The Pelagian Drinking Song

Several years ago, back when I worked at “The Reformation Station,” Dr. Tom Browning taught a series  on “The History of the Doctrine of Justification” (which I hear will be available in the future from his website!) at Arlington Presbyterian Church, Arlington, Texas. One of the lessons was on the debate between Augustine and Pelagius over the necessity of God’s grace in overcoming original sin. Dr. Browning had requested that my then boss, Randy Buster (founder of “The Reformation Station”), arrange a tune to a song he’d dug up in his studies about Pelagianism. It’s a hilarious song called “The Pelagian Drinking Song.”

I recently thought to email these dear brothers of mine to request the recording of Randy Buster’s arrangement of Hillaire Belloc’s “The Pelagian Drinking Song” and permission to blog about it. You can listen to this recording in the black widget toward the bottom of my sidebar.

And now, without further ado, I give you, “The Pelagian Drinking Song,” by Hilaire Belloc, through the teaching ministry of Dr. Tom Browning and the musical arrangement and perfomance of Randy Buster:

The Pelagian Drinking Song, by Hillaire Belloc (1870 – 1953)

Pelagius lived at Kardanoel
And taught a doctrine there
How, whether you went to heaven or to hell
It was your own affair.
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But was your own affair.

No, he didn’t believe
In Adam and Eve
He put no faith therein!
His doubts began
With the Fall of Man
And he laughed at Original Sin.
With my row-ti-tow
He laughed at original sin.

Then came the bishop of old Auxerre
Germanus was his name
He tore great handfuls out of his hair
And he called Pelagius shame.
And with his stout Episcopal staff
So thoroughly whacked and banged
The heretics all, both short and tall –
They rather had been hanged.

Oh he whacked them hard, and he banged them long
Upon each and all occasions
Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
Their orthodox persuasions.
With my row-ti-tow
Their orthodox persuasions.

Now the faith is old and the Devil bold
Exceedingly bold indeed.
And the masses of doubt that are floating about
Would smother a mortal creed.
But we that sit in a sturdy youth
And still can drink strong ale
Let us put it away to infallible truth
That always shall prevail.

And thank the Lord
For the temporal sword
And howling heretics too.
And all good things
Our Christendom brings
But especially barley brew!
With my row-ti-tow
Especially barley brew!


5 responses

  1. Hey John, thanks for checking out my blog. I have really enjoyed what I have read on yours. If you find mine interesting enough to add to your blogroll that would be great. I don’t have alot of content yet, but I am trying to post everyday.
    In Christ

  2. Awesome song, John. Yes, thank God for barley brew!!

  3. John- Thank you for your comments and for sending people my way. I will absolutely be praying for you and God’s direction as you consider seminary. I would suggest you look into Mid-America Reformed Seminary if you are interested in preaching.
    In Christ

  4. Alan,

    Yep, I’m officially digging your website, and thanks for the prayers and the advice. May God’s will be done!

  5. Bob,

    I can’t wait until the day comes in which I can join you in giving thanks for God’s good gifts such as barley brew. But in God’s good and wise providence, I’ve been “let hitherto.”

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