Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Lyric: Zen Gospel Singing

I heard this song in the Bryan Bowers recording, with four tight male voices and an angelic autoharp backup. I know too much about Buddhism to let the theological error pass unnoticed -- Zen is part of the Mahayana tradition and does "sing of salvation and a heavenly home" with some regularity -- but it's still really funny, and kind of sweet.

Zen Gospel Singing
(by Mark Graham)

I once was a Baptist and on each Sunday morn
I'd be in church praying just as sure as you're born.
We'd sing there like angels in sweet harmony
But sin and salvation are no longer for me.

Cause now I'm a Buddhist I chant my mantra each day
But I miss that good singing in the old Gospel way.
We sing of old Buddha and the wonders of Zen.
We'll meet in Nirvana, yes we'll be there then.

Now my old friends don't like me since I shaved my head
and they all talk about me as if I were dead.
My good old Zen buddies they think I'm ok,
But I can't get them singing more than one note a day.

We sit here cross legged eating brown rice and cheese
and we chant out our mantra in four square harmony.
We don't sing of salvation or a heavenly home.
It's Zen gospel singing, just Om Om, sweet Om.

Copyright Mark Graham

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