Five Constipated Men (in the Bible)
DESCRIPTION: "There were five, five, constipated men, In the Bible, in the Bible, There were five... in the five books of Moses": "Cain... who wasn't Abel"; Balaam, who couldn't "move his ass," Moses, who took two tablets, Samson, who brought the house down, etc.
EARLIEST DATE: 1977 (Sing Out! Volume 26)
KEYWORDS: humorous scatological Bible
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
cf. "Power in the Blood" (tune)
NOTES [405 words]: Although this does not seem to have been printed anywhere, and I know no field collections, it seems to be fairly well known in, shall we say, certain circles. Rather surprising, given that it's relatively clean.
What it is not is accurate. Of the five (or six) men mentioned, only three are in fact characters in the Five Books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy):
* Cain and Abel are described in the first part of Genesis 4.
* Balaam is the primary subject of Numbers 22-24; his journey with his donkey (the word used in most modern translations), in which the donkey stopped moving to avoid an angel invisible to Balaam, causing that prophet much (temporary) anger, is in 22:21-35
* Moses is of course mentioned throughout the Bible; the cutting of the two tablets of stone is first mentioned in Exodus 24:12 (although the King James Bible uses the word "tables" there, not "tablets"; the KJV never calls the carved stones of the commandments "tablets")
* Samson's story is in Judges, not the Five Books of Moses; he is the subject of Judges 13-16, with his destruction of the Philistine banqueting hall being told at the end of chapter 16
* Solomon again is not mentioned in the Books of Moses; his story occupies much of 1 Kings (almost all of chapters 3-11, and a big chunk of chapters 1 and 2 as well). It is retold in the early chapters of 2 Chronicles. The reference to him "sitting" for forty years is unclear -- he reigned for forty years (1 Kings 11:42), but that's not sitting. Although it should be admitted that he didn't do much except raise taxes and chase women.
* Some versions apparently add a sixth constipated man, Titus. This isn't even Old Testament, let alone from the Books of Moses. Titus is mentioned by Paul about nine times in 2 Corinthians (in chapters 2, 7, 8, and 12), and twice in Galatians 2; also in 2 Timothy 4:10, and he is the supposed recipient of the letter to Titus (although mentioned only in 1:4). Acts 18:7 also refers to a "Titius Justus," but the manuscripts disagree here (the two best read "Titius," several others read "Titus"; most late manuscripts omit the name; the King James Bible follows those which omit it).
Thanks to Jack Horntip for pointing out the mention of this in Sing Out! from 1977. It does not supply a text (the snippet on Google Books appears to be of a Song Finder column), but there is no question but that it refers to this song. - RBW
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