HEY, DIDDLE

This sermonette, condensed from a long discourse with no loss, is offered for clinical study. It is a sparkling example of relevance, psychological-symbolic depth, and restrained sentiment; it is a tribute to an art which has been so intensively cultivated that it can bloom, as in this case, without any soil whatever. Modern preaching can be airborne.

Hey, diddle, diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed to see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

From our common heritage of nursery wisdom, no rhyme comes with more compelling relevancy than this charming myth for the space age. Recapture its message, and share in exuberant release from anxiety: Hey, diddle, diddle! Has the steam of modern life dimmed your “diddle?” Consider the affirmations of this verse.

Three profound insights into the human situation are presented: the soaring possibilities of existence; the positive affirmation of existence; and the romantic fulfillment of existence.

First, the transcendent possibilities of existence are expressed in the mythical symbol of the lunar leap. Our space-men first conceived of the possibility of moon travel in the imagery of this verse. Observe that a cow performs the feat. This is not a reference to milk prices, but the cow here is a totem animal, a mother surrogate. We are linked to the cow by milkshakes, hamburgers, and TV. If the moon is in the range of the cow, the cowboy star can shoot there too.

The great challenge of existence brings a positive response from the dog. The little hound finds excitement and merriment in the cow’s achievement. Life can be fun, this mongrel barks. To the merry tune of the cat’s fiddling he bays at the moon.

This musical gaiety introduces ...

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