The Inter-Faith Rag

Reader Sigmund has done some wonderful parodies at his anti-accommodationist Sneer Review website, and there’s a good one today.

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Tom Lehrer’s “Vatican Rag”, an amazingly popular parody of Catholicism from the 1960’s.  (“2, 4, 6, 8—time to transubstantiate”, etc).  Lehrer, by the way, is still alive: he’s 83, but no longer makes music.

Sigmund has written new words to the song, whose original you can hear on the site, and retitled it “The Inter-Faith Rag.”  You might want to sing along with the tune, for he’s really matched his words to Lehrer’s music. It’s a hoot.

This piece joins Sigmund’s other masterpieces, the two most notable being “Bohemian Rosenau” and “Downfall of Chris Mooney’s Uncientific America” (still my favorite; the L. A. Times editorial mentioned in the piece is here).


  1. Pete Moulton
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Since the world (and Universe) ends today, I’ve been thinking more of “We’ll All Go Together When We Go.”

  2. Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    “What is he after? A job at the Discovery Institute?

    “This is the end of the National Academy strategy.
    And it was working so well: “Science *IS* compatible with Religion.
    “Complete bollocks, of course, but an easy slogan for the masses.”

  3. MikeW
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    My favourite is the Agnostic Bible Choir of Harlem, a satirical gospel song from the revue Abroad with Two Men.

    I feel a greater presence
    A guiding hand above
    Where all the peoples of the world
    Are warmed by someone’s love
    But who or what that someone is
    I’m not entirely sure
    Are we all alone?
    Will there be someone home?
    When I knock, I knock on heaven’s door

    Well I’d clap my hands
    And praise the lord
    If I was sure he’s there
    But I can’t shut out
    The nagging doubt
    I’m talking to thin air

    And I truly pray
    On judgement day
    My inner soul is reached(?)
    But did he shed his blood or send the flood
    Well I am unconvinced

    Wholly unconvinced
    I am simply not persuaded
    Wholly unconvinced
    By the faith that gets paraded

    P Scott/J Biggins/L Nagle

  4. Llwddythlw
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    A magnificent adaptation of “Valkyrie”.

  5. RFW
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Tom Lehrer’s recordings were released pretty much in their entirety on commercial CD. Wouldn’t surprise me to discover they’re now available through iTunes.

    There’s not a one of them that I’d do without and having listened to them as a kid, I was very happy to find the CDs when they came out.

    Go ye and buy!

  6. MadScientist
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Make a cross on your abdomen,
    When in Rome do like the Romans.
    Ave Maria, gee it’s good to see ya,
    Gettin’ ecstatic and melodromatic and
    Doin’ the Vatican Rag!

  7. Posted October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “You might think that all religion,
    Reminds you of Spooner’s pigeon,”

    Spooner’s? Or Skinner’s? The Wikipedia article on William Archibald Spooner does not pension a midgeon.

    • Sigmund
      Posted October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      You’re right – That’s who I meant – I’ll change it.

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Was is Spooner who parked pigeons in the poison?


      • Posted October 24, 2011 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        No, that was Lom Tehrer.

  8. Diane G.
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Yay, Sigmund–great job!

    But somehow, this–“Lehrer, by the way, is still alive: he’s 83, but no longer makes music”–is the part that arrested my attention. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I guess I assumed he was dead. Iconic parts of one’s formative years tend to remain frozen in time, I guess.

    Tom, wherever you are–thanks just doesn’t cut it, but my life was better because of you.

    • Harbo
      Posted October 22, 2011 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      I second that.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      I went to hear him in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1959. You’ve no idea how iconoclastic he was back then.

      • Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        (No, it must have been April 16, 1960.)

        • Diane G.
          Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:14 am | Permalink

          Close enough. 🙂

          I was a child in the US in the Eisenhower 50’s; so I can sort of imagine…

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