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MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS

A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

602-334-8014; chemnitz@bigplanet.com

 

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…

Snorting cocaine

Burning out my brain,

California girls

And Hollywoood

 

(Sellnow) I love…

Biting heads of squirrels

Wearing lace and pearls,

Punk rock and reggae,

And grubs

 

(Crass) I love…

Schuetze when I’m nude*

Looking real confused,

Jock straps in the hall,

And dirt

 

(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.”

 

CHORUS:

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.

 

Moon Joh-ob

Wider than a mile

That Fertile Crescent Smile…Nice Pile

 

You stink maker

Marathon dump-taker

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.