John, Barely Formed

(parody of "John Barleycorn" (traditional))
New lyrics by Mike Fischer

The Story: this old English folk song has been recorded by Traffic, among other artists. A friend at church suggested I write a parody of it; I toyed with the idea, kicked it around, looked at it from various angles, and then the whole thing hit me at once. It was just a question of getting it to rhyme and scan.


In thirty-nine, chapter one, Luke has said
That Mary came with child.
Elizabeth came to greet her now,
John, barely formed, inside.
By now, they've known God's hallowed within,
For God had truly said
That these two women who could not have child
Were bearing sons instead.

Now, Zechariah's wife was past her prime,
But the angel from Heav'n did call.
And the father of John showed his faith was dead;
I'm amazed he lived at all.
Because he sinned, got his voice took away
‘Til the coming of the plan.
The father of John couldn't talk, just hear,
An unbelieving man.

That angel went up to Nazareth,
To a town in Galilee.
He called out to Mary, a virgin chaste,
Saying, "Hail, the Lord's with thee."
He said then 'twas not the stork
Who picked her for this part,
But the Lord, and she will serve Him in birth so glad,
Though it's bound to be so hard.

So she came around, and her son was revealed
When she came into the home.
And there her cousin Elizabeth,
She felt John, barely formed.
She felt him, then, leap; she felt his kicks,
For God's own son was known,
And she said, "I don't deserve to be here with one
Who has found grace that He has shown."

That little boy John grew to play his role,
And the Baptist came to pass.
That little boy John came to say to souls
That the Christ had come at last.
His father finally got his “vox”
When he proudly named him John,
And I think they all depended on the Son of God
Who all our sins and griefs has borne.

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