Sunday, November 02, 2003

Mis-hearing Monty Python

AKMA points out to me that I'd written arms for an ex-leper rather than "alms for an ex-leper" last night. Perhaps it was a hangover from an exercise my older daughter (aged 9) brought home from school the other day to list as many homophones as she could. There's a certain delight in my error -- mishearing elements from Life of Brian is of course the premise for the opening (post-credit) scene of the film, Blessed are the Greek, blessed are the cheesemakers etc.

There's a further odd little story I have related to this. A few years ago, when I was first putting together pages on Jesus Films, I went looking for an on-line script for Life of Brian. I found one headed "The world's most accurate Life of Brian script" and in it, Scene 2 begins "How blest are those who know that He's a god". This is nonsense -- the person taking down the script has misheard it; Jesus actually says "How blessed are those who know their need of God" -- it's the New English Bible version of the Beatitudes that's used in the rest of Jesus' speech. So I wrote to the person who was hosting the site and explained to him the correct wording. He wrote a kind email back saying that my interpretation was one of the more plausible interpretations he had heard of these opening words, but that he could assure me that he had listened to the film at full volume on his hi-fi and that his "interpretation" was the more accurate. I found this delightful in the light of the whole "Blessed are the cheesemakers" thrust of that scene and I shared the story with the Xtalk list. Steve Davies, who used to be the most regular and always the most stimulating poster on Xtalk, wrote a fine email that I wish I'd saved. He explained how the "pseudo-Python" reading, "How blest are those who know that he's a god", should not be dismissed too lightly since it fitted rather well with Thomas's view of Jesus.

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