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Yesterday's News:

01.24.22New USBs: All the Music and Twice the Space
01.22.22In Memoriam: Rick Servocky
01.22.22Influential Albums: 617-623
01.22.22Two Cool Christian Parody Things to Check Out
01.22.22Bible-Reading Update: Nahum 1-Matthew 12
01.22.22How to Donate Online or by Mail
01.22.22Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
01.21.22The Stories Behind Our First Single of 2022
01.20.22Keith Haynie to Have Surgery in February
01.19.22New Single: Late 70's, Early 90's
01.18.22How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
01.15.22New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
01.15.22Influential Albums: 610-616
01.15.22Clues for 2022 Single #1
01.15.22How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
01.15.22This Week's ApX Radio Show
01.15.22Another ApX Top 10 from Fort Wayne IN
01.15.22Prayer Request Updates on Three Friends
01.10.22This Week's News Bulletin
01.07.22No New Single Till Next Weekend
01.07.22Influential Albums: 603-609
01.07.22Another ApX Top 10 from Athens GA
01.07.22Another ApX Daughter in the Studio
01.04.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.31.21Influential Albums: 596-602
12.31.21Good News for Bill Turner
12.31.21Update on Richard Sadowski
12.30.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 22nd Single
12.29.21New Single Is Great and Fabulous
12.27.21Get Over 1440 Tracks for $100 This Week
12.25.21How to Get Multiple Singles or Our Complete Library
12.25.21New York Fan Lists His ApX Top 10
12.25.21What's on the Apolog80s: Back from the Future CD?
12.25.21What's on the Apolog80s: Back from the Future CD?
12.25.21Clues for 2021 Single #22
12.24.21Influential Albums: 589-595
12.19.21This Week's News Bulletin
12.18.21Serious Prayer Request for the Jennings Family
12.18.21Influential Albums: 582-588
12.18.21Gettysburg Fan Lists His ApX Top 10
12.18.21The Next ApX CD: What's It Called, When's It Coming?
12.18.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 21st Single
12.13.21New Single: The 70's Are Back at Last
12.11.21Influential Albums: 575-581
12.11.21Two ApologetiX Members Release New Christmas Song
12.11.21More Memories of CVB from His Wife
12.10.21In Memoriam: Chris VonBartheld
12.09.21More Goodies from Micah: Everybody Loves Cookies
12.04.21Good News Prayer Update for ApX Fan Bill Turner
12.04.21New Single: '83 & '84
12.04.21CVB of ApX Needs Much Prayer
12.04.21Go Christmas Shopping with an ApologetX Alumnus
12.03.21Influential Albums: 568-574
12.03.21Improvements Made on Another Recent Single
12.03.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 20h Single
11.27.21Christmas Playlist: A Month's Worth of Parodies
11.27.21Influential Albums: 561-567
11.27.21Kansas Fan Lists Her ApX Top 10
11.27.21How to Help the Studio Where We Record (It's Free)
11.27.21New USBs Include New CD and Latest Single
11.23.21This Week's News Bulletin
11.20.21How to Get the New ApX Digital Interactive Songbook
11.20.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
11.20.21Wyoming Fan Lists Her ApX Top 10
11.20.21Prayer Update on Bill Turner
11.19.21Influential Albums: 554-560
11.16.21This Week's News Bulletin
11.13.21Influential Albums: 547-553
11.13.21New CD BOGO Extended by Request
11.13.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 19th Single
11.08.21New Single ('80 & '84)
11.06.21We Changed Two Songs on Our Last Two Singles
11.06.21Serious Prayer Update: Bill Turner
11.05.21Influential Albums: 540-546
11.03.21This Week's News Bulletin
10.30.21Happy Prayer Request Update: Bill Turner
10.30.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 18th Single
10.30.21Influential Albums: 533-539
10.25.21New Single: '86 & '89
10.22.21Four Members Celebrate ApX Anniversaries
10.22.21Sad Prayer Request Update: Angela Walker
10.22.21Influential Albums: 526-532
10.21.21Clues for 2021 Single #18
10.16.21Prayer Request Updates: Angela Walker & Bill Turner
10.15.21Another Rieger Daughter Becomes a Bride
10.15.21Influential Albums: 519-525
10.14.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 17th Single
10.13.21New Single: '85 & '86
10.09.21Updated on Three Prayer Requests from Last Week
10.08.21Influential Albums: 512-518
10.08.21What's on the Never, but Then Again Before CD?
10.04.21This Week's News Bulletin
10.03.21Important Prayer Requests from Three Fans
10.03.21Influential Albums: 505-511
10.02.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 16th Single
09.30.21More Info on the Upcoming ApologetiX CD
09.28.21New Single: 80's Solo Superstars
09.25.21Next CD Coming Next Month
09.25.21Influential Albums: 498-504
09.25.21New USB Flash Drives Include New CD & Single

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