There are a lot of hymns out there. They come in big fat books that I only ever see when I go to weddings. If they stayed like that, I reckon I could tolerate them – merely as the bad devotional poetry they are. They certainly follow the poetry fact that all kids are told age twelve – that poems do not have to rhyme. Now of course, after you are told this potentially liberating fact, you are set as homework a poem to write. They always dock marks if you don’t slip in a rhyming scheme. Free verse my arse.

Free verse only really exists in hymns. Of course, on paper they may appear to rhyme. But these things were written three hundred years ago and we just don’t use the word o’er any more.

“Hey, do you want to come o’er for a few beers tonight?”
“O’er. To thines place?”

Couple this with the fact that meter is pretty much ignored (a tune made out of the Lord’s Prayer scanning?) and you would need a tight rhythm section to the tune together. Unfortunately what you get is a machine out of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, wheezing and pumping under the watchful eyes of a half dead verger. The mechanical bastard offspring of a panpipe and the Titanic is impossible to play quietly and all the more impossible to play in tune.

Still, rest assured that your ears are not being solely rent asunder by the organ and the peculiar acoustics of most churches. No, you will have the distraction of the one woman choir standing behind you. Just as all gigs have the fat bloke down the front, all churches come equipped with a woman who sings very loudly, and does not really know the words. Even though they are written down in a book for her. True they are rubbish words, and they do not fit in any normal way into any song structure that has ever been invented, but this is surely a reason to move your mouth and make no noise. God’s non-interventionist policy probably stems from the songs of devotion sung to him. Its all well and good people singing to show how much they love you, but if it’s the seventeenth century equivalent of Ocean Colour Scene then you are not going to be that impressed.

Rabid Christian s will attack this argument (them being nominally saner than the average Pulp fan), pointing out that the Devil has all the best tunes. Not so sir, I’ve been to a Satanists wedding and frankly the grunting outburst of noise made by Sabbat are hardly tunes at all. Is this half arsed truism worth keeping, surely the odd bouncey tune might dust down the G mans old fuddy duddy image. Hey, we’re in the New Testament now. The palatable tune God ever had has since been nicked for a football songs. And trust me, I prefer the sentiment “You’re not singing anymore”.

Look, its simple. Stop forcing this stuff on kids, and go the Quaker route of nice, silent worship. Monks are big on God right? You don’t see them trapping on and shouting Alleluia all the fucking time do you? Mind you, they probably don’t want to draw attention to their stupid hair. That never stopped Elton John though.