The Cows Are in the Corn

April 6, 2016

I came across this story which is available on number of websites. It was originally just the first part. Others added to it. You can read it for its humour, or incline your hearts to its deeper meaning. Here are a few variables (random order) to throw in when it comes to Christian worship in song. You can reflect on their importance…..

  • Age

  • Upbringing

  • Personal taste

  • Edifies the body

  • Quality of musicianship

  • Prefer harmonies

  • Gets me into God’s presence

  • Denomination

  • It’s what you do in church

  • Glorifies God

  • Tradition

  • Theological truth

  • Contemporary

  • Gets me emotionally

 

The Cows Are in the Corn

The Original:

 

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended a large church.

 He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the farmer,

“It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

 “Praise choruses,” said his wife, “What are those?”

 “Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked his wife.

 

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this - If I were to say to you: ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn.

 

 If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Martha Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN.’

 

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

 

The sequel!

 

Coincidentally, the same week, a young businessman from the city who normally attended a church with contemporary-style worship, was in the old farmer’s town on business and visited the farmer’s small town church.

 He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the young man,

“It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”

 “Hymns,” said his wife, “What are those?”

 “Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said

 the young man. “Well, what’s the difference?” asked his wife.

 The young man said, “Well it’s like this - If I were to say to you,

’Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song.

 If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:

 

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry.

Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.

Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by

to the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

 

For the way of the animals who can explain,

There in their heads is no shadow of sense.

Hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain

Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

 

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,

Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.

Then goaded by minions of darkness and night,

They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

 

So look to that bright shining day by and by,

Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn.

Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry.

And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.

 

Then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on

 the last verse, well that would be a hymn.”

 

The Special Rendition

 

The Cows Are In The Corn   (Tune: I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever)

 

Over the laneway from the barn

 That sits upon our family farm,

 Across the pasture there’s a gate

 To which I hurry, but I’m late.

 For now the gate is open wide,

 The cattle are no more inside

 And further from the barn I see

 Now where the cows have gone to be.

 

Chorus:

 Oh Martha, the cows are in the corn,

 Oh Martha, the cows are in the corn.

 Oh Martha, the cows are in the corn,

 Oh Martha, the cows are in the corn.

 

Bridge:

 Right now they’re busy eating

 The corn right off the plants,

 But when it’s time for milking

 They will find their way to the

 Barn at last, yeah!

 (reprise chorus 8 times)

 

Christian Rock Band Version

 

Now if you were to do a “regular song” about the cows in the corn” it would

 go something like this:

 

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 

(volume up a notch)

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 

(key change)

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 the cows are in the corn

 (drum shift with increased tempo)

 the corn, the cows

 the corn, the cows

 the corn, the cows

 the corn, the cows

 (the lead guitar beginning to start thumping and the bass up the key and

 drum up the pace)

 the the the the

 cows, cows, cows, cows

 are, are, are ,are

 in, in, in, in

 corn, corn, corn, corn

 

cows are in the corn

 cows are in the corn

 cows are in the corn

 cows are in the corn

 (improv ending in a key change)

 

cows are in the corn

 (volume up a notch)

 cows are in the corn

 (volume up a notch)

 cows are in the corn

 (volume up a notch)

 the cows are in the corn

 (at this point the backup singers begin

 putting your hands into the air and making fists and pulling down

 the milking leader tells everyone to “embrace the utters and let the corn fall”)

 

the cows,

 (milk leader now beginning to weep visibly)

 OH the cows, Those precious cows,

 My precious cows, Your precious cows

 Her precious cows, His precious cows

 (at this point the dance team enters dressed as milk maids each with a milk stool

 followed by men dressed in farmer costumes with giant dowel sticks with

 flowing golden 3 foot wide ribbons with painted corn ears which are waved

 over the congregation)

 

are in

 the corn

 (all instruments slam)

 

the corn

 (all instruments slam)

 

the corn

 (all instruments slam)

 

TTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHeeeeee CCCCCCCOOOOOOOORRRRRRRNNNNNNNN

 

(at this point all the dancers fall on their face and the milkleader falls

 exhausted on one knee as a giant inflated cow is carried by four men dressed as ears of corn

 through the congregation as the instruments frantically play on)

 The congregations looks at each other and smile knowing from the warm milky

 feeling they share that the fertilizer has flowed freely here today.

 

 Gregorian Chant Version

 

Mar——te, Mar——te, die—————–Kuehe sind im Maise—–    

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