I have often laughed at this poem, and thought others might enjoy it too. I think only an organist can truly appreciate just how funny this really is. We’re told by various congregation members, who are all talking about the same song, “That was too loud. It was too soft, too slow, too fast.” Hahaha. Just makes me laugh. Especially the part about the variations. Just let me say this now … I’d love to throw in a lot more of that, but as written below, it just “confuseth” everyone.
Acts chapter 29 By Garrison Keillor.
1. And it came to pass, when Paul was in Corinth, he and certain disciples came upon a mob that was stoning an organist.
2. And Paul said unto them, “What then hath he done unto thee that his head should be bruised?”
3. And the people cried with one voice, “He hath played too loud!
4. Yea, in the singing of the psalms, he maketh our heads to ring as if they were beaten with hammers.
5. Behold, he sitteth up high in the loft, and mighty are the pipes and mighty is the noise thereof, and though there be few of us below, he none the less playeth with all the stops, the Assyrian trumpet stop and the stop of the ram’s horn and the stop that soundeth like the sawing of stone, and we cannot hear the words that cometh out of our own mouths.
6. He always tosseth in variations that confuse us mightily and he playeth loud and discordant and always in a militant tempo, so that we have not time to breathe as we sing.
7. Lo, he is a plague upon the faith and should be chastised.” Paul, hearing this, had himself picked up a small stone, and was about to cast it, but he set it down, and bade the organist come forward.
8. He was a narrow man, sallow of complexion, with dry skin, flaking and thin of hair.
9. And Paul said unto him, “Why hath thou so abused thy brethren?”
10. And the organist replied, “I could not hear them singing from where I sat, and therefore played the louder so as to encourage them.”
11. And Paul turned round to the mob and said loudly, “Let him who has never played an organ cast the first stone.”
12. And they cast stones for a while until their arms were tired and Paul bade the organist repent and he did.
13. And Paul said unto him, “Thou shalt take up the flute and play it for thirty days, to cleanse thy spirit,” and afterward they returned to Corinth and sang psalms unaccompanied and then had coffee and were refreshed in the faith.