Paul Inwood walks in to a bar...
Blogged by James Preece on 14th February 2009
Oof - It was an iron bar! No seriously, Paul Inwood walks in to his local and the barman... the barperson asks him what he would like to drink. Ordering a small glass of his favourite fair trade sparkling white wine he takes a seat at the bar. Over the next few hours he drinks heavily - three, maybe four sips before he starts to sing. His singing is bothering the other customers and one of them complains to the barperson who wanders over to where Paul is sitting and asks him to stop.
"Do you know who I am?" he says. "I'm Paul Inwood, I'm Director of Liturgy at Portsmouth Diocese. My name is in the back of hymnals and song books. If I want to sing, I'm going to sing!" "Yeah right" says the barman, "and I'm the King of England. I think you've had enough to drink today."
"I can prove it to you" says Inwood, "You pick any word you like, and I will get it sung at Church - though obviously it can't be a swearword". "That's easy", the barperson retorts. "You'll just slip my word in to verse three and have it sung at a youth mass, you can get people to sing anything at those".
"Wow..." says Paul, "You seem to know a lot about liturgy! Have you been to one of my days for Musicians?"
"Listen", says the barperson. "If you really want to prove yourself as undisputed Lord of the Sings, you're going to have to do something really special". "Like what?" Inwood asks. "Well, for a start, hymns are too easy - you can have any words you like, if you want to impress me you will need to get my word in to the Gospel Acclamation. The Church provides the words of the Gospel Acclamation as part of the Mass so it's not like you can just write your own."
"That's easy" Paul responds, "We've been writing our own Gospel Acclamations for ages, though we call them 'Alleluias' because 'Acclamations' is a long word so it's a bit exclusive. We also write our own Glorias and Holy Holies..." The barperson interrupts "Holy Holies? Do you mean the Sanctus?" "Now that sounds like Latin" replies Inwood. "You're not one of those traditionalists are you?"
"You also have to get it published by a proper music publisher" the barman adds, "Somebody with a website". "That's easy as well" says Paul Inwood. "My mates at OCP will publish anything".
"Well" says the barperson. "You haven't heard my choice of word yet. Before I tell you, let's make a deal. If you manage to get this word in a published alleluia you get free drinks here for a year. If you fail, you are barred - for life"
"Sounds fair" says Paul Inwood. "What's the word?"
So the barman says... "Well, I'm a big David Bowie fan. You know his song: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes?"
"Changes? Inwood replies, "As in... The changes after Vatican II? Surely that's too easy."
"No" the barman says "Not 'changes' - that would be easy!"
"So what's the word then?"
"Is that even a word?" Paul Inwood asks. The barperson leans forward.. "It's my bar and my challenge. If I say it's a word, it's a word. Now finish your fair trade wine and don't come back unless you get that alleluia published."
So Paul Inwood gets up to leave and the barperson says... "Why the long face?"
As punchlines go, that one's not very good.
Speaking of not very good. Have you heard the latest alleluia by Paul Inwood?