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Iron Butterfly in the Garden

There aren’t many churches where one can hear hymns and “high church” music on the organ, followed by “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” for the postlude. I thought I heard Doug practicing the recognizable riff before worship, but I thought it just reminded me of the song by Iron Butterfly. A quick look at the bulletin, and I thought, “It’s finally happened. Doug has lost his mind!” I blamed the choir.

He told me the song’s original title was “In the Garden of Eden.” When the band first performed it, the lead singer/songwriter, Doug Ingle, was so inebriated his slurred performance made others interpret his words as “in a gadda da vida.” The lyrics and the title stuck! Here we are, 50 years later, listening to it on the church’s organ. Those who know the song were singing along in their heads with the slurry version of what was supposed to be a reference to the Creation story in Genesis.

So, Doug had not lost his mind after all. This was (nearly) perfect for Earth Day! I think it’s great that we are the church who takes our mission in the world, but not necessarily ourselves, seriously! Perhaps Iron Butterfly and Doug Price offer a reminder for us not to get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery (Ephesians 5:18). Or a message from 1 Corinthians 14.9, “Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?”

May we continue to speak CLEARLY that God’s love is in the world, and the kingdom is upon us. Don’t warble or slur your words! In a gadda da vida, honey!

I am grateful to be your pastor,


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