The Donkey

by Elly Hadaway



A little song for Palm Sunday and Easter! I have an enormous fondness for Chesterton's work, and I've had at least two of my favourite people request that I set this one at some point, so here we are. :-)

The resonance between Chesterton's Christianity and his love of the natural world as always makes me deeply happy in my Christo-Pagan soul. ;-) In this case, I also read in it the Donkey reclaiming terms and throwing the awful treatment of beasts of burden by humans back in our faces with his delight and pride in his participation in the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Not all readers have seen that, however - some have merely seen Chesterton being rude about what is after all a deeply lovable animal with anything but a "monstrous head" or "sickening cry"! See what you think. :-)


When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


released April 9, 2017
Lyrics: G.K. Chesterton
Composer and singer: Elly Hadaway
Donkey artwork: Elly Hadaway
Graphic design: Somhairle Kelly



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Elly Hadaway Derby, UK

Folk singer, ukulele player and songwriter. Mountain-powered, disabled, queer, Christo-Pagan. :-)

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