The deacon’s concluding argument bemoans non-poetic and “clunky” alterations, plus this:
Worse, it appears these and similar revisions have been implemented for one reason: someone presumes that intelligent Christians are too stupid to know that the word “man” doesn’t always mean a human being with testicles.
As a musician, I think “clunky” is worse. But that may be splitting angel hairs.
Even Rome is caught up in advocating a more accurate vocabulary these days, thanks to Liturgiam Authenticam. We live in an era of rationalism. It is always better, according to some, that words have one and only one meaning. Or at best, that they be not inclined to bad meanings–I take note of alterations to an otherwise sound song in its unaltered state here.
People out for a casual laugh or a dose of ridicule have no problem altering lyrics of songs they might even like–but often don’t. I think there are three good rules to keep in mind:
- If the lyricist is alive, she or he is best responsible for providing an alternate text.
- If dead, and if one is disinclined to seriously pray with lyrics, don’t bother changing a dot.
- If one thinks she or he can do better, write your own hymns and say what you want to say.