Monday Madness -- Vote for the Official Lent Madness Hymn!

The epic first pre-season episode of Monday Madness has arrived! Epic? Yes! Because Lent Madness 2019 marks the Saintly Smackdown's TENTH year. To properly prepare, you'll want to load up on tenth anniversary collectibles and start scoping out locations for Lent Madness launch parties. Ash Thursday (March 7) venues will soon be booked solid with Lent Madness Tenth Year Launch Parties.

This week, Tim and Scott talk about how it's never too soon to start preparing for Lent Madness. It would be a good idea to buy your  2019 Saintly Scorecard now, before they sell out. Just like last year, we are selling the scorecards individually or in packs of 10. To get the best price order three or more packs of 10, for an unbelievably low price of just $1 per scorecard. You'll also want to buy giant 2019 Giant Bracket Posters. They're a steal at just $11. There's no extra charge for the full color printing.

But the main reason to get excited is your chance to help select the OFFICIAL HYMN OF LENT MADNESS. That's right, we're finally establishing the official hymn of Lent Madness. Once it's chosen, it would be appropriate to insist your choir sing it on every Sunday in Lent. It should also be sung every time a member of the Supreme Executive Committee enters a room. Think Hail to the Chief, but in a penitential, Lent-y sort of way.

We are very grateful to Sr. Diana of the Community of the Transfiguration for writing these hymns. And with this post, we are naming her the official Hymn-Writer in Residence for Lent Madness. Her work will also accompany us throughout the competition, as she's in the process of writing a hymn dedicated to each one of the 32 saints in the 2019 bracket. Seriously. (rumor has it she's already halfway through the lineup). 

So here's the deal. We'll print the words of the hymns below. At the bottom of the post, you can vote (once only, please) for your favorite. We'll cut off the voting at noon next Monday, February 4. The winner will be announced on next week's episode of Monday Madness.

If you want to help out, we'd love to get recordings of these hymns. If your church choir can record them -- send us a link to your video or audio recording and we'll share your recordings on social media or here on the Lent Madness website. Doesn't your choir want to be famous? A Grammy is practically inevitable.

Anyway, here are the hymns, with tunes suggested from the official hymnal of the Episcopal Church. Choose wisely, and Happy Lent!

We sing a song of two pious dudes
Tune: Grand Isle. The Hymnal 1982, 293

We sing a song of two pious dudes;
By name they’re Scott and Tim.*
Who pair up Saints for us to choose
Which ones we’ll see again.
For each day during Lent**
We meet holy Saints
With their quirks and follies;
Love sans restraint!
And we’ve learned and laughed and tried to decide
Which Saint, each day, we’ll approve.

The SEC***, they are meekly called,
And they get to decide
Which Saints will try our patience as
We stretch our hearts and minds.
For they put them in pairs;
Make it hard to choose –
Nay! Impossible!
They give us the blues!
For the one we hope will be Saint du jour
Oft is not in others’ views.

We give our thanks for the ones who help;
Bloggers, Celebrity.
Their writings help us learn so much
Of Saints; you must agree.
And the Bracket Czar
Is a hero fine,
For he serves each day
To keep Saints in line.
So we offer thanks to these living saints,
Relieved that we’re not one, too.

For many years we’ve torn our hair,
Seeking the holy saint
Who ought to win the nimbus (gold!).
“They’re all great!” is our plaint.
And we wonder too
If the choice were there
Between Tim and Scott****
for the aura fair:
Who would be the choice to forwar-ard move
And whose loss we’d sadly rue.

*It was necessary to put these names in alphabetical order lest the Archnemeses think favoritism is being shown. Such favoritism would be folly in the extreme, since to get between them when they are archnemesising is dangerous to the soul, if not to the sanity.

**except all but the first Saturday and all Sundays in Lent (Sundays, we know, are not part of the observance of Lent).

***Supreme Executive Committee – soi-disant, of course.

****In order to be fair, The soi disant Humble Hymnody Committee of One reversed the order of names this time.

Forty days and forty nights
Tune:Aus Der Tiefe Rufe Ich. The Hymnal 1982, 150

Forty days and forty nights
Stressing o’er which Saint to choose.
Forty days and forty nights
Who to vote for, who refuse?

Once again the SEC
Made it so hard to decide.
With their archnemesis style
Saint v. Saint’s our Lenten Trial.

Thus through purple nights and days
For each Saint we offer praise.
May we somehow emulate
Faithful lives; and celebrate!

The glory of these forty days
Tune: Erhalt uns, Herr. The Hymnal 1982, 143

The glory of these forty days
Is added to by glorious Saints
Whose stories told by bloggers fine
Enrich our hearts and stretch our minds.

For daily come more holy ones
Who daily give us laughs and fun.
They bravely, true and faithful served.
With them through Lent we march, unswerved.

The struggle of these forty days
Is choosing who should get more praise.
Acceptance when our choice doth lose
Is penitence naught can remove.

Still through the darkness gleams the light.
Fast comes the day of halo bright.
When all our suffering shall cease
The winner’s blessing’s our release.

OK, Lent Madness public: vote for your favorite hymn. Don't be too confused by the fact that there are -- for the first time ever, in Lent Madness history -- three options. You still vote one time only for your favored choice. May the best hymn win!

What's your choice for the Official Hymn of Lent Madness?

  • The glory of these forty days (45%, 822 Votes)
  • Forty days and forty nights (29%, 534 Votes)
  • We sing a song of two pious dudes (26%, 488 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,844

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64 comments on “Monday Madness -- Vote for the Official Lent Madness Hymn!”

  1. I am pleasantly surprised to see I'm not the only one who likes choice 3. For one thing, I think the hymn itself is often overlooked ("It's gloomy!" "Well, yeah; it's Lent.") and for another, the lyrics and tune seem to fit together better than the other two.

    1. I stand with all Verdery's reasons for opting for Forty Days and Forty Nights. Just try singing the first two and you'll see.

    2. I agree Verdery, plus trying to sell the choirmaster on including one of these hymns every
      Sunday in Lent will be hard enough...#3 is my choice!

  2. Dear Sirs or Fathers, none of the listed hymns blows my cassock up nor am I tempted to toss my Biretta in the air. I humbly submit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. This hymn will bring tears to a glass eye when played on magnicent pipe organ. I’m confident that after prayerful consideration and fasting you will see the wisdom in my suggestion.
    The Rev. Canon John E.Day

    1. I agree Verdery, plus trying to sell the choirmaster on including one of these hymns every
      Sunday in Lent will be hard enough...#3 is my choice!

    2. Holy Hymnody! I agree with your wisdom, Rev. Canon John Day. However, I submit "Purple Rain" by Prince. It has a very nice whine suitable for Lent.

  3. "Pious Dudes" is much cheerier -- perhaps less Lenten, but more fun! And perhaps we need fun -- isn't that the point of Lent Madness?

  4. I, of course, had to vote for "The glory of these forty days" (Tune: Erhalt uns, Herr) because it is the only tune of the 3 that is in "Evangelical Lutheran Worship" or any of the other Lutheran Hymnals I own of various vintages--and then after all Martin Luther did write the words for which this tune is originally meant for.

    1. hmmm. I voted for #3, but ...the Rev. Canon does have a point. Plus I AM a Rolling Stones fan.
      too late, (sigh) as I've already voted.

    2. Yes, I would have loved to have seen Sr. Diana's take on 287. Lots of possibilities there for her talents!
      But of these I'm with the two pious dudes in the spirit of Lenten levity and a more upbeat tune for our daily high and holy hymning. Happy Anniversary, dudes!

  5. Hi Tim,
    I live in Alberta Canada and just saw the video where you said you live in Higham Massachusetts. Well my relatives, the Andrews family take up a great deal of space in cemeteries in Higham dating all the way back to Thomas Andrews in 1643!
    We have a connection!
    Keep up the great work, I now look forward to Lent,

  6. Many loyal followers of Lent Madness are not of the Chosen Frozen. Some of us may have hymnals and can check the melody, but it would be kind to also indicate the most common version of the melody.

    1. Yes, more help with the tunes would be helpful. I recognized #1 right away, but having neither German nor hymnal, I have been wandering in the wilderness of the internet. I did find #3 and a half hour version of #2 on Utube. I'm not sure where to plug in the words on #2. I voted for #3.
      Many thanks to our sainted lyricist.

    2. I found all the tunes very easily with a Google search -- both in printed musical notation and on u-tube.

  7. Number 2 seems to me the only one that suggests the serious side of this Lenten Madness game. To live a life that emulates a saint's. Or put in the words of another hymn, "the saints of God are just folk like me, And I want to be one too."

  8. Thanks for thinking up something new to celebrate the anniversary. Onward and upward !

  9. I'm voting for the first one, because the lyrics have clever twists on the lyrics of the source hymn, which I can never sing with a straight face. Who can't smile at the echo of "And I mean to be one, too" in "Relieved that we’re not one, too"?

  10. "They bravely, true and faithful served.
    With them through Lent we march, unswerved."
    All three hymns are great, but this line in number 3 is so spot on for Lent Madness that it gets my vote for The Lent Madness Hymn.

  11. Sr. Diana has had a wicked sense of humor even when we were graduate students in Iowa City 35 years ago!! I love these, and love that she continues to bless us all with laughter!

  12. Number one is a popular, uplifting melody that creates a positive spirit. people may want to hear it again to see how the new words fit in, Two and three are rather dull and should be slain by a fierce wild beast!

    1. Chances are, however, they would then pick up their heads, tuck their entrails back in, and march on!

  13. Commenting from the Anglican Church of Canada, "We sing a song" would have to be a choir piece since the tune is not in our not-so Common Praise book. "Forty Days" verse 3 captures well the way I 'sell' Lent Madness to people. But in these times when so much stress is laid upon winning, and putting down the Losers, the words "Acceptance when our choice doth lose
    Is penitence naught can remove." in verse 3 of 'glory of these 40 days' uniquely add a valuable sentiment to the season. And with three hymns to choose from, the majority of us voting will likely be Losers, and have to work with this sentiment very soon.

  14. Next year, a hymn bracket, please. This was just a taste of the life to come in our Lenten observations.

  15. “Two Dudes” is the obvious choice. I voted for the hymn that cracked me up so much I could hardly sing it. “Lent MADNESS,” y’all!

    1. Thank you for leaving out “I sing a song of the Saints of God!” Sr. Diana has outdone herself!

  16. I agree with Simon Hartropp. The lines "Acceptance when our choice doth lose/Is penitence naught can remove" won my vote. I STILL can't believe Martin Luther didn't win the 2017 Golden Halo.

  17. I vote for #2 - so Lent! But I respectfully request that you change the lyrics in the 4th line from
    "Who to vote for, who refuse." to "Whom to vote for, Whom refuse." to be grammatically correct.

  18. I had a hard time choosing between Forty Days and Forty Nights and The Glory of These Forty Days. Both so pious and humble! 😉

    So glad to get the alert. I have been looking forward to Lent Madness since Jan. 1.

  19. When I saw the title in the email - 2 songs came to mind - Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix and 40 Days 40 Nights by Muddy Waters. I would love to see Sr. Diana work some wonderful lyrics for those for next year possibly. Thanks for the creativity in this year's choices!

  20. One thought, can members of other faith traditions be considered, if they exhibit the best of Christian ideals of service and sacrifice, just a thought.

  21. Love choice #1 as it is light and funny during a serious time of year. We need a bit of seriousness but also some amusement to get through this.