Monday, 1 April 2013

"All things vile and terrible" Hymn Causes Upset

There were a lot of complaints yesterday after we premiered the hymn, "All Things Vile and Terrible". I know the author, Sydney Smarter, had the best of motives in writing it. He wanted to cause outrage and make money. Although also he wanted to make a theological point. If this world is so marvellous, asked Sydney, then why are there such vile things in the world? Do we put them down to the Fall? Were wasps stingless before the Apple was laying on the ground? And if there were no literal Fall, then how do we reconcile a good Creator with such horrible animals - and the catastrophes that cause extinctions, destroy stars and will one day consume our earth in the fiery embrace of Sol?

Good questions, and we shall continue to struggle with them. But maybe I won't use this song in the Pet Service again next year. There were some very upset kids.


All things vile and terrible, all parasites so small
All things dire and horrible, God must have made them all.

1. Each fox that gets the chickens, ichneumon wasps that bore
into doomed caterpillars that won't crawl any more.


2. The roadkill on the M1, the badger turned to mush
The sawfly in the garden, that strips the gooseberry bush.


3. The way a spider sucks all the juices out a fly
It makes you start to wonder if God didn't really try.


4. The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gates,
George Osborne sets his Budget to keep them in their place.


5. The virus in the livestock that makes their tongues turn blue
The mutated bacteria that make a meal of you.


  1. Here's another version:

  2. There is truly nothing new under the sun.


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