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Amazing Press

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Amazing Press

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Amazing Press
(Judy McCulloh)
Amazing Press, how sweet the book
That saved a wretch like me;
They wrought a miracle, gadzook:
My manuscript set free.
The Press has saved my tenure here,
The Press my fears relieved;
How precious did that Press appear
When books I first received.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
My editor has come;
The Press has kept my job thus far,
The Press has saved my home.
Yes, when the spoken word shall fail
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess in printed tale
A life of joy and peace.
note: I can't resist offering this parody from two decades ago.  It appeared
in the "Exchange", the newsletter of the Association of American
University Presses (our AAUP), no. 13 (January, 1977).  One of our trade
journals, "Publishers Weekly", had just run an article about the American
Booksellers Association's contest--first/only prize $40,000--for a song
that would inspire greater attention to (read: purchase of) books.
The winning song was hugely insipid.  If it was sung once, it surely was
never sung again. Some of us got to thinking If only we'd known about
this contest, we could have come up with something a whole lot better
than "that", for pete's sake.  One comment led to another, and suddenly
the phrase "amazing press" suggested itself.  I pulled my Sankey et al.
"Gospel Hymns Nos. 1 to 6 Complete" off my shelf and in five minutes had
created the following, which we fired off to the "Exchange" in a so-there!
Since Illinois is a scholarly
employees will set to learning this song, so that it can be sung at the
annual meeting in Asheville next summer.
     When our then-director, Miodrag Muntyan, read this in the
"Exchange", he called me in to his office and asked how "Amazing Grace"
went, since he'd never heard it.  For him, "Amazing Press" was not a
parody, just some mildly amusing verses, presumably sung to a known tune,
that one of his employees had cobbled together.  At least he didn't fuss
that I'd done this on office time....JMcC
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III