Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Cockney Bible, Innit?

In April 2001 Mike Coles, a teacher in a secondary school in Stepney, London published his Cockney Bible (or bits of it anyway). Coles had found that translating texts into Cockney rhyming slang made them more appealing and accessible for students. He translated nine stories from the Bible and had them published as the Cockney Bible, which was later endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Originally intended as a code language to keep information from the authorities, Cockney substitutes words for rhyming alternatives or pairs. Bear this in mind while reading and enjoying the following excerpts.

The Lord's Prayer

Hello, Dad, up there in good ol’ Heaven,

Your name is well great and holy, and we respect you, Guv.

We hope we can all ‘ave a butcher’s at Heaven and be there as soon as possible: and we want to make you happy, Guv, and do what you want ‘ere on earth, just like what you do in Heaven.

Guv, please give us some Uncle Fred, and enough grub and stuff to keep us going today, and we hope you’ll forgive us when we cock things up, just like we’re supposed to forgive them who annoy us and do dodgy stuff to us.

There’s a lot of dodgy people around, Guv; please don’t let us get tempted to do bad things.

Help keep us away from all the nasty, evil stuff, and keep that dodgy Satan away from us, ‘cos you’re much stronger than ‘im.

Your the Boss, God, and will be for ever, innit?

Cheers, Amen.

Jesus Calms the Storm

One evening, Jesus said to his chinas, “Let’s go to the other side of this ‘ere lake.”

So they left all the people, and the disciples got into the nanny and set orf. There were quite a few other nannies there too.

And then, would you Adam and Eve it, a huge wind started to blow up, and the waves got so bloomin’ big that they began to spill into the nanny. It got to the stage where the nanny was almost gonna fill up with fisherman’s.

Despite all this, Jesus was at the back of the nanny ‘aving a feather, lying there with his loaf on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, we’re about to die. Don’t you care?”

Jesus got up from his little feather and shouted at the wind, “Oi, be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Oi, be still!” The wind suddenly died dahn, and it became really calm. Jesus then said to his chinas, “What is it with you lot? Why were you all so frightened? Do you still not have faith?”

But the disciples were in a right ol’ two and eight.


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