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What color IS God's hat?

Posted by mike gregory on Tuesday, February 3, 2009

like this

Another BHO member  suggested that I make this available for general reading.

I first heard it as a retelling of an ancient African folk tale. It was recounted by Joseph Campbell, a scholar of Religion.

But his version didn't rhyme.

MY version, you can (if you want to) recite or even SING to a banjo beat!


This story comes from Africa, A long, long time ago,

about two farmers in their fields, each with his row to hoe.

That's when God went walking down the road between

Wearing one of his many hats, the one that's blue and green.

The blue side , it was pointed East, the green side pointed West

And anyone who saw one side, just plain couldn't see the rest.

So one man saw the green side, and one man saw the blue

Looking at God's brand-new hat, from different points of view.

And God just kept on strolling, enjoying the morning breeze,

until he passed out of their view, behind a clump of trees.

That's when God started walking back, heading away from town,

but just before he did that, he turned his hat around.

So the man who saw the green side, and the man who saw the blue,

saw the same side as before, when God when walking through.

And both men, having seen the God, they dropped their tools down

And went a-running rapidly, to tell the news in town.

The one man said "I've seen the God, and as proof of that,

I can tell you honestly: He wears a bright green hat!"

The other man cried "HERETIC! That's not the way it is!

God's hat is a lovely blue! I saw that hat of his."

From having different viewpoints, each man knew he was right

And that's the basic reason why they had a nasty fight.

They were screaming, punching, kicking, and rolling in the mud

The villagers were scared that soon they'd both be spilling blood.

Just before some bones got broke, to everyone's surprise

God came into the village square, and said "Excuse me, guys!"

No one in the village had ever expected THAT,

and lo, behold, upon God's head, he wore that selfsame hat.

Then God explained that He didn't care, if those two men fought.

As God, he's far above such things, but he left them with this thought:

"While men are busy fighting, there's farming that's not done,

and there's no chance to do a dance, and songs aren't getting sung.

No children get their teaching, no artworks get produced

And while the herdsmen watch you fight, the flocks are running loose.

What's more, I'm going to mention, since God is what I be,

the number of the hats I wear, can reach infinity.

So fight on, if you feel you must, but let me warn you that

I hope you've better things to do, than argue ‘bout my hat!


49 comments on “What color IS God's hat?”

Greg Connor Says:
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 @6:39:14 AM

Very Good Mike!  It keeps things in perspective.

Old git Says:
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 @7:44:18 AM

I don't know what colour Gods hat is, but Lee Marvins hat was definately black. Are you still singing that old song Mike. I was born under a......... he he

muntjac Says:
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 @9:28:56 AM

I knew i'd seen that hat somewhere before....... hehe

DandyRandy Says:
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 @11:53:26 AM

That's great. Could you email me a copy? I couldn't get it to copy and am too lazy to type it out. Thanks!

pandjlocke Says:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 @9:56:12 AM

Excellent, oh Wordmeister!

Louisiana Rose Says:
Saturday, July 25, 2009 @10:38:42 AM

A timely reminder, If only people would take heed of those words, the world would be a much happier place

randallaustin Says:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 @11:50:47 AM

did you get my message??

mike gregory Says:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 @1:26:55 PM

Yes, I got your message. What message did YOU get, from the above poem?

freakydays Says:
Friday, August 21, 2009 @1:20:58 AM

Hi Mike! IT#s really great and I would like to read it with young people! Tahnk you, freakydays

freakydays Says:
Friday, August 21, 2009 @1:21:11 AM

Hi Mike! IT#s really great and I would like to read it with young people! Tahnk you, freakydays

freakydays Says:
Friday, September 4, 2009 @5:46:28 AM

Hi Mike! I've read it with 100 young pepole and everybody loved it! Two girls immediately ran out in search of a guitar to invent an accompaniement - but they din't find one. One of them really "preached" the text in a totally enthusiastic way. Thank you once again!

mike gregory Says:
Friday, September 4, 2009 @6:21:54 AM

Oh, for SHAME! A Gwee-TAR?? Hath ye not a BANJO, to lead the Youths and Youthettes into the Realms of Righteous Joy?

Well, as long as they liked it, I'm glad for them.

djingodjango Says:
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 @7:22:41 AM

Thank you, Mike. You have a gift and I have a new story to tell at my next mens prayer breakfast on Thursday. Keep writing.

Boog Says:
Thursday, October 8, 2009 @10:41:38 AM

Fine work Mike! Keep writing!

God's a nice fellow so I think he probably wears a Chicago Cubs (sigh) ball cap :)

caddielad Says:
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 @3:24:26 AM

Nice Mike, very Seuss-ian...Even a cynic like me can appreciate an artful message of tolernace.

BryanWB Says:
Saturday, November 7, 2009 @5:22:04 AM

I think God plays the banjo.
Seriously Mike, terrific message, thanks for that.
Best wishes, Bryan, Devon, England

banjoy Says:
Saturday, November 14, 2009 @10:56:03 AM

Perfect! I'm glad now, finally, there's a story to show I'm right and everyone else is wrong. What's so hard about understanding that?! Just kidding, just KIDDING. I wonder if this story blows by some folks. Always did like Joseph Campbell but you're right, yours rhymes better. Love to read more :)

Janet Deering Says:
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 @8:22:15 AM

Great story! Thanks, Mike. Right on! All the best to you.

JasonL Says:
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 @9:45:52 AM

Hi Mike, I wish more people would read that message.

frailin Says:
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 @8:43:35 AM


Johnboy109 Says:
Friday, June 11, 2010 @6:04:29 PM

That one must be buried deeep in the Vatican library.Glad you posted it.

terrysongs Says:
Sunday, June 20, 2010 @6:24:28 AM

Hats off to you, the wheat and the tars may very well stay out of the bars,but I see men like trees walking ;)

ronwalker49 Says:
Monday, August 30, 2010 @4:51:10 PM

Hey Mike...I read the poem to my Sunday School class Sunday morning.....It was very well received....Thanks....Ron

nickbanjoman Says:
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @3:18:03 AM

thats great

Vanbanjoboy Says:
Saturday, December 18, 2010 @2:09:27 PM

I like it Mike, good post :-)

wb4yal Says:
Monday, December 20, 2010 @7:42:11 AM

That is an excellent story, thanks for sharing Mike!

Micki Says:
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 @12:56:45 AM

Mike As Gordon always likes for me to tell him what you have debated each time, and he has always enjoyed and said "Mike is a "Master Debater", he really enjoyed this one. Well spoken. Micki

blamethebanjo Says:
Monday, January 31, 2011 @6:59:42 AM

Mike, I have read that long ago but never in such an entertaining way as you offer it!

David Cunningham Says:
Friday, February 4, 2011 @5:21:14 PM

Quite profound. Thank you.

Gears_D_Husky Says:
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @12:27:43 PM

haha nice mike ^o^ i enjoyed reading that :P
thankies ^u^

cookge Says:
Saturday, May 14, 2011 @2:10:42 AM

That about sums it all up for me Mike !

Norwegianplayer Says:
Monday, May 16, 2011 @3:31:48 AM

That's nice, and right on! None of us have the whole truth. Think I will try to make a norwegian version. Hope you don't mind.

mike gregory Says:
Monday, May 16, 2011 @4:23:14 AM

Anybody who wants to, may re-tell this story in any language they want. Campbell said it was an ancient African folk tale. All I did was re-tell it in rhyming English. I don't own it, and since it's about different ways of perceiving the Infinite, it would be horribly stupid of me to insist that MY way of perceiving and describing ti is the ONLY way it can be done.

Norwegianplayer Says:
Monday, May 16, 2011 @4:46:51 AM

In the spirit of the tale, I see your point. I have allready made a version. I'll try to tell it on rhyme of course with banjo acc. God bless!

rbergesch Says:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 @8:20:02 PM

Love the story. But I don't think it was a blue hat or green hat, or a Cubs hat... Might have been a NYFD hat, though...

mike gregory Says:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 @10:23:25 PM

If that stands for
"Not Your Favorite Deity",
you've just possibly offended members of every single one of the world's several Only True Religion(s)!

pstroud1 Says:
Thursday, September 29, 2011 @1:39:38 PM

Thanks Mike, great story. I think I'll put it on fb and let all my kids see it.
Hope your well and healthy, haven't seen you post in a while?
Take care, Paul

banjomikey Says:
Thursday, September 29, 2011 @2:28:25 PM

Uh, it's green. Duh! C'mon guys, I should know. I'm Thor.

Waltj Says:
Thursday, October 20, 2011 @5:28:45 PM

A good message for everyone, even a sarcastic agnostic can appreciate this. Thanks

Wendy The Train Gal Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @7:03:18 PM

I Love IT!!!!!!!!!!!

BillSchmelzer Says:
Friday, January 25, 2013 @8:15:25 AM

Thanks! Have passed on to family and friends after just coming across it today!

Nels Says:
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 @7:06:23 PM

Great way of telling the story. Reminds me of my Sunday school teacher who would get our youth group to visit and interact with youth groups from all the various congregations in town- Catholic, Jewish, Breathern, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Congregational...that was in the 50's...we all learned alot.. In the 80's and 90's my kids did the same with their youth group. We could all see the many hats, not all, but quite a few.

rinemb Says:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @4:00:51 PM

Good story. I don't impart a lot of wisdom, but in the last few years (regarding religeon/religeous dogma,doctrine,practices,etc) I have reached a conclusion that in our worldly home, most of us cannot possibly get it-100% correct. So God bless the christians, the jews, the others. Enjoy your faith and practices. Go to communion, drink wine, drink grape juice, eat a wafer, eat a loaf of rye bread with caraway seeds....go dive in a river, dunk in a tub, get sprinkled on the a thick book, read a poem, read Mike's Story. Let God sort it all out later. One thing we can all agree to do, is "follow the golden rule," the Dou, the 10 commandments etc. If we do that we will have time to pick banjos, and the flowers. You go to your church, and I'll go to mine..... Brad

mike gregory Says:
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @7:03:06 AM

Fair enough, rinemb! I haven't found one that makes sense to me, but it doesn't bother me if somebody finds one which makes sense to them. It only bothers me when they dare to imply that the Creator is too stupid to have thought up any religion other than the one they like best.

Dan Knowles Says:
Saturday, May 18, 2013 @6:19:04 AM

Thanks for posting this poem.

JanetB Says:
Friday, July 26, 2013 @9:02:08 AM

Those Africans were very wise, as you must be, too, Mike. I enjoyed reading your poem this morning--thanks!

C Nyal de Kaye Says:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @4:37:48 PM

Good Mike, thanks for posting it. I am about to print it out.

jbestbanjo Says:
Saturday, July 12, 2014 @10:31:27 PM

Great piece! Don't know why, but when you said to sing it to a banjo tune, I had to go with the ballad of Jed Clampet

mrphysics55 Says:
Friday, September 25, 2015 @7:12:34 PM

: >)

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