Monday, December 03, 2007

Who breaks a Butterfly Song on a wheel?

If I were ever to choose my Top 10 favourite hymns, I'm pretty certain that the Butterfly Song would not feature on the list. In fact, it's one of the Christian songs I least enjoy singing and until today, I could not have foreseen the circumstances in which I would ever feel moved to defend it.

But that was until Tory blogfather Iain Dale laid into the 30-year-old ditty after being forced to sing it - presumably for the first time - at a friend's baby's christening yesterday.

Dale pointed to the song's lyrics as indicative of why the Church of England is losing members, citing the line, notorious even in Christian musical circles: "If I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy-wuzzy hair, but I just thank you Father for making me me!"

And yes, I agree, it's cringemaking in the extreme, and there hasn't been a single occasion on which I have sung it in the last 30 years without cringing. Except that, it's not aimed at me, is it?

For a blogger of Iain's prominence and influence to do this is really a bit like Nancy Banks-Smith giving a critical pasting to In the Night Garden as if she were reviewing the latest Stephen Poliakoff epic.

All that the Butterfly Song is really saying is that God made us as we are, and that we should celebrate our individuality. Somehow, I would have thought that was a sentiment which Iain Dale would have approved of.

* On the subject of God-related stuff, some comments I made in an earlier post about whether or not I would vote for someone who wasn't a Christian seem to have been misinterpreted. I accept that the post in question was clumsily worded and have provided a bit of further clarification HERE.

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Anonymous said...

Surely Mr Dale wasn't exactly forced to sing this song? Presumably no-one clapped a revolver to his head or anything.

Perhaps he was more miffed at lacking the conviction to refuse?

Anyway, if this Butterfly Song dates from 1974, then I reckon the writer must have been listening to Lou Reed's 1972 album Transformer whilst composing the lyric. Have a look at this, from the song Andy's Chest:

'Cause you know what they say about honey bears:
when you shave off all their baby hair,
you have a hairy minded pink bare bear.

NB any reader having arrived at this comment in search of religious music is strongly advised not to investigate Lou Reed's Transformer.

Doug said...

I'm afraid I couldn't resist a rather tongue-in-cheek response here