Mairzy Doats, or being irrelevant

ir·rel·e·vant– adjective: not relevant; not applicable or pertinent

mairzydoatslabel.jpgIn 1943, a song named “Mairzy Doats”was played for the first time on the radio powerhouse WOR New York by Al Trace and his Silly Symphonists. Making the pop charts several times, actually hitting No. 1 in March 1944 with a version by the Merry Macs,  the song was a hit with American soldiers in both theaters. It is even alleged that its nonsensical lyrics were used as passwords.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
     and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
     and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe

To someone who didn’t listen to the whole song and only saw these lyrics, the song is simply silly, though it does have a catchy tune. But, if you hear the bridge of the song, it suddenly makes sense:

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

What was jibberish to the ear now becomes intelligible.

I recently read about an interesting experiment carried out by the Washington Post. It involved taking world famous violinist Joshua Bell (who commands $1000 per minute to play), putting him incognito in a subway station and having him play as a street musician. The goal was to see if, without the fanfare and tux, anyone would stop and listen because he is so good. The result? Hardly anyone stopped. The Washington Post took the slant that the fault of not recognizing the genius of the great musician lay with the audience.

However, as a famous subway musician known as The Saw Lady points out,
The thing is Joshua Bell is a great violinist but he doesn’t know how to busk. There are violinists who are not even close to being as good as he is…yet they get crowds to stop and listen to them. It’s because when you play on the street you can’t approach it as if you are playing on a stage…You need to be as good a musician…but in addition to that you have to relate to the audience and be a real people’s person. You can’t hide behind your instrument and just play…you [must] use the passers by as if they were paint and your music is the paint brush – your goal is to create a collective work of art with the people, in the space, in the moment with you and the music.

The greatest musician in the world was simply irrelevant in his context. Just like Mairzy Doats without the key. 

What is the danger that those of use who claim to be followers of the Jesus Lord find ourselves in the same scenario? We carry the greatest message ever given to mankind, but we hide behind it and do not relate to our audience. We simply become irrelevant, and the world relegates us to the insignificant.

Do we have that right? Or do we find the way, any way, to make the message relevant, even if it offends the established religious establishment.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey . . .


One response to “Mairzy Doats, or being irrelevant

  1. This was going great until that part at the end about the mythical Jesus character and some other ridiculousness.

    I agree, you “do not relate to [the] audience. [Christians] simply become irrelevant, and the world relegates [them] to the insignificant.”

    It’s amazing people still hold on to Christianity, despite the collective true knowledge of mankind being available to them via the internet. We (human beings) KNOW right from wrong. It is possible to have morals without religion.

    If humanity does not start enforcing this philosophy soon, we’ll never see the end of conflict amongst nations and drive ourselves to extinction rather than healing the Earth and freeing mankind from a lucky object that hasn’t been struck by a major meteor for hundreds of thousands of years. A very insignificant window of opportunity on the grand scale of time and the universe.

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