wordsout by godfrey rust
< st john's ealing >

Men of Ealing

For Gill Dallow. Wimpishly, to the tune of "Men of Harlech"

Men of Ealing hear our pleading,
how our gentle hearts are bleeding—
we don't know where things are leading
in these troubled days.
All our lives were nicely shallow,
all our pastures lying fallow
till there came the Rev Gill Dallow
changing all our ways.
Though we all befriend her
(and we daren’t offend her),
how we quake when bread we break
with someone of a very different gender!
It’s a man’s life in the modern clergy
(you get to make up all your own lit-urgy)
and the music’s never dirge-y
when it’s from Youth Praise!

Chaps are jolly good at scheming,
chatting while the dinner’s steaming,
making plans and always dreaming—
preaching fun?
Girls are always organising,
up before the sun is rising,
planning things that are surprising—
getting something done!
O you should have seen her—
no-one could be keener,
whizzing through a creed or two
and dishing out the Hovis and Ribena.
She won’t falter at the altar
(got a constitution like Gibraltar)—
we just hide behind a psalter
soon as she’s begun.

One day she will be at college
filling heads with Bible knowledge,
Pentateuch or Eschatolog-
y she never fails.
Next day she will be a deacon,
lots of home groups, lots of speaking,
funerals most every week in
winter when it hails.
Which is more appealing—
Northwood Hills or Ealing?
LBC theology or
singing Graham Kendrick songs with feeling?
Our theology’s erratic
and we’re only mildly charismatic
but our church is never static
since she came from Wales.

She’s always turned out well God bless her
(stylish clothes for a Welsh dresser),
her deportment would impress a
judge in the Appeals.
Catches eyes of Casanovas
needs no TV show make-overs
gives the pulpit the once over
(wearing her high heels).
Her written work’s exciting,
her critiques are biting
she could be a PhD
if anyone could ever ever read her writing
and O those driving skills she’s shown us
(what shame about her no claims bonus)—
Damon Hill is not alone as
Gill is at the wheel!

Every life must have a pattern—
something you can hang your hat on—
clearing up after Mark Bratton
’s not her only hope.
So the plot may get much thicker
as her sermons get much slicker
till one day to be a vicar
lies within her scope.
She’ll be curing ills den
all the way to Willesden
to no surprise one day we’ll rise
and find out that the diocese is Gill’s den—
making merry with the sherry,
heading down the road to Canterbury—
take us to a monastery—
at least she can’t be Pope!

Performed July 5, 1997 by a small male voice “choir”. Can't remember what the occasion was but it must have been celebrating some milestone for Gill.