MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS
A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.
6421 W. Poinsettia Drive
SONGS SUNG AT WISCONSIN LUTHERAN SEMINARY
Pastor Jonathan Balge put together a set of Schwein songs (a Schwein is a seminary beer party) on April 28, 1989, two years after he was ordained. He served as the assistant pastor for District President Robert Mueller (Michigan District, WELS), his second call. His father is a professor at the seminary.
Jonathan Balge wrote in his introduction: “Typed words on a white sheet don’t compare to the raw excitement of the live performances. But it is hoped that these words will help former Sem students ‘be there’ again.”
I have copied a few songs from the 41 pages of the Balge magnum opus. Most are not this bad, but they give a flavor for what is done, admired, repeated, and remembered with a nostalgic lump in the throat. At the bottom of the introduction is an etching of the beautiful seminary tower with a cross on it. The seminary building was designed to remind the students of the Wartburg.
The complete set of songs once belonged to a WELS pastor, now living with his girlfriend instead of his wife and children. He kept them for nine years.
Several songs are about GA, the secret initiation rite at the seminary. The GA songs are sung at the Bonecruncher, apparently to warn and scare the college seniors (Kinder).
SONG: Baby Ducks
WRITER: D. Sellnow
DATE: Fall of 1982
(Marshall) I love…
killing baby calves,
Girls with big bottom halves
Lots and lots of food,
And Dog Pyle.
(Nitz) I love…
Burning out my brain,
(Sellnow) I love…
Biting heads of squirrels
Wearing lace and pearls,
Punk rock and reggae,
(Crass) I love…
Schuetze when I’m nude*
Looking real confused,
Jock straps in the hall,
(ALL) AND I LOVE BEER, TOO!
*during a “Dreck Inspection” by President Schuetze that year, he walked in on the entirely nude and unsuspecting Matt Crass, who had just come from the shower
SONG: Martin and Katherine
ORIGINAL: “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar Mellencamp
WRITER: D. Sellnow
DATE: Luther Schwein 1982, Movie in 1983
Little ditty ‘bout Martin and Katherine
Two young kids growing up in the Deutschland,
Marty’s gonna be a preacher man,
Kathy’s the debutante in the back of Marty’s van.
Suckin’ on sauerkraut
Drinking beer, living free
Katie sitting on Marty’s lap
Marty got his hand on her knee,
Marty say, “Katie, let’s run off behind the shade trees
Toodle off down by the brook, live life as we please.”
Ooh, yeah, live goes on
Long after the thrill of monasticism’s gone
Ooh, yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of monasticism’s gone…
SONG: G. A. Never Sleeps
ORIGINAL: “Rust Never Sleeps” by Neil Young
WRITER: D. Sellnow
DATE: Bonecruncher in 1983
My, my; hey, hey;
Kinder, would you like to stay?
It’s better to endure than to run away,
My, my; Hey, hey.
A little bit blue, a little bit black
You’re afraid of this, afraid of that.
And once you start, you can never turn back
You’re in the lagoon, and the mud is black.
On a day that will not soon be forgotten
Last one in is an egg that’s rotten,
It’s do or die—no questions asked
On a day we call “Gemuetlichkeit Abend.”
Hey, hey; my, my;
Don’t worry, you won’t die
But you might throw up, and you might cry
Hey, hey; my, my.
SONG: “Moon Job”
ORIGINAL: “Moon River,” sung by Andy Williams
WRITER: Jon Balge
DATE: Fall of 1983, first performance of Quartet Lowbrau—Balge, N. Krause, S. Freese, J. Rockhoff, A. Krause. A classmate was known for having his posterior visible frequently.
Wider than a mile
That Fertile Crescent Smile…Nice Pile
You stink maker
Where e’re you are going
Your back forty’s showing
Two big cheeks
Straining to get loose
Where’d you get that big caboose…you moose?
We’re after the same full moon’s end
Waiting ‘round the bend
My Dungeons-Dragons friend
Moon Jo-ob, and me.
[Pastor Gregory L. Jackson – The student left seminary without graduating.]
SONG: The Sem, It Never Changes
ORIGINAL: “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan
WRITER: Joel Nitz
DATE: Bonecruncher 1987, Joel was the “Exegete”
Come, gather round Kinder
And don’t try to roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that you’ll soon be drenched to the bone
If your life to you is worth savin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the Sem, it never changes.
Come weak ones, come strong ones
Crawl out of your den
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
You’ll get hit on the chin
And there’s no tell’ where you’ll be racin’
For the Kinder are sows
You must understand
That the Sem—it never changes.
Come short ones, fat ones,
Thin ones, and tall
Don’t lurk in the doorway
Don’t hide in the hall
For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the Sem—it never changes.
Come pietists and party-poopers
Throughout the Sem
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
These Kinder right here
And beyond your command
For safety is not our concern
Please get out of the way
If you can’t lend a hand
For the Sem—it never changes
The line is drawn
The curse it is cast
You can’t change G.A.
It’s too much of a blast
So just follow the rules
This tradition will last
No matter what they are sayin’
For these Kinder now
Will have to be Mensch
And the Sem—it never changes.
SONG: “Crusty Towels Molding on the Bathroom Floor”
ORIGINAL: “Chestnuts Roasting on the Open Fire”
WRITER: Joel Voss
DATE: Christmas Party, 1984
Crusty towels molding on the bathroom floor,
Body odor wafts from hall to hall,
Empty Blatz cases numbering thirty—maybe more—
We’re the Seminary—confessional.
The married Mensch goes home to his pregnant wife,
Junior’s diapers—stinking full
These are the joys of the married Mensch’s life—
Part of the Seminary—confessional
They know Sem’s panic on its way,
The girls get uglier with every passing day,
So many classes to go and sleep right through,
Before the day of calls really comes true.
The bombers marry in their teenage days
Northwestern’s men wed buffaloes
Although it’s been said, many times, many ways—
Seminary, seminary, seminary—confessional.