Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the Ayer

Palm Sunday.  My second favorite holiday.  I always wear green.  It's the start of the most exciting time of the year.  And it means spring is on the way.  This year it was particularly exciting because it was also my birthday.

I sat in the back of the church alone, watching all the families and couples sharing this wonderful day.  Sad to be alone, but glad to be there with God and hymns and the joy that comes with a man riding into town on a donkey.

The children's choir sang, the real little kids; it was cute.  Then came the youth choir.  Ten and Twelve year olds grouped together in the front of the church, donned in long black choir robes with the short white ruffled mini robe on top.  Several of them began beating drums, which were slung over their shoulders.  "African drums for Palm Sunday, hmmm, neat,"  I thought.  The rhythm sounded sort of familiar.  I couldn't place it, so I decided it must just be a standard rhythm.

Copy of StephenChoirBoy Then the boy on the end opened his mouth.  And my head started shaking.  His blond bangs swooped to the side, he looked like one of those choir angel Christmas decorations people put out at the holidays, or maybe a member of the famed Vienna Boys Choir.  But what came out was anything other than angelic.  The young boy opened his mouth and started rapping. (Yup, looked pretty much just like this picture.)

flo rida Not just rapping, mind you, but a particularly insane sort of thing.  The choir, or presumably the stout bald headed man directing the choir, had rewritten the lyrics to Flo Rida's In the Ayer!  For church!

I, in fact, did not even realize this until a week later when I happened to be listening to Flo Rida's old album.  The beat started and I was like "where have I heard that recently?"  Then the hook came on: "oh hot dam, this is my jam,  keep me partying until the a.m.  make me throw my hands in the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer, ay-ayer."

You see, the church version had said some stuff about donkeys and such and then the kid said "they threw their palms in the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer, ay-er."  This little choir boy, standing in the front of a massive church, stained glass crucified Jesus rising high behind him, a baptismal font across the aisle from him, wooden pews, stone floors, arches, Bibles, Bibles everywhere for goodness sakes, and this kid is standing up there saying, no rapping "ayer, ay-ayer, ayer, ay-ayer!

By the time the kid got to the ayer part, I had burried my head in my hands.  It's too much for me.  I like hip hop; I like heavy metal.  But rapping and electric guitars do not belong in church.  I want bells and a nice pipe organ, putting joyful church-sounding music into the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer, ay-ayer, thank you very much!


Jeannie said...

I was wondering what 'ayer' was - then when I read the lyrics it hit me - Oh! it's AIR drawn out into 2 syllables!

Aurelia J. Schultz said...

Yup, you know how those Southerners have to make every word longer.

MaryRuth said...

You mean you don't dig accordion mass? =) The accordionist is returning to my sister's choir--she's pretty happy about that.

goldenrail said...

MR: I've never had an accordion in church. I might be ok with that. Accordions are special. ;)