There seemed to be one, maybe two common themes in this week's readings; one, the unrequited love poem, and two, the unrequited love poem that's also moderately creepy and predatory. So, one in particular definitely stood out in that it was not either of these things: Number 50, "Pax in nomine Domini!"
This was such an interesting read because it's formatted in a way that sounds to me like it would be a raucous, bawdy performance but the content of the lyrics seems to point very directly to baptism. Of course, I have no context for the poem; I didn't look up anything extra about it, so I don't know who the person was who wrote it, I don't know what intent it was written with or where it was meant to be performed. But, the repeating motif in the lyrics is this "washing tub" which in the first stanza is brought up as something fashioned by 'The most gracious Lord of Heaven.' The basic idea behind this entire poem is that, before one dies, in order to cleanse oneself of sins and avoid the "lowly lodging" that is presumably the Christian Hell, one must get into the washing tub! It's also interesting because it mentions many titles and even a few names throughout the lyrics, which suggest a sort of politically-satirical tone as well; it's almost like a criticism of its time, folded into an almost advertisement-like suggestion that the solution is "the washing tub." "People these days are so sinful, you know what you should do to save your immortal soul? Get in that ol' washing tub we call the baptismal pool!" I can almost imagine a modern version of this lyric -- I feel like "Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan would work, but barring that, you could replace Marquis Ramon with anyone in the 1% or "The Franks" with any given group that's currently frowned upon and there you'd have it. It's a fascinating reflection of its time and the views of the average person -- or at least, of this one Troubadour.