The Strangled Cry of Sister Stretchpants
The same friend who sent me the Anglican Vogon protest poetry last week now passes along a you-can’t-make-this-up song by an aging liberal nun, who wrote it to protest the mean old men in the Vatican. Reports the NYT:
When Kathy Sherman was in college during the final years of the Vietnam War, she played the guitar with friends in her dorm room and sang folk and protest songs over bowls of popcorn. They sang Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez, and some friends said her voice reminded them of Judy Collins.
Ms. Sherman graduated and joined an order of Roman Catholic nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph of La Grange, but she never stopped making music. Last spring, when the Vatican issued a harsh assessment of the group representing a majority of American nuns accusing them of “serious doctrinal problems,” Sister Sherman, 60, said she responded the way she always does when she feels something deeply. She wrote a song.
The words popped into her head two days after the Vatican’s condemnation, as she was walking down the hallway in her order’s ministry center, feeling hurt and angry: “Love cannot be silenced,” she thought. “It never has. It never will.” She went into the center’s dining room and tried out the lyrics on some of her sisters. They liked the message.
“Love Cannot be Silenced” became an anthem, not just for the nuns but also for laypeople who turned out for vigils in front of churches and cathedrals across the country this year to support them. In a voice sweet and resolute, Sister Sherman sang, “We are faithful, loving and wise, dancing along side by side, with a Gospel vision to lead us and Holy Fire in our eyes” — a lyric that evokes the nuns’ novel forging of spirit with steel.
You may listen to the ardently goopy song here — but be warned, you can never un-hear this thing. It makes “On Eagles Wings” compare favorably with “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
On the bright side, it does remind one of Gollum’s pitiful shriek as he sinks into the lava. I think we can now safely say that the Sixties are over.