Hallelujah Humor!

If you haven’t seen this yet, well, ’tis the season!

So, music nerds, tell me: what is it that makes this funny? Think about it as you watch, then click Mr. Readmore for this music nerd’s take. 😀

First, of course, there’s the contrast between the “monks,” all still and serious, with their faces obscured, and the way they flip those signs perfectly in time to the jaunty music.

Oh, and it probably helps that many people (depending, perhaps, on a combination of age bracket and nerd factor) will automatically be reminded of this:

(And by the way, I think the reason this clip is funny is that the monks are singing a genuine Latin liturgical text to authentic-sounding music. I’m unsure of the provenance of this particular musical setting, but it sounds like a reasonable facsimile of early organum to me. This medieval style of singing was first documented a few hundred years after King Arthur is believed to have lived — but that’s getting pretty nitpicky right there. 😉 )

But in addition to humor inherent to the concept itself, the execution has several cute creative twists:

  • I like they way the hold the cards up high when the female voices sing, and lower for the male voices.
  • In the middle section that begins, “The kingdom of this world,” they lift the cards with a slow, sweeping motion that fits the change in the music.
  • I love how they handled the alternation of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords,” including the multitasking conjunction! 😀
  • And finally, shaking the cards to illustrate the sustained final “Hallelujah” just wrapped the whole thing up in a bow.

I wish these had been my students, so I could have given them an A+!


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