Lust of Possession Worketh Desolation

It’s funny the tunes that pop into your head, especially if you were once a chorister as I was.

At a company I worked at there was a machine called the baler which the stockhandlers got assigned to. Whenever it was my turn, I would sing, “Baal we cry to thee! Baal we cry to thee!” part of a chorus from the Elijah where the priests of Baal are crying out to their god.

Sometimes I’ll burst out in this grim snatch of The Messiah: “Crucify him! Crucify him! Release Brer Rabbit unto us! Release Brer Rabbit unto us!” We choristers actually sang the parts of the crowd that hollered for the death of Jesus.

I used to go riding with my junior friends from the Friends Program in New Hampshire with my friend Harry Butterworth, and on our rides, everyboy had to sing a song. I sang a snatch from some Bach cantata:

“Set in order thine house. Set in order thine house. For thou shalt dieyie for thou shalt dieyie and not remain, and not remain, and not remayayayain among the living.”

Harry’s wife Hope called it “the housewife’s song.”

I had a whole verse of a hymn run through my head today. I believe it’s from “Turn Back O Man!” and I think it’s very apt in relation to the recent financial news:

Lust of possession worketh desolation
There is no meekness in the sons of earth.
Led by no star, the rulers of the nations
Still fail to bring us to the blissful birth.

Then the big finish on the chorus:

Thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.