Galileo Galilei

© Words and music by Ray Scudero. All rights reserved.

Oh, the papal inquisition
Had demanded a decision
On the final disposition of a man from Italy
Who liked to use a telescope
And play with prisms—he’s no dope;
His findings went before the Pope about reality.
And ere the day was through,
The Pope said, “This won’t do.
“My boy, you must recant
“From your scientific slant ...
“Or it’s excommunication, Galileo;
“We’re booting you away from heaven’s throne.
“Oh, it’s straightaway to Hell with Galileo,
You’ll have no place with Peter, Paul and John.”
(Excuse me—Joan, which rhymes with throne;
No, never mind, let’s use John.)

“What? The earth is not the center?
“Sure the Devil is your mentor!
“You or any such inventor can’t go on
(Which rhymes with John) this way!”

So let’s assume they were succathful
In their actions oh so wrathful
And our hero’s in a bath-full of fire and brimstone;
Just take a look in Hell with me;
You’ll see he’s in good company,
But what he doesn’t know is that the Devil is on the phone.
“Hell-o,” the Devil said.
“It’s me, the Pope. How are you, Red?
“About Galileo, for a start. ...
“You see, we’ve had a change of heart—
“And we’re recommunicating Galileo.
“It seems that Heaven’s just where he belongs;
“That other Pope’s a real far-sighted fellow
“And we can’t suppose he’s guilty of any wrongs.
“Ah, Galileo!
“He knew your talents well
“And wanted research done on Hell;
“Hand your thesis to this angel
“And come along this way. ...
“So nobody can remand us for a blunder Vaticanus;
“Don’t try to understand us—we’re infallible, you know;
“We’re holier than any man on Earth today, with power to damn,
“And so, beware: we also can ... make rules up as we go.”

Just take a look around;
Our ilk lives in your town—
Those holier-than-thou
Who want to run things now.

I salute you, Galileo Galilei!
You’ve got your round-trip ticket after all;
And it’s heavenly and never more the hell-y
Unless someone new should override John Paul.

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