Testament of Canticles

Prompted by my musical bliss being destroyed, yet again, by Radio 3’s “Choral Evensong”. Thus, dearly beloved, I offer you an antidote to obscurity in these simple, superficial and supercilious verses.

Testament of Canticles


A testament of canticles or a cantonment of testicles?

The former is of the holy world, the latter is mere impertinence

Which might describe masculine bodily receptacles

Or, possibly, a treatment for incontinence

Oh, the joys of biblical quotations!

And all those memorable, unintelligible citations


Like: “We are gathered here today as one…”

With those nice people, ever-ringing bells

To ensure that heathens stop worshipping the sun

And to guard against the evil smells

Emanating from the unwashed, unholy scum

Who turn to scripture only when their time has come


But, I pray, have faith in some unbelievers

The many who yearn for learning and proof

The seekers of knowledge – the science retrievers

And the doubters, who, when asked, glance up to the roof

As if to say “God only knows…

Why we pursue traditions that none of us chose”


For we were all born without unfounded belief

Yet assailed by it from our first thinking days

And our infantile education provides little relief

Because teachers have developed their own special ways

Of fabricating faith from fallacy

And providing “balance” in the face of apostasy


For none can prove the inexistence of the inexistent

Nor that the contrary can be true

The ardent believer is, by definition, resistant

To the logic of the rationalist – be he me or you

But, at least, we should all agree to call ‘canticles’ songs

Before pretending to rewrite all our worldly wrongs

Leave a Reply