Actually, it's a hymn, which sometimes finds its way into the Anglican Church.

I have a distinct memory of it from school assemblies in my young, carefree, pre-masturbation days, when at 8.45 am all us boys would go trip-trapping across the yard into the hall, ageless red copies of "Hymns Ancient and Modern" tucked under one arm, or perched on head, or held aloft and headbanged on when someone discovered the "Pie Jesu domine, dona eis requiem" scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If I remember correctly, it was number 363, just over the page from 364, which was the oversung "God is Love, let Heavn' adore him." Yes, we spent hours trying to work out exactly how this went, because of THOSE WORDS! THOSE WORDS! They're AWESOME!

"God of concrete, God of steel,
God of piston and of wheel,
God of pylon, God of steam,
God of girder and of beam,
God of atom, God of mine:
all the world of power is thine.

Yes, this is pretty hot stuff. This is a hymn for your average churchgoing cybergoth. It's all about science, and industry, and research, and all that jazz. Yeah.

Dr Rowan Williams is constantly up in arms about church attendance declining. Young People Today don't see religion as relevant to them (notwithstanding certain Christian rappers that hang out in Hackney from time to time, as a friend of mine knows personally). But this is a golden opportunity for the Church, though. A chance to get bums on pews. If we got a bunch of Bishops belting this out to its delightful, angular melody, with an industrial metal band covering it... oh yes. Bums on pews all round.

On a serious point, though, I'm pretty sure that this little number slightly proves that you don't need to have science and religion in opposition.

(Node 17 of my 30 IRON NODES. I will hit the target, dammit!)

...god of concrete and cold places

The God of Concrete dwells in fireproof emergency staircases, spiraling in square lines up and down through endless towers in drugged-out dreams. Florescent lights flicker between steel fire doors, protecting in shadows the creeping rats that bring offerings to altars tucked away behind rusting grates. Where the harsh splashes of white on grey stop, the black girds them in the robes and veils of their furry order, and they chitter harsh prayers to the saints and martyrs immured in cracks in the walls. In the temple of the God, there are no cats, no competition, nothing but sugary-sweet bubblegum offerings flattened to the rough floor.

And He does not speak so much as echo of the empty places and the edges of dreams that His priests have nibbled away. Every bit of flattened gum is another dream, every wrapper tossed away is another leaf in the Girder Bible and the Psalms of the Rebar. The rats chitter verses, watching from the shadows as exhausted feet shuffle through the darkness, on their way to nowhere ever again.

...god of steel and rusting yards

The God of Steel dwells in the Woodpecker that has an all-night buzz as the chanting litany of his order. Antennas anchor down the dreamtime rusting, lockjaw shrine, and it spans the horizon, shimmering in the dawn light, glimpsed from I-90 through Gary. Unlike the echo of the God of Concrete and his chittering attendants, He is not silent. He is brash and loud and roaring, a veritable railroad alive with cursing and pouring molten things.

But He is mostly rust, and his attendants are caparisoned in headphones or bearing scepters of microphone stands. Wild-eyed, they are the last generation before the God of Copper and the God of Glass, when Marconi was a holy man and musicians sang hosanna, hosanna out of crackling speakers. In the dreamtime, they are wild-eyed East Russians his rig, hooked into the Woodpecker's buzzing, all night, watching over the horizon.

Disagreements over the papal bull have their brothers, the Eastern Rite operators, buzzing back, interfering with holy signal through a hundred enameled rigs, a thousand knobs in the night.

For a slip of paper, for a line of beeps, they say, you can swear yourself to the God of Steel. For a hammer, you can swear, or worship in the church of the last great automotives, singing westwards on the tracks in search of the saints of the God of Steel.

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