The Innsmouth Tabernacle Choir Hymnal

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Innsmouth Tabernacle Choir Hymnal [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Darrell Schweitzer, illustrated by Allen Koszowski.

Schweitzer The Innsmouth Tabernacle Choir Hymnal

Brother Schweitzer here offers the only contemporary published tome of Elder Filking of which I am aware. It is a veritable thingsend to someone like me, who, though steeped in the lore and unmentionable fluids of Those Who Shall Return, has never had the pious pleasure of attending one of the blasphemous conventicles organized by the Reverend Robert Price under the aegis of the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast. 

The quality of the lyrics is pretty high. My particular favorite is the “Hymn to Yog-Sothoth” to the tune Nun danket. (19) Alas, there are only ten hymns included, making it an inadequate resource for a regular congregation or choir. The madness undergirding our tenuous reality demands a more wide-ranging liturgical inventory. Given that all of the songs in this volume are of Brother Schweitzer’s own invention, however, it is a reasonable achievement. A more robust volume would draw on the exudations of a larger corps of scribes. 

A notable error arises in connection with the hymn “An Eldritch Horror Is Our God.” (15) While it does quite effectively expose the cosmic horror lying at the back of the German reformer’s famous song, it is missing a line at the conclusion of each full stanza. (The text gives two stanzas printed as four.) I propose a one-line refrain to conclude each: “Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!” Alternatively, the title itself “An Eldritch Horror Is Our God” scans adequately.

Allen Koszowski’s illustrations are also quite suitable.