Should be in the hymnal, but isn’t

Years ago, I was in a worship service conducted by Nick Page, the Unitarian Universalist choral leader. Nick included Monty Python’s “Galaxy Song” as one of the hymns. I thought then that it should be included in the next Unitarian Universalist hymnal. It’s a song that makes sound theological points about the place of humanity in the universe, and about how the insights of science can reveal an ordinarily unseen beauty in the universe.

But judge for yourself. You can listen to Eric Idle singing the song on this video (thanks, Carol, for the link). And you can find the full lyrics, along with annotations that point up a few inaccuracies in the science of the song, here.

I’m almost serious about wanting this song in the hymnal. As I recall, Nick left off the last couple of lines — they’re a little too nihilistic for most Unitarian Universalists — and the spoken intro could be left off, but aside from that why not include it in a new hymnal?

3 thoughts on “Should be in the hymnal, but isn’t

  1. UU Jester

    Can’t disagree with you about the song.
    As a Jester, that song is almost required repertoire material.

    But your post does raise one very serious question of near dread for me….

    what new hymnal?

  2. Administrator

    UU Jester — New hymnals come about every twenty or so years. And everyone hates the old hymnal, until the next new hymnal comes along and everyone says they love the old one (which they used to hate) and hate the newest one. And the new hymnals are never as good as the first one you remember, so I still like the old “red hymnal” (actually it was more of a maroon color) best, while retaining great fondness for the old blue hymnal. But now that we have the new hymnal suplement, all of a sudden I have developed a real fondness for the gray hymnal….

  3. UU Jester

    Oh, I hate it when you make me sound vanilla-plain normal.
    Though, to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t gotten to the point of disliking the gray hymnal before they came out with the teal one.
    And I’m willing to bet a box of Perry Mason books that when the new magenta hymnal comes out, I won’t like this teal one any better than I do currently.
    (Unless they put the Universe song in it, of course.)

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