Bulletin Board, excerpt


Excerpt from (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, April 16, 2003

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. . . . .

Here's Poet X of PDX:

"Subject: Oh, no, another earworm! 

"Standing at the bus stop this afternoon, I was stricken with a strange but not unusual earworm. 

"It's strange for a few reasons, one of which is that I've not heard the song for perhaps 30 years. A second reason is that I'm an atheist, and the song is: 'I love to tell the story /(pause) 'T'will be my theme in glory /(pause) To tell the old, old story /(pause) Of Jesus and his love.' 

"(Maybe the song has become an earworm for me because it's the only use of 't'will of 't'which I know!) 

"The song was sung on a nightly evangelical radio program, entitled 'Back to the Bible,' that aired in the '60s. Remembering the song always reminds me of a story told by a classmate maybe 35 years ago: 

"His sister entered her dark bedroom, and before she could turn on the light, a hectoring voice pronounced: 'God is watching you!' She froze in fright. 'God is a jealous God!' the voice continued. She was about to turn and run from the room when a chorus began to sing: 'Back to the Bible, back to the Bible, back to the word of God.' 

"She turned on the bedroom light, found her clock radio and turned it off. 

"Like the earworm, I can't imagine why that story has stayed in my memory. It wasn't even my sister! Perhaps it's the 'War of the Worlds' aspect of it: a radio as conduit of a sort of apocalypse. Perhaps it's so I could at last tell the story and loose it from my mind after all these years." 

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