I know you and others love this song. But benedictgal, friend, dear–the language is too high for most Americans to understand. So, IMO, it leaves people just as confused as the more contemporary song.
Studies show that the average American reads at a sixth grade level. Some people say that I should stop assuming that people are unable to understand. Well, it’s the truth, it’s not my opinion.
Just because you and your friends understand it doesn’t mean that everyone else does. You simply have to think of others and come down to their level. As much as you want it to be true, you cannot assume that most other people read and think at your level.
Most children would be utterly lost with this song. And the teenagers I know that would understand it are the goth and theater types, and some of the science nerds. The average teen would not be able to get past the word “breast.”
Now I said “the average teen.” Any teen who is a regular on Catholic Answers Forums is hardly the “average teen.” Most “average teens” are too busy with Facebook and twitter to give old-fashioned online forums like this a look, let alone post on them.
Again, Catholic teens, too, have to deal with the “average teen” and not assume that all other teens are like them, smart and interested in antiquities.
A few weeks ago, I read the wonderful book, Before Green Gables, a prequel to the Ann of Green Gables series. Well, I loved the book so much that I was talking about it at work to all my co-workers. Not ONE of them has ever read the Green Gables books! One of the ladies told me that her mother forced her to read the first book when she was in 7th grade and she thought it was stupid. Most of the women I work with have never heard of the Green Gables books.
I was utterly crushed, and found myself asking what kind of black hole I was working in when people disdained the Green Gables books.
And then I realized that just because I and my daughters love these books (and many other girls and women in the world), that doesn’t mean that the majority of people like them, too.
And that doesn’t mean that these other “non Green Gables” women are inferior to me or deprived in any way, although I have to admit I seriously wonder how anyone can go through life without getting to know Anne Shirley.
Here’s my question–why not songs that explain the theology of the True Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament correctly, but in modern language written at 6th grade level that most Americans can understand? What’s wrong with that? I’m not saying that we should toss the ancient hymns, especially those by St. Thomas Aquinas. And I’m not saying we should re-write the old hymns into “jive” or use the latest slang.
But why not write some new hymns using the beauties of modern language and making them completely comprehensible to modern Americans?