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Monday, March 28th, 2005

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. . . From my ditty bag, where else?
I like to write new tunes for old texts and new texts for old tunes. Most aren't great hymnody, but some are worth singing now and then. Some twenty years ago, I set myself the task to see if any tune, however unlikely, could be made to bear a Christian text. I picked the unlikeliest tune I could find: the old fox-hunting song, "John Peel." I kinda like the results; it ain't profound, but it is fun to sing.

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Religion in fantasy
I've been re-reading Poul and Karen Anderson's fantasy series, The King of Ys, lately. And it occurred to me that Poul Anderson was always among the best at handling religion within a fantasy or science fiction setting. This is a difficult thing to do. Most either dodge the challenge or fail at it. The various approaches may be summed up thusly.

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Thank you, Phred
My buddy Phred sends the best spam around. Here's one I just received.

Two little old ladies were attending a rather long church service. One leaned over and whispered, "My butt is going to sleep." "I know," replied her companion, "I heard it snore three times."
I love Old English
I have loved ancient Anglo-Saxon history since I was ten years old or so and I read scraps of a college textbook my mother had on her shelves. Something about the Heptarchy just swept me away with the same feeling I later found upon reading The Lord of the Rings. Something about this whole background communicating with the present. Profound depth, romantic dazzle on the surface, and all that.

Of course, once I started reading LOTR at age 13, I fell in love with the Old English language. Collapse )

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