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I am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian

I recently had reason to extend these lyrics, based off the two verses by Christopher Gist Raible, and sung to the tune of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” by Sir Arthur Sullivan.

I have followed Christopher’s lead in just saying “Unitarian”, as “Unitarian Univeralist” is not just a mouthful; it’s impossible to rhyme! But this really is the UU version.

Note that the third verse has a much more subdued musical accompaniment, as in the original third verse the Major General was confronting his lack of any skills actually relevant to being a general. For the UU lyrics I attempted something similar with confronting the hard truths about actually living the UU values. But there was still time for a cheap laugh or two after that.

Unitarian:
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian,
Far broader than a Catholic, Hindu, Jew or Presbyterian.
I know the world’s religions and can trace their roots historical
From Moses up to Channing, all in order categorical.
I’m very well acquainted, too, with theories theological,
On existential questions I am always wholly logical,
About most any problem I am teeming with a lot of views,
I have plenty of ideas that can fill our church’s empty pews.

Chorus:
They have plenty of ideas that can fill our church’s empty pews.
They have plenty of ideas that can fill our church’s empty pews.
They have plenty of ideas that can fill our church’s empty, empty pews.

I quote from Freud and Jung and all the experts psychological.
I’m anti nuke, I don’t pollute, I’m chastely ecological.
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Chorus:
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
They are the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Unitarian:
I use the latest language; God is never Father or the Lord,
But Ground of Being, Source of Life or almost any other word.
I never pray, I meditate, I’m leery about worshiping.
I serve on 10 committees none of which accomplish anything.
I give to worthy causes and I drive a gas conserving car,
I have good UU principles (though I’m not quite sure what they are).
I’m open to opinions of profound or broad variety,
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.

Chorus:
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous, righteous piety.

Unitarian:
I formulate agendas and discuss them with the best of ’em,
But don’t ask me to implement, we leave that to the rest of ’em.
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Chorus:
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
They are the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Unitarian:
In fact, when I can help advancing basic human dignity
Despite never experiencing lack thereof forced onto me
When I have found a way in which we can provide justice for all
And when I understand what people mean when they have “heard the call”
When I can finally accept diverse beliefs of everyone
Even that crazy old guy who’s convinced the end times have begun
In short, when I have truly lived my love for all humanity…

Hmm… man-ity, man-ity… of course!

I’ll live a life of peace and freedom like the gentle manatee!

Chorus:
They’ll live a life of peace and freedom like the gentle manatee,
They’ll live a life of peace and freedom like the gentle manatee,
They’ll live a life of peace and freedom like the gentle, gentle manatee.

Unitarian:
I rewrite all the hymns to make sure that the words are sensible
Unless it’s latin, then it’s already incomprehensible
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Chorus:
In short in matters moral, social, and often contrarian,
They are the very model of a modern Unitarian.

Published inPoetry

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