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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Doin' the Lambeth Rag

Cartoon by Texas Bishop

I've been a bit out of the loop of "All Anglican Drama All The Time", but not enough not to be alternately amused and annoyed by "Mitregate" - including the recent visit of Canon Kenneth Kearon with the members of the Executive Council which recently met in Baltimore.

In case you didn't know, the ABC asked the Presiding Bishop of TEC not to wear her mitre when she was a recent guest preacher at Southwark Cathedral in UK.

The kerfuffle has led to assurances by Lambeth Palace that this is standard operational procedure. Except, of course, there's this.

And, this.

Inspired by ++Katharine Jefferts Schori, who called the whole thing off by calling it "beyond bizarre," I've been inspired to make a little journey of my own into the Theater of the Absurd.

I learned a long time ago that laughter, in the face of evil, is proof positive of your belief in God.

I mean, if you didn't believe that there is a God, where would you get the courage to laugh at Evil?

'Mitregate' is nothing less than a manifestation of the Evil of misogyny. Laughing at it won't make it go away. But it sure does make the burden of oppression seem just a wee bit lighter.

So, without further ado, here's the Vatican Rag. For those of you unfamiliar with my parody, I've included a clip of the original below.

Enjoy. And, do pray for +++Rowan. Poor man. He can't help it. He's just a tad insecure. You see, his mitre is smaller than ++Katharine's mitre.

It's just "mitre envy".
The Lambeth Rag
(with apologies to Tom Lehrer)

First you get down on your knees
Fiddle with your rosaries
Bow your head with great respect and
Obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.

Wear a miter if you can
If it’s cool with Rowan, The Man.
‘Primus inter pares’
Means I’m in charge. (Sorry.)
Doin’ the Lambeth Rag.

Women need to know their place
Lesbians and gays – hide your face
We don’t like to cause a stir
So we’ll make the gospel blur
We will know that we are blessed
When you learn that Father knows best
Two, four, six, eight
Diversity just ain’t that great.

So get down upon your knees
Fiddle with your rosaries
Bow your head with great respect and
Obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.

Make a cross on your abdomen
When with +++Rowan, do like a Roman
Ave Maria, gee it’s good to see ya
Diversity’s a problem an’
Authority’s in crisis an’
Doin' the Lambeth Rag!


David |Dah • veed| said...

Notice that he got all of the pectoral crosses right!

Allie said...

I introduced my boyfriend to Tom Lehrer earlier this week, and he saw this post before I did! We were both laughing out loud!

Well done!

it's margaret said...


Daniel Robayo said...

I would like your permission to post your Doin' the Lambeth Rag lyrics (with full attribution) on my Facebook page. It may even help more people find your blog!!

[The Rev.] Daniel D. Robayo
about me: priest in the Diocese of Virginia; rector of Emmanuel, Harrisonburg; past president of the Standing Committee; my FB page is "Daniel D. Robayo"and I'd love to become your FB friend.

susan s. said...

Excellent, Smithers!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, Mitregate. Where would we be without our drama? We'd have nothing else to do but the work of the Kingdom.

Your verses have put me in mind of Adrian Plass's "Anglican Rap":

Let's kneel, let's stand, let's be terribly bland,
Let's sing quite loud with a dignified clap,
Let's process around the church in a victory lap,
From the Isle of Wight to the Watford Gap
Everybody's doing it, the Anglican Rap.

RevMama said...

As a graduate of a Roman Catholic University, I STILL remember the words to "The Vatican Rag." Yeah, I was an Episcopalian majoring in Theology, taking on the RC seminarians. The best thing about that was the top grades always went to the 3 women in the program. It used to irritate the fire out of the boys.

The whole episode of the miter reminds me of my days as an undergraduate and graduate student in that fine university, and of my early days as a priest. We women had to show we were twice as good as the men just to get where we were. But at the same time we wanted to "fit in" so we compromised some of - what? - our self respect? - so we would not threaten the men.

I think ++Katharine has handled the situation with true grace. She has come off looking like a real bishop, while Rowan looks like an angry toddler, stomping his foot on the floor and insisting that everyone has to play his way.

Caminante said...


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks all.

Daniel - hope you've already posted it to your FB page. Thanks for asking. Enjoy.

Lapinbizarre said...

Great rewrite. And don't you love it when those working against you really step in it?