Nick-names for awful hymns?

Does anyone know of nick names for “awful” hymns. Perhaps we can make a collection.
For example, I have heard of:

“The bondage hymn” (Bind us together, Lord)
“The New Ager” (Colours of day)
“The French bread stick hymn” (Let us break bread together on our knees)

Any additions?

Sometimes my mind wanders…and “alternate” lyrics seem to appear out of thin air. Luckily, my brain stops them before getting to my mouth:

“Eye has not seen, you has not heard, what God has ready for those who love him…”

“I’m the God of snow and rain, I can cause you lots of pain, if you choose to follow me, you’ve chosen well…”

That is priceless! (Though I do like the original version :stuck_out_tongue: )

Nicknames no, new lyrics yes:

Pan of bacon sizzling on the stove
Cup of dressing, it’s a treasure trove
At Jim’s table the last is the worst
(the Spanish part I’d do with a West Texas twang)

Shave our bear, shave our bear
In his dirty underwear
May there be no sign of peas in his hair

What is this place(absolutely refused to sing it and only gave the choir director a dirty look):mad:

I call them all Jesus Karaoke, because they remind me of the cheesy songs we would sing at the Baptist church I used to go to, where they projected the lyrics on the wall like a karaoke machine.

And by “them all”, I mean basically anything written after the 1970’s.

In college, we would change the words of “One bread, One Body” to “One bed, Two bodies” to make light of the immorality of the dorms. We had a whole verse written, but its probably a good thing that I have forgotten it.

Pescador de Hombres, although I like the song (not at Mass though), sounds like the theme song from the show, Flipper. Sometimes I call it Flipper.

Thanks for these interesting suggestions. Here’s another to keep the pot boiling:

“This is my body” = the Telegraph Hymn (it’s one short jerky line after another, with gaps between.

By the way, the hymn “Gifts of bread and wine” has an interesting slant on theology in its third verse, which begins "Through the Father, with the Spirit, one in union with the Son…“
Through the Father to whom, one has to ask. Some other (higher) god?
It seems to be either simple meaningless wording (like so many hymns of its stable) or simple heresy.
Yet priests and people sing it Sunday after Sunday.
Augustine said 'Qui bene cantat bis orat” (He who sings well prays twice), but it’s reasonable to think he meant to include the idea that we know what we mean when we sing it, and that we mean it.


No offense to Godron Lightfoot, but, “Gather Us In” sounds way too much like “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

You could also easily merge Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” to “They’ll Know We are Christians”. The two sound eerily similar and could flow, one right into the other.

I’m not sure how our choir nick-named these two tunes but Morning Has Broken & Baptized in Water - the John Denver song.:slight_smile:

Actually, Cat Stevens was the one who cut Morning Has Broken. Nonetheless, it does have that sappy John Denver feel to it. Both songs do. :shrug:

Also, “Here I am, Lord” is much like the Brady Bunch theme… you know… 'Here I am, Lord, it is I, Lord… I am bringing up three very lovely girls!"

And the 5/4 “Sing of the Lord’s Goodness” reminds me of “Everything’s Alright” from Jesus Christ, Superstar.

There is another song… that I can’t think of right now, but I think that it’s a “community meal” song, that reminds me an awful lot of that song from Willy Wonka… the “If you want a view of paradise, simply look around an view it” song. Does anyone know the one I’m talking about?

Actually, Morning Has Broken is more along the lines of Cat Stevens. Here is him singing it live.

I always found it hilarious that the second verse of “Gather Us In” ends with ‘give us the courage to enter the song’. The composers realized that this song was so wretched that people needed a pep talk just to finish it. :smiley:

“Gather Us In” == ‘Pep Talk Needed’

How about “The Shinto hymn” for “When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun” (the second part of “Let us break bread together on our knees”?

By the way, who’s this woman called Grace, who is amazing?

I *liked *“Let us break bread together”. I heard it with Catholic-ized lyrics (substitution of bread and wine, and the last verse was “let us feed on him”) and I thought the sentiment was overall quite thought-provoking, with a good blend of horizontal and vertical.

It does! LOL

I’m tearing up I’m laughing so hard!

I always feel so bad when “Taste and See” is sung. It sounds to me like a Wonder Bread commercial or something.

To be honest, I haven’t given much thought to hymn standards, although from time to time I find some of them are monotonous. Give the Protestants their due, they’re a lot more willing to experiment with creativity than we are.

On the other hand, I used to get exasperated when we sang Scriptural ditties eg. “Give us the day, give us the day, we will rejoice and be glad in it, Oh, give us the day, give us the day, …” I’ve always had a hard time remembering the words of songs, but I never had much trouble remembering this one.

Somebody asked who this Amazing Grace was. Unfortunately I haven’t got time to go into a fire and brimstone sermon to make you feel wretched enough.

But then John Newton had been a slave trader, which might explain the term…:crutches:

OK. No offence meant about the lyrics (just couldn’t resist asking a rather graceless question).

What I don’t think works is the melody when sung by a congregation. It’s a typical example of a tune that might works fine for a solo folk-singer, but sounds a mess sung by a congregation. The triplet on the “zing” of Amazing and again on the “a” of ‘a wretch like me’ are impossible for a group to sing together (and in any case are a good example of mismatching, with emphasis on non-stressed syllables), and end up sounding so slurrrrpy that you’d think you had an assembly of rather tipsy Bing Crosbys in the church.

Many post-1970 hymns too suffer badly from this transfer of a melody from a soloist with guitar (when some… some!.. of them work reasonably well) to a congregation with organ (when many… many!.. of them do not).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit