On October 31st, it will be 490 years since Martin Luther pinned his 95 statements to the door of the castle church at Wittenberg in Electoral Saxony. (I wonder where I’ll be on the 500th anniversary?) As a momento of this, here are the lyrics for a song sung to a polka-fied tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious”.

The Reformation Polka
by Robert Gebel

When I was ein younger man I studied canon law;
though Erfurt was a challenge it was just to please my pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck; I called upon Saint Anne:
I shaved my head, I took my vows – an Augustinian.

Refrain:
Papal bulls, indulgences and transubstantiation:
speak your mind against them and face excommunication.
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a reformation,
papal bulls, indulgences and transubstantiation.

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St Peter’s profits soared,
so I wrote a little message for the All Saints’ bulletin board;
‘you cannot purchase merit for we’re justified by grace;
here’s ninety-five more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!

Refrain

They loved my tracts, adored my wit; all were ex empleror;
the pope, however, hauled me up before the emperor.
‘Are these your books? Will you recant?” King Charles did demand;
“I will not change my diet sir, God help me, here I stand.’

Refrain

Duke Frederick took the wise approach, responding to my words
by knighting George a hostage in the kingdom of the birds.
‘Use Brother Martin’s model as the languages you seek,
stay locked inside the castle with your Hebrew and your Greek.’

Refrain

Now let’s raise our steins and concord books together in this place
and spread the word that ‘catholic’ is spelled with lower-case;
the word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets a chance,
so come on, Katie, drop your lute and join us in our dance.

Refrain

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