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A poetical, audio-visual, King-James-themed something or other… Help!

I'm a bit stuck.  I've written a poem to mark the 400th anniversary of the Authorized Version.  It crams in 100 phrases that have passed into (more or less) common parlance in the space of about 3 minutes.

I'd like to turn it into a video where I speak it to screen and for that to be a quick "grabber" which will make people want to find out more - e.g. order my upcoming evangelistic book based on KJV, go to an evangelistic event based on KJV, or visit the King's English.

First I need you to cast a critical eye over the poem (below).  If it's rubbish, there's no point going ahead with anything else.  If it can be improved let me know how.

Next I'd need help with the video.  I'm thinking of delivering it to camera - and a tally of the verses can go up as I speak.  There are different ways I could film it.  One that appeals to me, but it's technically difficult, begins in a pulpit just off Brighton's funky shopping district (the Lanes).  Then I walk through the Lanes (cameraman with steady-cam walking backwards along with boom operator) to the pier.  It gives the idea of the word of God going out into the world.

But, for that I'd need specialized kit - a steady-cam and a boom mic in particular.  Any ideas about how I can lay hands on this and/or on any other video expertise?

Any better ideas about how to shoot it?


Poem below...

God forbid the powers that be
Forgetting the begetting of the KJV
It’s put words in our mouth for 400 years
Turned the world upside down, so here’s my three cheers:

As a sign of the times, I’ll sing its praises
Shout from the rooftops one hundred phrases
Miserable comforters may cast aspersions
I’ll do this in remembrance of the Authorised Version.

With prodigal glee I made haste to start
Then fell by the wayside, was cut to the heart
In the beginning, it seemed easy game
How the mighty are fallen, I was put to shame

This labour of love turned a worldly care
My dream became my cross to bear
I wished to wash my hands of the suff’ring
To find a scapegoat, pay a peace off’ring

The years of plenty gave way to famine
I counteth the cost, had to re-examine
I’d girded my loins then bitten the dust
Put my house in order as needs must

I’d led myself like a lamb to slaughter
Success was as likely as wine from water
With this thorn in my flesh, crying “Woe is me”
With weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth

I got carried away, knew not what I did
Twas a task that mastered, a bottomless pit
Beside myself sore tempted to chuck it
My tally remained just a drop in the bucket.

Twas a beast of burden, grievously borne.
I needed shelter from the storm
I could not find what I did seek
The Spirit was willing, the flesh was weak.

It’s written, “Pride goeth before a fall”
And for me that writing was on the wall
At my wits end, thought none could save it
This task was Goliath and I was David

The time was short, my days were numbered
This stumbling block had me encumbered
The kingdom of God may come with great power
My grapes had become decidedly sour

The sweat of my brow began to glisten
He that hath ears, let him listen!
There’s a time for everything, but first check
That it’s not a millstone around your neck!

I fear it’s too long to fight the good fights
If it takes 40 days and 40 nights.
Tis vanity of vanities, but I should have figured
Doesn’t it say “No rest for the wicked”?

In sackcloth and ashes, and laughed to scorn
I wished to high heaven I’d never been born
Stiff-necked, hard hearted with feet of clay
Awaiting my own private judgement day.

Then just before I gave up the ghost
The Lord appeared with heavenly host.
As fast as you can say “Let there be light”
In the twinkling of an eye, like a thief in the night.

Twas my road to Damascus, my bush that burns
For this doubting Thomas a lesson to learn.
Behold the Man! From heaven He came
The Word become flesh, one and the same

With tender mercies He casteth out fear
And said unto me, “Son be of good cheer
I suffer fools gladly, and that’s where you’re standing
This task indeed passeth your own understanding!

“You’re sore brokenhearted and none too smart
But clearly a man after my own heart.
Dearly beloved, to me you belong
And I will grant you to speak in tongues.”

So the truth set me free, Alleluia, Amen
Out of the mouth of this babe who’d been born again
Phrases were fruitful and multiplied further
The Lord as my helper, my cup runneth over

O me of little faith, I didn’t fall short
Just look at what my God hath wrought!
By the skin of my teeth? No we’ve done it in style
And even gone the extra mile.

So long live the King – Jesus we mean
But thank God King Jimmy has sown the seed
So verily, verily we say unto thee
Happy birthday KJV.


Copyright 2011

14 thoughts on “A poetical, audio-visual, King-James-themed something or other… Help!

  1. denise

    Are you gonna make it like the Steven Furtick 'Hey Haters' video? it's got shooting stars in the background and stuff. But Brighton is probably a better idea. I like the poem :)

  2. Will

    Hi Glen!

    Very clever - alot of potential I think. But I tend to agree it would need music. Or some other way to make it really fun. Could you have a humorous prop or something for each phrase?

    Or more wacky rhymes, like tongue and belong in the 4th last verse. I take it you would mispronounce one for the laugh (like demanding and expanding in "inner city pressure")

    The actual KJV phrases seem to start in verse 3 - I guess this will be clear in the video.

    From what I can tell you're then building them up to give a sort of testimony. But when I first read it, it sounded like the testimony was about writing the poem. So I was disappointed when it didn't finish that way.

    Perhaps you could address this by reversing the couplets in the second verse - so you finish the verse with "100 phrases".

    Needless to say I have no idea about any of the technological stuff!


  3. The Orange Mailman

    Twas my road to Damascus, my bush that burns
    For this doubting Thomas a lesson to learn.

    Hey Glen-

    I like the overall layout and vision you have. Much of this showcases the brilliance of the KJV, which I'm sure is what you want to do. I wonder about "My bush that burns" rather than the more familiar "burning bush". How about this?

    Twas my road to Damascus, my burning bush
    For this doubting Thomas needed a push.

    Unless of course "a lesson to learn" is paramount to keep in. Or maybe

    Twas my burning bush, my road to Damascus
    A lesson to learn for doubting Thomas

    BTW, where is "road to Damascus" in the KJV?

    Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

  4. codepoke

    Very nice, Glen.

    I'd recommend one change to the poem. I'd make one of the more engaging stanzas your first, and your current first stanza the second. The way you have it is logical, but I think it would grab better if the first stanza or two were left a little ambiguity in the air.

    Lord bless your efforts!

  5. Bobby Grow


    Did I hear you right? Are you writing a book?

    Btw, hi, I haven't visited very often lately. Did you know we are going to an Reformed-Conservative-Anglican church now? I've spent too much time around you it looks like :-).

  6. theoldadam

    Great poem, Glen!

    Can't help you shoot it.

    I am way are behind the times techn. speaking.

    But I know someone out there will be able to help you. Dave Bish had a very good suggestion.

  7. Glen

    Thanks everyone!

    Dave, Kings is a good lead. I'm speaking to people now.

    Denise, not quite :)

    Jon, Hi. Don't think I'll be rapping. My wife would disown me.

    Will, there are two phrases in the opening line, just for starters! :) But all that will be clear on the video because a counter will tally them up as I say them (and perhaps I'll put the references up as well). The testimony is purely about composing the poem, it's not meant to be taken seriously.

    OrangeMailman, very good suggestion. Burning bush / needed a push. It's in!

    Codepoke, I see what you mean. It would probably mean re-thinking the video, since currently we start in the pulpit with confidence, then descend into uncertainty. I'll think on it.

    Gav, good to hear from you. Are you volunteering to be a dancer in the background :)

    Bobby, I knew you'd come around! Is there a more EC confession than the 39 articles? And it's a booklet really. Just 12 very short chapters based on KJV phrases.

    OldAdam, thanks!

  8. David Ruddick

    Hi Glen, enjoying your blog as an occasional visitor... Would you say a bit more about the KJV book you're writing? Will it be ready for the summer? Just being nosy...

  9. Glen

    Hi David, It's a little evangelistic booklet really. 12 sayings (a chapter each), 40 pages. Should be available by May.

  10. Marc Lloyd

    Please could we have the auido while we're waiting. It might work well with the phrases coming up like that thing from the Messiah too. I forget what the clever word for that is!

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