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01.15.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 36
01.10.21Some Bible Verses to Ponder
01.10.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 35
01.09.21Bible Reading Update: Daniel 7-Micah 7
01.05.21News Bulletin: January 5, 2021
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Buy 1, Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.05.21Get Over 1350 Tracks for $100 This Week
01.02.21Links to Our Recent Newsletters
01.02.21New USBs Have All 61 CDs
01.01.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
01.01.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 34
12.26.20New CDs in Stock Tuesday (Buy 1, Get 1 of 34)
12.26.20More Encouraging Responses to Our Newsletters
12.26.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 33
12.26.20ApX Keyboardist Has Gifts for You (2 New Songs)
12.26.20More from Micah, ApX Alum on Amazon
12.22.20Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
12.22.20This Week's News Bulletin: New USBs
12.19.20New CD BOGO & Other Updates
12.16.20This Week's Mini-Bulletin
12.11.20Enthusiastic Responses to Last Week's Newsletter
12.11.20New CD Coming in December
12.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 31
12.11.20 ApX Alum's Amazon Store Has Great Holiday Gifts
12.09.20Will There Be a Another CD?
12.04.20New Single & Other Updates
12.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Weeks 26-30
12.03.20In Case You Missed Our New Single
11.20.20ApX Episode 146 This Weekend
11.20.20Happy Belated Birthday, Rich!
11.06.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 26
11.06.20Band Members Celebrate Big-Time Anniversaries
11.06.20ApologetiX Needs Prayer and Help Now
10.29.20New Songbook Expected by End of Weekend
10.29.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 25
10.29.20New CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.26.20This Week's News Update: CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.22.20Bible Teacher Reacts to New Single
10.22.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
10.22.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 24
10.22.20New USB Thumb Drives in Stock
10.19.20New Single: '74 & '79
10.17.20The Story Behind the Title of Our New CD
10.17.20What's on the Decent Alternative CD?
10.17.20Prayers for Jeff Pakula's Brother
10.16.20Clues for 2020 Single #18
10.15.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 23
10.12.20Weekly Email Update
10.09.20New ApX Digital Songbook Almost Ready
10.09.20New ApX CD Coming Soon
10.09.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 22
10.02.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
10.02.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 21
09.28.20New Single: '85 & '96
09.25.20Keith Haynie Is a Grandpa Again
09.25.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 20
09.18.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.18.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 19
09.18.20New Donor Will Match All Donations This Week
09.18.20New Single: '69 & '77
09.15.20New Single, Another Matching Donor
09.11.20Fans in Kansas Will Match Donations Thru Wed.
09.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 18
09.11.20New USBs on the Way
09.11.20ApX USBs Contain Complete Catalog
09.04.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.04.20How to Donate Online or by Mail
09.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 17
09.02.20New Single, 2 New Matching Donors
09.01.20New Single: 2 Groups We've Never Spoofed Before
08.31.20We Need Help but Fan Will Match Donations
08.28.20From a New Fan in Virginia
08.28.20ApX Reaching Kids in Canada
08.28.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 16
08.28.20Clues for 2020 Single #15
08.21.20Encouragement from FL, SD, TN, TX & VA
08.21.20Fan in Kenya Reacts to New Single
08.21.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 15
08.17.20New Single: East Coast 80's, West Coast 90's
08.14.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 14
08.13.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
08.11.20Weekly News Update
08.11.20New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
08.08.20Alphabetical ApologetiX IV: The Final Frontier
08.07.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
08.07.20Get All of Our Parodies at Once on Download or USB
08.07.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 13
08.02.20New Single: Old Testament Ladies, 90's Style
07.30.20New CD BOGO Ends Friday
07.30.20He's Heard ApX Played on Five Continents
07.30.20ApX Lead Singer Interviewed on Philly Radio Show
07.30.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 12
07.30.20Wonderful Words from MI
07.30.20Touching Testimony from TX
07.27.20New CD BOGO Ends This Friday
07.24.20Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner Recovering After Surgery
07.24.20Former ApX Sound Man Needs Prayer
07.24.20Fans React to New CD
07.24.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 11

Fanny Crosby: That Christian Parody Hymnist
Sun., Mar. 4. 2007 6:27pm EST

Legend has it that Martin Luther and John & Charles Wesley (of the Methodist Church) rewrote popular music from the taverns to accompany some of their hymns. Recently, church scholars have presented pretty convincing proof that Luther and the Wesleys did NOT do so, and that the legend arose from a misconception about the word "bar tune" or "bar form," which seminary students assumed meant a tune sung in local drinking establishments, but is actually a form of poetry popular in Medieval times -- a different kind of bar altogether.

Although Luther and the Wesleys may not have used parodies, our friend Randy Hyde (an accomplished Christian parody writer himself) discovered recently that another famous hymn writer did:

As you're probably aware, Francis (Fanny) Crosby was one of the most prolific hymn writers of the 1800s (indeed, of all time) having penned the lyrics to something like 9,000 hymns, including many that are still favorites today including "Blessed Assurance", "Pass Me Not Oh Gentle
Savior", and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." I recently pick up a biography of Fanny Crosby at church (ISBN 1-55748-731-6) and I came across a statement that I figured you would appreciate:

"By the early 1870s, she was well on her way to becoming the queen of hymnvwriters. Fanny often matched her poems to familiar tunes. An example is "We Thank Thee, Our Father," written to the melody of the famous "Adeste Fidelis." She set poems to Scottish and Welsh airs and used tunes by Stephen
Foster."


Thanks Randy! We already were aware that the founder of another very influential evangelical denomination used parodies, too. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, an extremely evangelical organization that did much to help the poor and the drunks in the streets, used the music of popular tunes for hymns. In the biography, "William and Catherine Booth: Founders of the Salvation Army," by Helen K. Hosier, it states the following:

"Satan would have to be battled within his own strongholds, and any means was justifiable, William decided, if it would attract sinners to listen to the message of salvation ... Thus it was that as the work grew, the music and street parades attracted increasing crowds of people who scorned the regular churches. 'Why should the devil have all the best tunes?' Williamreplied when chided for appropriating music of popular tunes for his hymns ... "

"The saying that 'the devil has no right to all the good tunes' has been attributed to both William Booth and Charles Spurgeon. But it was George Scott Railton, who was to become William's lieutenant general in 1873 and was well-known as an author and songwriter, who concluded an article 'About Singing' (1874) with this impassioned plea: 'Oh, let us rescue this precious instrument from the clutches of the devil, and make it, as it may be made, a bright and lively power for good!'"

The people in the Salvation Army weren't the first to use secular music for sacred purposes, though. Note the following:

"[The absence of contrast between 'secular' and 'sacred' styles of music in the Middle Ages] 'can be shown simply by the observation that a secular song, if given a set of sacred words, could serve as sacred music, and vice versa. Only recently has it been recognized how frequently such interchange took place, and the more we learn about medieval music, the more important it becomes. The practice of borrowing a song from one sphere and making it suitable for use in the other by the substitution of words is known as "parody" or contrafactum.'

(Source: Manfred F. Bukofzer, 'Popular and Secular Music in England', inThe New Oxford History of Music 3: Ars Nova and the Renaissance, 1300-1540, ed. Anselm Hughes and Gerald Abraham (London: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 108.)

For more information on contrafactums, please go to:

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~wpwt/notes/contraf.htm