THE BIBFELDT-BACH CONNECTION

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Paul.Bellan-Boyer
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

I love the vesper service, but didn't Bibfeldt and PDQ Bach collaborate on a frivolous vespers?

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Gregory Singleton
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Paul Bellan-Boyer wrote:

> I love the vesper service, but didn't Bibfeldt and PDQ Bach collaborate
> on a frivolous vespers?

Paul, as usual--or at least sometimes, is right on target.

Shortly after PDQ Bach composed his Missa Hillarious (the original copy of which Professor Peter Scheckele of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople found over a decade ago while doing research in the Vatican Archives on the materials relevant to PDQ Bach's excommunication) he had a brief period of fascination with liturgical music, which moved him briefly away from his more famous secular more, which included several madrigals of questionable taste, such as "My Bonnie Lass, She Smelleth (And Maketh the Flowers Jealouth)."

[Pause for breath--did I ever mention that I draw and quarter students who subject me to run-on sentences?]

During this brief flirtation with liturgical music, which gave PDQB a short repreive from his infamous *trinken und essen* phase, he wrote such memorable hymns as the ever-popular Christmas Carols "O, Little Town of Hakensack," and "Throw the Yule Log on Uncle John."

It was during this time that PDQ Bach and Franz Bibfelt met. (It is considered one of the most miraculous meetings of minds in the history of Western Civilization--Bach had been dead for over a decade, and Bibfelt had yet to be born. Many commentators have opined that this is, indeed, what gives their collaboration such a unique quality.) Bibfelt had just begun his work on the deconstruction of Kierkegaardian categories, and the substitution of paradox for contradiction. He had not yet discovered that some paradoxes remain unrelieved. Hence, open fifths (of which PDQ Bach was so fond) were always resolved into major or minor chords. Nevertheless, there are some modal qualities to their collaboration (though Bibfelt staunchly denied this later in life, dismissing the observation with the trenchant statement, "I never mixed a lidian in my life.")

The text of the vesper liturgy reflects Bibfelt's obsession with the concept of a "Good Enough God," which he felt was somewhat more realistic than all those omni- statements. Hence the Magnificat is changed to the Validat, and begins (in translation):

My soul doth validate the Lord,
For He does what He can with what He has;
So, OK, He can't do everything I want Him to,
But, heck, can anyone do any better?

The Vespers Ad Nauseum (there is disagreement about whether Bach or Bibfelt chose the title) has never been performed. Only one copy, and the owner is paid significant amounts of money each year to keep it out of circulation.

At the end of their collaboration, Bach and Bibfelt both returned to heavy drinking and never wanted to see each other again. Bibfelt went on to fame and fortune in the world of theology. PDQ Bach went on to compose his great Oratorio, Epheginia in Brooklyn.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Gregory Singleton
Subject: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

Neither of these two ever contributed to the litrugy for Shrove Tuesday. Since that great feast is coming up, and there is a continuing controversy about that liturgy, be warned that the relevant documents will be posted YET AGAIN this year.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Paul.Bellan-Boyer
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

> "I never mixed a lidian in my life."

Patently untrue, as Groucho Marx was to credit him for the famous "O Lydian, O Lydian, O have you seen Lydian, Lydian the tatooed lady?"

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Gregory Singleton
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Paul Bellan-Boyer wrote:

> Patently untrue, as Groucho Marx was to credit him for the famous
> "O Lydian, O Lydian, O have you seen Lydian, Lydian the tatooed lady?"

But you must remember Bibfelt's famous dictum, "Everything I say is actual, not factual."

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Paul.Bellan-Boyer
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

Even less well known than his Bibfeldt's Validat is his contemporary Nunc Dimwitis:

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace,
It's time for Seinfeld.
Mine own eyes have seen the mediocrity
which you have tolerated
in primetime and in syndication.
A light to reveal Costanza to the nations,
and the, ahem, glory of your people Israel.

And now I'd better go in peace before chased there.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 97
From: Michael Hiller
Subject: Solemn Vespers and PDQB

Greg:

"Only he who is running, running, knows. Run- run- running. Run- run- running. Run- run- run- running knows...."

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Peter D Banos
Subject: Re: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Gregory Singleton wrote:

> Neither of these two ever contributed to the litrugy for Shrove Tuesday.
> Since that great feast is coming up, and there is a continuing controversy
> about that liturgy, be warned that the relevant documents will be posted
> YET AGAIN this year.

Yikes! Another round of "Bringing in the Shroves!"

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Paul.Bellan-Boyer
Subject: Re: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

> Yikes! Another round of "Bringing in the Shroves!"

Dare I confess that I was shriven once, just before surgery, and it itched for a good two weeks?

Nope, I'd better keep silent on this one. Pass the syrup, please.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Christine Norstrand
Subject: Re: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

At 03:41 PM 1/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>> Yikes! Another round of "Bringing in the Shroves!"
>
>Dare I confess that I was shriven once, just before surgery, and it
>itched for a good two weeks?

Actually, Paul, this is a women's issue. It was the women waiting at the tomb who clearly defined what it is to be "shrove", something the patriarchy has refused to acknowledge ever since. It was in Mrs. Bibfeldt's seminal (ahem) work, _A Good Lutheran Woman's Guide to Mysticism and Jello Molds_, which was published posthumorously under her husband's name. You can get a copy of this work in the original pig-German from Greg.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Gregory Singleton
Subject: Re: Re[2]: Solemn Vespers and PDQB

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, michael wrote:

> "Only he who is running, running, knows. . . "

Good lead in to the chorus, but the full recitative is:

She looked up and saw her brother, Orestes, being chas-ed by the Ammenities. No one knows what it is like to be chas-ed by the Ammenities. Only he who is running knows. . .

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Jonathan Dixon
Subject: Re: Re[2]: Solemn Vespers and PDQB

Gregory Singleton wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, michael wrote:
>
> > "Only he who is running, running, knows.. ."
>
> Good lead in to the chorus, but the full recitative is:
>
> She looked up and saw her brother, Orestes, being chas-ed by the
> Ammenities. No one knows what it is like to be chas-ed by the Ammenities.
> Only he who is running knows. . .

Almost. I believe these are the right words:
.... chas-ed by the Ammenities. And he cried out in anguish:
"Oh ye gods! Who knows what it is to be running? Only he who is
running, running, knows."
The chorus then follows.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Susan M. Johns
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

And if anyone wants even-newer parodied words to the tune of "O Little Town of Hackensack", entitled "O Little Town of Dixon Springs (IL)", I'd be happy to provide those. I'm sure PDQ and Bibfeldt would have approved and been honored.

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 97
From: Wayne Holst
Subject: Re: Solemn Vespers

Greg, Paul, Susan and List:

I have taken the liberty to forward the Bach/Bibfeldt narrative to both elc-canada and the canang lists.

You can't keep a good thing to yourselves, you know.

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 97
From: George Koch
Subject: Bibfelt Manuscript Found!

Great news! What appears to be an original Bibfelt manuscript was unearthed as my wife was converting some old "Dewey" math journals to "Library of Congress". Apparently this gem got stuck to a math journal because of a ring of sticky substance (looks like maple syrup) that acted as glue for all these years. While most of this manuscript is crumbling in my hands as we speak (it seems to have been made from a farinaceous substance) I have been able to transcribe the following verses, apparently sung to "O Tannenbaum":
1.) O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
How heavy are your blintzes!
O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
They really bring out winces!
Your platte cakes are made with lard,
Your golden crepes are rubber-hard;
O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
How heavy are your blintzes!

2.) O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
Your Flapjacks, they are sinkers,
O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
Your buckwheat cakes are clinkers,
Yet piled high, with butter gold,
We excise fat, like we've been told.
O Faste-Nacht, O Faste-Nacht,
Your Flapjacks, they are sinkers!

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
From: Rick Strickert
Subject: 1997 Bibfeldt Anniversaries

I probably don't have to remind the Bibfeldtophiles among you that this is truly a momentous year! For the rest of you - No, road repair has not finally been completed on the Kennedy Expressway - it is the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the legendary theologian, Franz Bibfeldt. On Nov 1, 1897, according to those who should know (and who else is there) Franz was born at Sage-Hast bei Groszenkneten, Oldenburg, Neidersachsen, Germany.

It is also the 70th anniversary of the year that Bibfeldt submitted his doctoral thesis to the University of Worms on "The Problem of the Year Zero". And by sheer coincidence, it was also *50 years ago* that a hapless student, outside of a locked library at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, relied on citations of Franz Bibfeldt to help complete a term paper due the next morning.

I look forward to the announcements concerning an anniversary symposium and any other planned festivities (possibly a BYOB at the University of Chicago Divinity School?).

Date: Sat, 18 Jan 97
From: "Wayne Holst"
Subject: Re: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

Dave:

Did PDQB write any material for castrati?

Does the Grace Lutheran choir use same in any of its PDQB masses?

I'm repertoire and job hunting (ouch :-))

Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997
From: David Moeller
Subject: Re: Bach/Bibfelt Adendum

On Sat, 18 Jan 1997, Wayne Holst wrote:

> Did PDQB write any material for castrati?

Probably not. It really takes a lot of ... um ... guts to sing his music.

> I'm repertoire and job hunting (ouch :-))

Pretty drastic way to make a career change IMO.

Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997
From: Susan M. Johns
Subject: Hackensack, er Dixon Springs

Well, it would seem that PDQ and Bibfeldt might have had some sort of visionary experience with Chief Illiniwik, or perhaps were at least aware of the contributions of Squanto in bridging agricultural extension information from England to the US, or perhaps it is all generally related (cf., see also...) to the basic parable of the seed and sower within the context of graduate student field research...

(Note: Dixon Springs is one of several Field Ag Research Centers of the (at that time) Department of Agronomy at the University of Illinois, Urbana...

O Little Town of Dixon Springs (IL)
tune: O Little Town of Hackensack (PDQ Bach)
words: Susan Johns, 1984 Agronomy Department Christmas Party

O little town of Dixon Springs,
how still we hear thee snore,
The snow-deck'd streets that reindeer feets
will soon be prancing o'er
Thy profs and students wond'ring if Chief "li-ni-wik" will show
They need not fear, methinks I hear
his endless ho, ho, ho.

O little town of Dixon Springs
how yet we now do see
The Chief hath gone, by now he's on
his way to Kankakee
Then on to Champaign, Monmouth, and Galena will he go
He toucheth down in every town
with tractor, seed and hoe.

O little town of Dixon Springs
at last the dawn doth glow
The sky is clear, no longer hear
Illini's ho ho ho
Then up! Tis time to sow and plant
the things you got, and then,
To toil and work and work until
you're back to harvest them!