Sometimes the mouse over for the xkcd comics is as good or better than the comic itself. That was the case for me with today’s comic. Because through it I found out that the Emily Dickinson poem Death fits the tune of the Gilligan’s Island song. What xkcd wont tell you is that means it will also fit the tune of Amazing Grace or At the Cross. He says this is due to the poem being in ballad meter, though I think all that really matters is that the syllables match.
I could be wrong about that, but the reason that I know you can take the lyrics from Amazing Grace and sing them to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme is from my freshman music class at MBI. We had hymnals we used for the class and it had a chart in back that showed the syllable count for hymns, so that one could sing them to the tunes of other hymns that match. Our teacher stressed the importance of checking to see if the new tune really fit the lyrics. His example was having us sing At The Cross to the Gilligan’s Island tune and he pointed out that the repetition and ending on “such a worm as I” might not be optimum.