No Christian, just a curmudgeon

My favorite song of the month is “St. Jerome the Thunderer,” by Dion. I’m not even a Christian, only a curmudgeon, yet I find this piece uplifting. Plus I can’t stop grinning every time I listen to it.

Yes, Dion is that same Dion DeMucci who recorded such ancient hits as “The Wanderer” (1961) and “I Wonder Why” (originally in 1958)—then and more recently). Now in his 70s, he rocks, totally—better than ever, an inspiration to anyone approaching old-crockdom, not me for example.

I’d recommend Son of Skip James. Hey, it’s so good I didn’t even pirate it. (Plus Dion must also be some kind of non-musical genius, because I couldn’t find this album anywhere online, aside from the Amazon store.)

Seems Dion based his lyrics for  “The Thunderer” on a poem by Phyllis McGinley. This will give you a hint of what to expect:


God’s angry man,

His crotchety scholar

Was Saint Jerome,

The great name-caller

Who cared not a dime

For the laws of Libel

And in his spare time

Translated the Bible.

Quick to disparage

All joys but learning

Jerome thought marriage

Better than burning;

But didn’t like woman’s

Painted cheeks;

Didn’t like Romans,

Didn’t like Greeks,

Hated Pagans

For their Pagan ways,

Yet doted on Cicero all of his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted,

He scolded mankind

Sterner than Swift did;

Worked to save

The world from the heathen;

Fled to a cave

For peace to breathe in,

Promptly wherewith

For miles around

He filled the air with

Fury and sound.

In a mighty prose

For Almighty ends,

He thrust at his foes,

Quarreled with his friends,

And served his Master,

Though with complaint.

He wasn’t a plaster sort of a saint.

But he swelled men’s minds

With a Christian leaven.

It takes all kinds 
to make a heaven.

By the way, here’s a link to another uplifter—the story of a pirated author who actually benefited as a result.