King's English – the poem
108 Biblical Phrases with references. (Video here).
God forbid the powers that be
Forgetting the begetting of the KJV
It’s put words in our mouth for 400 years,
Turned the world upside down , so here’s my three cheers.
As a sign of the times , I’ll sing its praises,
Shout from the rooftops one hundred phrases.
Miserable comforters may cast aspersions,
I’ll do this in remembrance of the Authorised Version.
Like a fiery dart I made haste to start
Then fell by the way side, was cut to the heart
In the beginning, it seemed easy game
How the mighty are fallen, I was put to shame.
This labour of love turned a worldly care.
My dream became my cross to bear.
I wished to wash my hands of the suff’ring,
To find a scapegoat, pay a peace off’ring.
The years of plenty gave way to famine,
I counteth the cost, had to re-examine.
I’d girded my loins then bitten the dust
Put my house in order as needs must.
I’d led myself like a lamb to slaughter
Success was as likely as wine from water
With this thorn in my flesh, crying “Woe is me”
With weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I got carried away, knew not what I did.
Twas a task that mastered, a bottomless pit.
Beside myself, sore tempted to chuck it,
My tally remained just a drop in the bucket.
Twas a beast of burden, grievously borne.
I needed shelter from the storm.
I could not find what I did seek,
The Spirit was willing, the flesh was weak.
It’s written, “Pride goeth before a fall”
And for me that writing was on the wall.
At my wits end, thought none could save it,
This task was Goliath and I was David.
The time was short, my days were numbered,
This stumbling block had me encumbered.
The kingdom of God may come with great power,
My grapes had become decidedly sour.
The sweat of my brow began to glisten
He that hath ears, let him listen
There’s a time for everything, but first check
That it’s not a millstone around your neck.
I fear it’s too long to fight the good fights
If it takes 40 days and 40 nights.
Tis vanity of vanities, but I should have figured
Doesn’t it say “No rest for the wicked”?
In sackcloth and ashes, and laughed to scorn,
I wished to high heaven I’d never been born.
I was stiff-necked, hard hearted with feet of clay,
Awaiting my own private judgement day.
Then before I gave up the ghost
The Lord appeared with heavenly host.
As fast as you can say “Let there be light”
In the twinkling of an eye, like a thief in the night.
Twas my road to Damascus, my burning bush,
For this doubting Thomas needed a push
Behold the Man! From heaven He came
The Word become flesh, one and the same.
With tender mercies He casteth out fear,
And said unto me, “Son be of good cheer!
I suffer fools gladly, and that’s where you’re standing
This task indeed passeth your own understanding.
“You’re sore brokenhearted and none too smart
But clearly a man after my own heart.
Dearly beloved, to me you belong
And I will grant you to speak in tongues.”
So the truth set me free, Alleluia, Amen.
Out of the mouth of this babe who’d been born again
Phrases were fruitful and multiplied further.
The Lord as my helper, my cup runneth over.
O me of little faith, I didn’t fall short.
Just look at what my God hath wrought!
By the skin of my teeth? No we’ve done it in style
And even gone the extra mile.
So long live the King – Jesus we mean
But thank God King Jimmy has sown the seed.
So verily, verily we say unto thee
Happy birthday KJV
Some of the phrases originate from earlier translations, some from later, and some have evolved from their biblical roots into more modern idioms. I hope you’ll forgive the odd bit of poetic licence.