The Chosen Few

This is a tune made into a song by the insertion of a poem. It’s about religion but is not a critique of the religious, merely a critique of those that deny the validity of the beliefs of others. I actually like the tune – but then I would, I suppose. Hopefully the words stand on their own as a poem. They were exhibited at an event at Colchester organised by the Koestler Trust and I received solme very encouraging comments. So it would seem that some people agree with me.  I know this is all a bit rough and ready but I will revise it later with much improved equipment and methodology when time permits.

I guess the tune was first put in place in the early 2000’s on the piano using at least seven fingers. The invention of the tune depended on the fact that I had broken my arm in a cycling accident in 2005 in Luxembourg and had difficulty using my left hand, so the melody line can be easily accompanied. The folk-like quality of the melody came naturally after my years on the folk scene in the late sixties as a member of the ill-fated Trunckles. If I am asked, I can only reply that that is all I know how to do!

The idea for the text was developed in skeleton around 2007 in the house we bought east of Paris. It was not until I arrived at HMP Highpoint in 2016 that the text was refined and it was first sung in the form you hear now. At Highpoint I was accompanied on the guitar, vaguely. The guitarist found his job extremely complex and moaned continuously as did a minority of the inmates that had to bear with rehearsals. Nobody seemed to object to the sentiments, but maybe those that might have objected were unlikely to have listened to or read the words, and that is perhaops the message of the song!

The Chosen Few


They are standing in line in their temple or church

Even prostrate or perched on a pew

Though they all disagree on the absolute truth

They believe they’re the chosen few

As they say their prayers

To their unknown gods

Or some unseen spirit in the sky

They don’t understand what they don’t want to know

And they don’t ask the reason why


As they sing or they chant of an uncertain past

And reject any differing view

They speak and they act out their parts in their play

They believe they’re the chosen few

From some sacred place

By the bogus blessed

Mystics murmur, brass bells ring

They announce to the world that they choose to believe

In their prophet, messiah or king


They may stare into space or at idols of stone

Citing books that ignore all that’s new

They observe ancient rites, speak the strangest of tongues

They believe they’re the chosen few

As their hands reach up

Or each other meet

Their closed eyes obscure from their sight

All that which exists beyond reach of their minds

Yet they’re sure they have seen the light


No importance they give to their ideas or deeds

Nor to prove their opinions are true

What matters, they feel, is the force of their faith

They believe they’re the chosen few

They attempt to impose

Limits on all life

Our opinions they must reject

Despite all the rage of their ritual rants

They expect us to show them respect


But let them believe what they wish to believe

Only judge them by what they may do

If what’s done is of  little harm to mankind

Let them feel they’re the chosen few

And condemn them not

For what they might think

Lest we vindicate their view

That belief is more than the opinions we hold

And that we are the chosen few