Saturday, July 9, 2011

Barney the Friendly (or Purple) Dinosaur as French Revolutionary

"Anyone today who would worship with mimes and balloons, with instant folk music composed by commercial interests, is capable of singing the 'Ronde de la Décade' about the elimination of the sabbatarian calendar:
Oublions saint Roche et son chien
Saint Crépin et saint Crépinien
Et Monsieur le Cochon
Du saint en capuchon
Celébrons la Décade."
George William Rutler, "Church and state in Vianney's youth," Appendix I to Saint John Vianney:  the Curé d'Ars today (San Francisco, CA:  Ignatius Press, 1988), 228, citing Albert Mathiez, La théophilanthropie et le culte décadaire, 1796-1801 (Paris:  Félix Alcan, 1904), 64, which punctuates and formats it differently, as in this lame attempt at a translation:
Let's forget St. Roch and his dog,
St. Crispin and St. Crispinian
     And Monsieur the Pig
     Of the saint in cowl.
     Let's celebrate the Décade, . . . etc. [(Refrain)]
I know absolutely nothing about the Republican calendar, or any of the word play here, but 5 Frimaire (formerly 25 November) was apparently the day of the pig.  None of the Catholic saints mentioned in this stanza were associated with 25 November.  "Du saint en capuchon" is obscure to me, but the pig was an attribute of St. Anthony of Egypt, so could he be the "saint en capuchon"?  His feast day was 17 January.

Probably I've got this all wrong.  Nonetheless, what Rutler makes of it stands alone.

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