Folk Gospel Pearls page 1


I enjoy old-timey American folk music, but not so much the old-timey American Christianity in some of it. Singing along to folk gospel just feels wrong to me – which is too bad, ’cause it has some great tunes! Utah Phillips said, “The Wobblies [the Workers of the World union] liked to steal the hymn tunes – ’cause they were pretty – and change the words so they made more sense.” (e.g. “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” became “Dump The Bosses Off Your Back”) For now i just draw these irreverent doodles, like an oyster making pearls in reaction to sand grit…

From THE CHERRY TREE CAROL, a song that migrated from England to the Appalachians: “Then Mary spoke to Joseph / So meek and so mild / ‘Joseph, gather me some cherries / For I am with child”

In the comic, Mary says, “Joseph! Gather cherries, for I am with child!”
Joseph, startled, says, “What?! But we haven’t even – ”
“CHERRIES! NOW!” Joseph runs away.

Later, Mary shoves cherries from a bowl into her cherry-stained face while Joseph slouches exhausted. “Mm, thank you. Mlorf.” After eating all the cherries, she says, “Ah – Urp,” then suddenly vomits all over a horrified Joseph. (“BLARF!”)

Josephs stomps away. “I’m OUT of here.”
“What? No!”

(The actual story in the song, it turns out, is Joseph refuses because he thinks Mary’s cheated on him, so fetal Jesus commands a cherry tree to bend down and give Mary some fruit!)

Here is the first of two pages I made for the alphabet-structured Hot Tea, Cold Water #3, marking the first time in a couple of years that I’ve submitted to an anthology I wasn’t co-editing. The second page, as you might expect, has more doodles from different songs.

- Folk Gospel Pearls p.1 of 2 -

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