Sing a New Song?

Here at Lent Madness we've been putting out the call for a theme song. Why? Because every hot product / business / organization / character/TV show has one -- like McDonalds ("I'm lovin' it") or Cheers ("Where everybody knows your name") or Brylcream ("A little dab'll do ya").

We thought about following the trend of today's advertisers and using an already-recorded song like U2's "The Saints are Coming" but decided not to risk getting sued by Bono. Plus he's probably sick of Episcopalians using his music anyway. Watch Tim on a 2006 segment of ABCs Nightline about the "U2charist." Then watch him getting mocked for it on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

So we're looking for original lyrics/tunes and a few of you have submitted them. Or if not original tunes, at least ones where the copyright is in the public domain.

Here's one from Lent Madness early adopter, haiku-meister, and  Diocese of Southeast Florida Communications Director Mary Cox. Obviously it's sung to the tune of "For All the Saints."

For all the saints, who in Lent Madness clash,
were we to wager, we’d need lots of cash,
so here we’re merely cyber-talking trash.
Alleluia, etc….

The Golden Halo glimmers in the sun,
awaiting that most holy saint who’s won—
who says that Lent should not be any fun!
Alleluia, etc….

Here's another one set to an old tune -- "When the Saints Go Marching In." This was penned by Mary Wise, a wise practitioner of Lent Madness and a parishioner at St. Clare of Assisi in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Oh when the saints
Oh when the saints
Oh when the saints come marching in
They'll be battling for that golden halo
When the saints go marching in.

Oh Tim and Scott
Oh Tim and Scott
Have given up being rivals for Lent
They'll be talking 'bout those saintly matchups
That Golden Halo's heaven-sent
Philander Chase
Detrich Benhoeffer, Martin of Porres
They'll be up against better known saints
but they may just come out the best!
Here are some excellent examples of what happens when a talented composer ends up being bitten by the Lent Madness bug (virus?). The mysterious "Decomposer" has sent us several options for theme songs, along with some commentary. Actually, we're petitioning to have them included in the next hymnal revision.

1. Appropriately Lenten (Tune #1) or alternate "So Darn Lenten You Can’t Even Stand It" (Tune #2)TUNE #1: "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You"
TUNE #2: "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded"

It’s time now for Lent Madness
The Saints have gathered ‘round.
No time for sloth or sadness --
A victor must be crowned.
The Golden Halo’s glowing
Awaiting its new head;
With growing voting showing
That faith is far from dead.

2. Peppier tune, barely appropriate to Lent at all really...except the third verse of the actual hymn (text: L. Laurentii and tr: S.B. Findlater) would bring a lovely last Word to the LM wrap party...’cause it ain’t, ultimately, all about the saints! : )

TUNE #3: "Rejoice, Rejoice Believers"

It’s time for Lenten Madness,
So let your votes appear!
The favourites are advancing --
(Though some results are queer.) (The ones we hold most dear.) ...
The Golden Halo’s waiting;
The polls wide open stand.
So pray, and read, and wrestle
And vote as best you can.

v. 3 unadulterated:
The saints, who here in patience
Their cross and suff’rings bore,
Shall live and reign forever
When sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory
The Lamb they shall behold;
In triumph cast before him
Their diadems of gold.

3. Another entry to the tune of "For All the Saints"

For all the Saints you cannot vote – just one!
Each day a battle
‘Til the best Saint’s won
And claims the Gol-den Halo. Join us it is fun!
It’s time for Lent Madness!
(Please: no alleluias)

Vote for your Saint each day, and we will see
Which of the Saints
Goes on to vic-tor-y.
And claims the Gol-den Halo and the great glory.
It’s time for Lent Madness!
(Don’t sing “alleluia”!)

Okay, this next one is not really a theme song but kudos to Linda Gills Beshears (from, I think, Baton Rouge, Louisiana?) for writing a clever poem thing that must have taken a long time to do!


Lent is a time for us to reflect on all the things we may have regret.

Eager for Lent to start as we read and gather information to get Saint smarts.

Never though I’d ever see the number of people tweeting and E-Mailing me.

Time is almost near Mona is biting her nails and waiting to hear,if the Saint she voted on came out fighting or is on the run in fear.

Martin de Porres should have won he lost by 15 votes son of a gun!

Ashes not yet faded away, and people could not wait to play,

Hey guys witch Saints will be facing off today.

Did you see Rev. Scott Gunn and Rev Tim Schenck showing off a new Lent Madness large Coffee Cup. I want one that is what’s up.

Now the games has begun I wont stop until my saint has won!

Even though I see thousands of people challenging me,read about each Saints, the truth will set you free!

Saints are on the run, playing this game is so much fun!

So-oo Rev. Scott and Rev. Tim what well we do when it ends.Do we really have to wait for Lent to begin again?

As long as we've left the theme songs behind, here are a few Lent Madness haikus from Peggy Sanchez. Peggy's somewhat of a ringer since she works at Forward Movement. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't put out an entire tract of Lent Madness haikus.

I “like” Lent Madness
Although I don’t like Facebook
Truly a tribute

Voting between saints?
Are they not all equally
Worthy of our praise?

Lent Madness draws me
Into the lives of the saints
But away from work

Mary Magdalene
Gets my vote any old day
Who is this John Huss?

Bah! Thomas Cranmer
Trounces the protest singer
The man wins again

Keep up the great creative energy, folks. We love it! And, remember, if you submit it, we just might make you famous! Or at least we'll turn you into a Lent Madness celebrity which looks fantastic on a resume. As long as you only apply for positions at organizations like Forward Movement or parishes like St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts.


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23 comments on “Sing a New Song?”

    1. So right Anne!
      Being in the Choir, practicing Palm Sunday & Easter Music after we buried A........, our penance is some of the driest music. But there is no polysyllabic substitute.
      (Why is monosyllabic polysyllabic?) 😉
      posted 2025 (CST)

  1. Well, I gave up Facebook for Lent. I posted I was going to spend my time engaged in reading meditating etc... And then somehow, someway, Lent Madness crossed my email, or was it ForwardvDay by Day?? No matter, you two have me hooked, and I am learning so much! Thanks for you hard work!!

  2. For what it's worth, God's people at St. John's in Franklin will tell you that I know the words to very few hymns as I process, and so choose just to make them up as I go.


    There’s a wideness in the Halo, perfect wideness for the head; there’s no kindness in the madness, during Lent betwixt the dead. There’s no welcome on the hard wood of the bench for those who lose, there’s no mercy for the saintly, only egos that go bruised.

    All throughout the bracket’s battle, the opponent’s blood doth shed; victory in just the first round, merely pittance of street ‘cred.’ If ‘Elate 8’s’ what you’re seeking, there’s no reason to begin; for the master theologian seeks a Golden Halo win!

    For the victor grasps completely, clarity of God’s true mind; what through love and perseverance, only righteousness will find. Joy and faith through competition, for the saint who gets the win; Lenten madness for the losers, who must suffer for their sins.

    As we seek to understand them, saints and sinners in the game, what a sobering reminder- we, prostrate, are all the same; ever thankful for this season praying on the Holy Word; ever bless-ed through salvation; resurrected by Our Lord.

  3. Anne has already expressed my immediate reaction to the first song; but surely we can f9ind a good Anglican way to deal with it. I suggest simply translating the A-word to Praise ye the Lord (Rite I) or Oh praise the Lord (Rite 2).

  4. (to the tune of "Jerusalem")

    And did those priests in recent time
    Cook up these brackets rare and lean?
    And did not Tim and Scott alike
    Swear to eschew when they were mean?
    And did the fans of Thomas M.
    Rue the day they were matched with Phil?
    And was community builded here
    Among we sinners, if you will?

    They'll win the halo of pure gold!
    Download my bracket! I'll not tire!
    Bring me my mouse! O clicks untold!
    I hope my favorite saints move higher.
    I will watch all the Monday gab,
    Follow the blog and comment then.
    Until the last saint's standing tall
    and this great contest's at an end.

  5. Nicely done, Holly! And I'm revising my earlier statement about proposing new hymns for a hymnal revision. We'll get Scott to publish our own Lent Madness Hymnal 2012 (real hymnals need dates after them).

    And I'm delighted you found us, Catherine, despite your Lenten Facebook fast. Not to tempt you but you may want to check out the Lent Madness Facebook fan page and "like" us -- only on Sundays of course.

    1. Tim,
      So we get a Lent Madness Hymnal 2012 to use during Lent Madness 2013. Seems rite 😉

  6. Which Lent Madness saints are coming?
    Some we know and some we don't.
    Who 'll be Golden Halo wearing?
    Already there are some who won't.
    Praise the Lord, that we get to vote,
    when we read each daily note!

    All these saints have gone before us,
    leaving their mark on history.
    Which will lead the saintly chorus.
    that's the biggest mystery.
    Praise the Lord as we have our say,
    awaiting the Golden Halo day.

  7. Wow. The hits just keep on coming -- very impressive! And, yes, the date on the hymnal, once published, should already be out of date. Much more authentic that way.

  8. I dealt with my Lent Madness withdrawal by going to the Big 10 Women's tournament today... two upsets I might add. At the moment I'm partial to songs that can be performed by marching bands... like when the saints go marching in version above.

    1. Mary-Elise,
      If the Big 10 is what I think it is, we'll be seeing you next year and I'll be on Lent Madness 2013.
      Ed Adcock - Go TCU! (Watch out!)
      posted 2148 (CST)

  9. I vote for the last song in the group, with NO alleluias. Let's do Lent right! Love the Website. I even bought a mug to take to my Bible study group. Keep up the good work.

  10. I am relatively certain I should be writing sermons.


    The bracket has no East or West, in Lent no North or South; to win the Golden Halo, friend, put thine money wherest thine mouth.

    The Halo tho ‘tis sought by all, the competition fierce; the winner lifted up on high, the loser’s heart be pierced.

    The table under which shall pass, thine wagers, low and high; for this the Halo of Renown, all saints would gladly die.

    For in Christ is no East and West, in Him no South or North; through Christ, all shall become as one, in madness as we march forth.

  11. Okay... the obsession is ridiculous! And at what a liturgically appropriate moment.


    The bra-a-cket bu-u-sting now has started, the dark-ness falls upon my picks;
    Fa-a-ther Tom Merton, I had you through three rounds, a rector’s sal-a-ry, this cannot fix.

    I guess I must con-fess I had no intention, of ev-er wri-ting down the name of Joan. Come on now, there Andrewes, beat down by a woman, One more time caught sleeping, now throw me a bone!

    My two favorite saints have matched up in one bracket, Cath-rine of Siena and Queen Em-ma. Could not there have been somewhere down in this quadrant, a saint that did not cause me such di-lem-ma.

    As now o'er each match-up, sleepless as I ponder, which one of my choi-oi-ces next departs. I can-not im-a-gine! How could this be happ’ning, who cares at this poi-oint which one who thou art!

    So be it, then Ti-im, and Scott and all comers, my bracket’s all busted, I’ll play again. But this year’s not over, still I with denarii, I’m put-ting all I’ve got on the Mag-da-lene!

    Go Mary!

  12. Am I the only one who thinks Hymn #293 is the obvious choice?

    I sing a song of the saints of God.
    Lent madness bids me to.
    The line up's strong, competition fierce,
    and the fans cheer the whole day through.
    And one was a soldier and one lived at court,
    and one was a deadbeat who refused child support,
    but they showed God still loves us when we fall short.
    God help me to be one to!