Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Never a Drop

February 05th, 2018 by G.

I like the old folk song “The Parting Glass.”  Its a beautiful song that is a metaphor about final parting from friends and ultimately death.  (Every parting is a tiny death).  Every parting is worth mourning, because you are leaving friendships behind–“good company”–or else you are leaving behind the chances for good friendship, where you never quite found the way to shake the kaleidoscope so that you and they would fit well together.

Unfortunately, the metaphor is about drinking.

I was laughing at myself for enjoying the song so much when I got perhaps a bit of insight.So imagine some kindly but exasperated soul took me to task.  “You enjoy songs like this but you say you’ve never drunk.”  “Never a drop.”  “Sure, there are risks, and I understand you guys have a rule against it.  But why would you enjoy the accouterments of pub culture but never even try to taste its good fellowship for yourself?  What about the Inklings?  You are avoiding the experience for what is basically a punctilio.”

To which one reply might be something like, “The perfect, ideal man never says one word he ought not, never falls off by one act from the ideal course, never is less than complete in his perfection.  I am not that man.  Not yet.  But one day I will be.  And the Lord has given us easy commandments to follow 100%, in token of the perfection that is to come.”

And so I do the easy things–

I have never drunk a drop.

I have never kept back a dollar of tithing.

–and likewise there are other easy things of which I wish I could say the same, and am working on, but not because any of these things are of the greatest importance themselves.  They are because one day, through heroic repentance on my part and the far more heroic Atonement on Christ’s part, it will be said of me as it said of the highest, in things great or small, in all things, “in him there is not a shadow or blemish.”

 

Comments (11)
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February 05th, 2018 07:15:57
11 comments

Andrew
February 5, 2018

Mormons are rather quite blessed to happily enjoy social company without the need of alcohol as a crutch (or worse, an excuse).


Bookslinger
February 5, 2018

“And the Lord has given us easy commandments to follow 100%, in token of the perfection that is to come. And so I do the easy things.”

Wow. Thank-you. That is an excellent rejoinder to those who discount things like WoW and food-storage, or any of the often discounted teachings.

Brigham Young said: “If you can’t be perfect, be as perfect as you can.”


Ivan Wolfe
February 5, 2018

When my youngest sister and I had a folk music duo going, this was my father’s favorite song that we did.

Since “The Parting Glass” is an indirect mention of alcohol (the song never says exactly what is in the glass, though of course it’s some sort of “adult beverage”), in our minds we just treated it like a “Mormon Parting Glass” – Fruit juice or sparkling cider or something.


Ivan Wolfe
February 5, 2018

But then again, when I perform live, I do all kinds of “drinking songs” that are clearly about the stuff with a kick. For example, “Real Old Mountain Dew” is not about a carbonated beverage (Moonshine Whiskey – “at the foot of the hill/there’s a neat little still”) so I might be a hypocrite.

The songs are such fun, even without drinking, and they are so ingrained in Irish tradition, that to do a set of Irish music without at least a couple of drinking songs would be sacrilege. Of course, there are some songs about how the stuff can ruin your life (The Old Black Rum, for example), so there’s some balance.

Perhaps I’m just a hypocrite. But I think we should take all the good things of the earth, and fun sing along tunes are some of the good things of the earth (at least, that’s how I justify it now).


G.
February 5, 2018

I hereby appoint you blog casuist.


Ivan Wolfe
February 5, 2018

Well, my degree is in Rhetoric, and Socrates and Hugh Nibley saw no real difference between rhetoric and causitry/sophistry (though Aristotle and I do see differences).


T. Greer
February 6, 2018

Auld Lang Syne is another favorite parting song that ends up to be primarily about drinking.


Agellius
February 6, 2018

Andrew:

I suppose people are even more blessed who can get together and have fun without the need for food or music as crutches either. : )


JRL in AZ
February 6, 2018

Fun without food or music! I am aghast. You can’t spell fun without food or music.


Uncle Iroh
February 6, 2018

I had a very stimulating conversation with the Elder who came to my doorstep, but when he mentioned that the Mormons do not drink tea, I was horrified! I invited him inside and we were able to settle our remaining theological differences over a nice herbal blend, but if their religion has such stringent requirements I’m afraid that I would only ever be able to become a theoretical Mormon.


Leo
February 12, 2018

Aussies love their drink, which has led to some bad behavior, but also some touching poetry.

“And one by one, and two by two,
They have sailed from the wharf since then;
I have said good-bye to the last I knew,
The last of the careless men.
And I can’t but think that the times we had
Were the best times after all,
As I turn aside with a lonely glass
And drink to the bar-room wall.”

Full poem by Henry Lawson at https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-outside-track/

Haunting musical setting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cGPclnxZrM

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