EXETER CATHEDRAL RAG  ( ©Words and Music by Paul F. Cowlan)

One summer holiday, long ago, I worked as a guide in Exeter Cathedral. Thus, this trumpet-blast of irreverence has actually been performed, and enjoyed, in the Vergers’ Office of that venerable building. Since then the cathedral staff have all changed, but how much this has to do with the song in question is difficult to say. I dedicook this sacrilege to their hearts as soon as it was written.


Have you heard about the dance that’s spreading like the fires of Hell?
All the laymen and the clergy and the monks and the nuns as well.
It starts in the quire and ends in the nave, all you have to do is rave, rave, rave.
Everybody’s doing the Exeter Cathedral Rag.

I’ve got Blues in my belfry and Blues in my organ too!
I’ve got so many Blues I don’t know what to do!
C’mon swing your Queen Mr. Dean, then you’ll see just what I mean.
Everybody’s doing the Exeter Cathedral Rag.

When the canon read the lesson he forgot what he was supposed to say.
He turned to the choir and said, “Take them Blues away!”
He danced in the aisle, he danced in the pew,
and when he reached the lectern he danced there too.
Everyone was doing the Exeter Cathedral Rag.

You should hear the Sacrist, he can play it with a lot of soul.
Yesterday he preached a sermon on the history of Rock and Roll.
Ten he took a ‘harp’ and a three-legged stool, played them Blues so doggone cool
he had everybody doing the Exeter Cathedral Rag.

All the congregation they came from near and far
just to hear the Bishop lay it down on his bass guitar.
He played so hard he could not stop,
he had the whole cathedral rocking from the bottom to the top.
Everybody did the Exeter Cathedral Rag.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful .............................................

The Blues has got them all!