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Ever since this Coronavirus pandemic kicked in it seems our world has been turned upside down. Well, at least we’ve experienced out of the ordinary inconveniences. For us Catholics it’s been so disheartening to not be able to attend mass and receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Many parishes have suspended hearing confessions, leaving our souls at risk. Throw in all the Bible studies, retreats, and social gatherings that have been canceled or postponed, and we’re all in a tizzy. But, for some of us, the worst nightmare of all has been missing the Parish Lenten Fish Fries. I know, I feel your pain.

I was rueing over this yesterday and my mouth began to water for that deep-fried flavor of filleted fish. Here in Ohio, folks prefer their fish beer battered, and sometimes there’s more batter than fish. Personally, I prefer a Southern fried corn meal breading. But, I’ll take what I can get. As I was pondering this, the line came to mind, “It really doesn’t matter if it’s corn meal or beer battered”, and I realized I had something around which I could build a future Billboard #1 hit song. Well, maybe I’ll post it at the top of my home bulletin board. Maybe.

But, I know so many of you share my angst about having to sip tomato soup on Fridays. I know you’d rather be at your parish hall loading up on fish and french fries and washing it down with a cold one. And, you miss catching up on all the gossip that you’d be confessing the next afternoon. So, I dedicate this little ditty to all of you fellow fish fry fanatics.

Oh, by the way, I can write lyrics but I have no musical ability. So, I have to steal tunes. This one is loosely fashioned around Jim Croce’s 1974 hit, “Working at the Car Wash Blues”. Maybe some of you baby boomers will remember it. If not, you can Google it.

The Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues – Lyrics by Jerry Robinson

Well, I was all fired up for the Lenten season,
Had my resolutions typed up neat,
Quitin’ ice cream, layin’ off a cold beer,
And on Fridays I’d abstain from meat.
I planned to fast all week so that I could eat
And stuff myself to the point of abuse,
But I don’t smell the grease fryin’, so now I be cryin’
And singin’ the Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues.
Now this COVID nineteen’s got the world in a mess,
Social distancing’s the new way to roll.
Now I’m stuck at the house and I have to confess
My home cookin’ simply got no soul.
My tastebuds are lackin’ and my lips ain’t a smackin’
On that delectable dish that I choose,
It really don’t matter, corn meal or beer batter,
When I got the Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues.
Yeah, it’s sacrifice and penance I still have to live
‘Cause the Lord gave it all up for me,
But this Co-rona-virus, man, it’s sure gonna try us!
When will the CDC set us all free?
And, this self-isolation has turned to frustration,
I hate it ‘cause I have to refuse
From trekkin’ on down to the church hall in town,
Now I got the Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues
Lord, You know I believe, so please send a reprieve
From these Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues!

I love you all! God bless! Enjoy your tomato soup!

(The Lonesome Lenten Fish Fry Blues was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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