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Sunday, July 09, 2006


The Confessions of Ado Annie
St. Augustine and Ado Annie: Separated at Birth?

Several weeks ago we went to the musical Oklahoma at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Nice place, but I first thought I was in some big lecture hall in graduate school. A scary flashback ensued. I wanted to sit up front and call out the answers, but the ushers wouldn’t let me….

Something about the musical occurred to me again, as the actress portraying Ado Annie launched into her song explaining her rather imprudent behavior in the company of men. It really struck me that Annie’s response to temptation and that of St. Augustine’s for the first part of the book, The Confessions of St. Augustine, had some similarities that I thought were worth sharing. Once again, those pesky ushers did not share my enthusiasm for sharing. They asked me to keep silent during the play, or leave. It reminds me of several years ago, during the musical, The Phantom of the Opera, when I blurted out, “IT’S A METAPHOR FOR INSANITY!” So how does the ‘Phantom’ end?

But I digress. I am relying on lyrics found on the internet and credited to Rodgers and Hammerstein because I couldn’t find my copy of The Confessions of St. Augustine. Annie sings:

It ain't so much a question of not knowing what to do.
I've known what's right and wrong since I was ten.

La la la la la …..

I'm jist a girl who cain't say no,
I'm in a turrible fix!
I always say "come on, le's go"
Jist when I orta say nix

Orta! That pretty much sums up the first part of The Confessions of St. Augustine, up until his conversion. St. Augustine, just like his twin sister here, knows what the right thing to do is, but he is just too caught up in the enjoyment of the worldly pleasures. He has not the strength to overcome the temptation, and so he, like Annie, keeps falling into the ‘pit,’ as it were. Someday, they plan on having the intestinal fortitude to stand up and do the right thing - but not today.

Both Augustine and Ado Annie are pushed to ‘do the right thing’ by someone who loves them and wants them to change. St. Monica, Augustine’s mother, follows him from place to place, praying for his conversion. She eventually sees her son convert to the Faith and follow his vocation. Now both mother and son are honored as Saints. Ado Annie’s motivation is from the young man Will, who has just satisfied his own desires for a wanton life. He has returned to take his prize (he even thinks of her when he ropes calves!), and for his own purposes wants her to take on a life of virtue. Let’s listen in….

With me it's all er nuthin'.
Is it all er nuthin' with you?
It cain't be "in between"
It cain't be "now and then"
No half and half romance will do!

La la la la la, la la la la la….

If you cain't give me all, give me nuthin'
And nuthin's whut you'll git from me!

Will Parker is not the epitome of virtue, but he does reflect what God wants of us; namely all of our love and devotion. While both of the subjects of this little essay end up happy – one a saint, the other married to a cowman(happiness is loosely applied here….) – we also see in Jud what happens if one continues down the road of just following one’s desires.

This has been written at a Flesch-Kincaid reading level of 7.2 - I wonder if I took out the "la la la's."



Stephen said...

It sounds like this is a much better experience than the TV one. It wouldn't be a pretty sight to see you try to get rid of Bass Hall

celogomama said...

This fantastic! :)

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

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Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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