at the very least, the Gilbert staff should have provided a tune suggestion for what you could sing this song to. For example, if it went with "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" or "Now Thank We All Our God" then, well yes, everyone could sing along with it. But as it is, it sounds hymnish, but I can't think of what hymn it might go with.

Anyone have any suggestions for music?


  1. There may be lots of them.

    First, get the scan of the lines.

    Then, with that in hand, go to your handy-dandy household hymnbook.

    Look in the indexes for "Metrical Index."

    Match your scanned-meter to the Index's list of tunes.


  2. Dad29: Good idea. If only I had a handy-dandy household hymnbook with metrical index.

    If anyone does....

  3. "You will find me drinking rum
    Like a sailor in a slum,
    You will find me drinking beer like a Bavarian;
    You will find me drinking gin
    In the lowest kind of inn,
    Because I am a rigid Vegetarian."

    ~ GKC, "The Flying Inn"

  4. Nancy,
    I have several hymnals that include a metrical index. If you'll tell me the scanned meter, I'd be happy to look for a match.

  5. No no no no no no NO! All good Distributists know that singing "The Logical Vegetarian" is to be done in the spirit of Professor Dumbledore's instructions for singing the Hogwarts school song: "Everybody pick their favorite tune." (From Sorcerer's Stone)


  6. The foot marks (if I have counted correctly) are:
    7 7 13 7 7 12

    Sorry but I cannot seem to find one of those hymnals (or hyrnals) with the foot marks.

    On GKC versus music, perhaps we ought to consider some data from Ward's books:

    "The verses he speaks of in this letter, Frances treasured greatly. She showed them to me, in a book which opens with a very touching prayer in her own writing. In a later chapter I quote the lines in which Gilbert writes of his own tone-deafness, and of how he saw what music meant as he watched his wife's face. ... Yet it was all but impossible to teach Gilbert a tune, and Bernard Shaw felt this (as we have seen) a real drawback to his friend's understanding of his own life and career. Music was to Shaw what line and color were to Chesterton; but to Chesterton singing was just making a noise to show he felt happy. ... They went to Lourdes and Lisieux and [GKC] seemed better and sang a good deal in his tuneless voice as Dorothy drove them through the lanes of France."

    The chapter in the Autobiography called "Friendships and Foolery" ends suddenly with a reference to the war but, like the whole book, it leaps wildly about. One point in it is interesting and links up with the introduction to Titterton's Drinking Songs that Gilbert later wrote. To shout a chorus is natural to mankind and G.K. claims that he had done it long before he heard of Community Singing. He sang when out driving, or walking over the moors with Father O'Connor; he sang in Fleet Street with Titterton and his journalist friends; he sang the Red Flag on Trade Union platforms and England Awake in Revolutionary groups. There
    was, he claims, a legend that in Auberon Herbert's rooms not far from Buckingham Palace "we sang Drake's Drum with such passionate patriotism that King Edward the Seventh sent in a request for the noise to stop."

    Mrs. Mills tells me that this particular child would rather impishly ask his father (who couldn't draw a line) to "make pictures for me like Uncle Gilbert." He would then climb the stairs and beg the quite unmusical Gilbert to "sing a song for me like Daddy does."

    Friends remember him at a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, singing the Pange Lingua with all his heart and quite out of tune.

    ** end of Ward quotes **

    After all, his talents were of another sort. But some of us still try to sing Pange Lingua, and strive to follow his heart.

  7. Mike Foster, who forgot his password, asked me to pass this along:

    Chesterton's "Ballad of Right & Wrong" ("Feast on wine and fast on water" etc.) can be sung to famous Beethoven's famous "Ode to Joy" (Ninth Symphony/ "Help!") as well as "Hark The Herald Angels Sing."


    P.S. Nancy: it's "Tolkienesque."

  8. If you mean "You will find me drinking rum..."
    we sing it to an Irish tune with an unspellable name--"my pretty little cruischin lan" is my best guess, and the meaning is something like "jug of punch."

  9. The tune Lucia means is called "Cruiscin Lan" and it means "the brimming jug." Perfect for this song! We repeat the last words of each line, "Because I am a happy vegetarian/ a happy vegetarian," etc. to make it fit the music.


Join our FaceBook fan page today!