And chew the wafer

Roger is not alone in this belief:

My sister chooses to believe in the possibility of transubstantiation. I don’t dismiss it out of hand. It’s true, though, that I can’t remember that word without thinking of Tom Lehrer’s irreverent “The Vatican Rag” from the 1960s, a song guaranteed to offend at least a few.

Then there’s Patrick Sky’s early-Seventies opus “Vatican Caskets,” which will offend just about anyone. There’s a beat-up copy circulating on YouTube, and I’m not even sure I should link to it. (Yes, I have my own copy of the recording: it’s on Sky’s Songs That Made America Famous LP.) I’ll give you the first verse, though, just so you’ll know to avoid it:

Vatican Caskets are just fine,
Made of sandalwood and pine.
When your loved ones have to go,
Dial ET-CUM-SPIRI-220.

Best thing on the album, I think, is a version of Dave Van Ronk’s “Luang Prabang,” the lament of a soldier wounded (in perhaps the worst way) in Vietnam.


  1. Roger O Green »

    8 August 2018 · 7:56 am

    genuflect, genuflect, genuflect

  2. CGHill »

    8 August 2018 · 5:33 pm

    That’s what we want: enthusiasm.

  3. hollyh »

    9 August 2018 · 8:26 am

    Gotta love that Tom Lehrer:
    “There the guy who’s got religion’ll
    Tell you if your sin’s original.
    If it is, try playin’ it safer,”

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