My continued interest in Sherman has not waned since last month's posting. I wrote a short list of “Fun Facts About William Tecumseh Sherman During the 150th Anniversary of His Invasion of Georgia” which I sent to Like The Dew, a website of Southern Culture and Politics. This Dew posting began an exchange with my old friend, writer and composer Alfred Thigpen, who wrote back that another Sherman Fun Fact was that he had a son who became an ordained priest– much to the objections of the older Sherman. When I quipped to Alfred that it sounded like material for a musical he wrote back with these lyrics within a few hours:
I hold in my hoof a strange invitation,
To attend my son’s priestly ordination.
(spoken) Let me ponder this.
War may be Hell, but Heaven is too,
A flameless place with much ado,
About nothing other than “nice.”
It’s not my notion of paradise.
If invited, I will not attend.
No need to make amends.
If he’s ordained I’ll bid him farewell.
For a warless Heaven is worse than Hell.
Sherman did not attend his son's ordination.
Alfred who grew up in Milledgeville (Ga.) and now lives in the Washington D.C. area, has made other appearances in The Book Shopper blog over the years – a review of Ann Napolitano's A Good Hard Look, a fictionalized account of the life of Flannery O'Connor and my review of Alfred's book Trapped in the Body of Jesus. As an indication of writing worth remembering I recall another Thigpen lyrical piece. In one of the stories, “Division by Zero Is Possible” from Trapped, Thigpen includes a gospel song (he wrote), where Jesus is likened to a Master Electrician:
Is your cir-cuit break-er ground-ed
at th' foot of Cal-va-ry?
Or does the cur-rent over-load you
So you long to be set free?
Op-en wide your ser-vice pan-el
Before things get too hot,
And he'll tie up all your sins
With his un-der-writ-er's knot.
He's the Mas-ter Eee-lec-tri-cian
With a hot wire to your soul,
So won't you des-ig-nate your cir-cuits
To sal-va-tion's pow-er pole?
O-pen wide your ser-vice panel
Before thing get too –
Is There More "Getting My Sherman On" Ahead?
Yeah, it could happen...