I haven’t written a
lot of parody, but that’s what we have here—satirical lyrics for the song
Belong to Me.” The original is really quite a wonderful song.
You can listen to it in the
YouTube video below. The singer is
Shepard, and the recording is from her Ally McBeal album. (Note that
the videos I’ve posted on this page keep disappearing from YouTube. Let
me know if I have to find new videos.)
Just for fun,
here’s another rendition of the song, this time by Jo Stafford. This was
a big hit for her in the early ’50s, and it’s easy to see why. Again,
the video is from
The subjects of my
parody are the “orthodox” Anglicans seeking “realignment,” which is to
say, leaving The Episcopal Church and taking its property with them. If
you don’t understand what that’s all about, that’s too bad because I
don’t have time to explain it here.
inspiration was the first line of the song: “See the pyramids along the
Nile.” In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which its ambitious bishop Bob
Duncan is trying to realign, supporters of The Episcopal Church—both
liberal and conservative—are working to prevent (or to cope with)
realignment in a group informally called Across the Aisle. (More
information is available on my
blog.) I think you
can see where I got my first line. I actually expected the song
to be about the Across the Aisle folks, but it didn’t work out that way.
For those who don’t recognize some of the references, AAC is the
American Anglican Council, CCP is the Common Cause Partnership, and the
Network is the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. The
prayer book referred to is the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer
here), which seems to be favored by realignment types. (Among the
virtues of this prayer book is the fact that it was written before there
was—or needed to be—an Episcopal Church.) Bob, of course, is Bishop Robert
I suppose I took
some liberties in the use of “Timbuktu.” It was a convenient rhyme, even
though it is the name of a rather insignificant place in the
twenty-first century, and Mali has not figured in the Anglican church
wars. The name is associated with Africa, mysteriousness, and
remoteness, however, and I used my poetic license—I must check if it
expires on my upcoming birthday—in choosing it as a stand-in for a locus
of African interference in the affairs of The Episcopal Church.
The bridge (“We won’t feel alone …”) is a
little tricky, and, without rendering the musical notation here, I
cannot make clear just how I expect words and music to fit together.
I assure you that they can indeed be made compatible.
— LED, 8/2/2008, revised
Two short months after this poem was written, the Episcopal Diocese of
Pittsburgh did indeed experience realignment. On October 8, 2008, the
diocesan convention voted, illegally, to leave The Episcopal Church.
There is now an Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and an Anglican Diocese
of Pittsburgh. Property litigation is ongoing.
As for the commentary above,
the CCP and the Network no longer exist, having been subsumed by now
Archbishop Duncan’s Anglican Church in North America. The
Council is still around giving The Episcopal Church grief. I have
revised the commentary a number of times because the YouTube videos I’ve
included keep disappearing into the ether. I am particularly happy with
the current selections and hope that they will remain available.