Redeeming Songs

As children, our music was censored.  Mostly we listened to Gaither records with a bit of Anne Murray and Frank Mills.

When we were exposed to secular music, for example during sports programs at school, we were encouraged to change the lyrics to Christianese so we could sing them without sin.  This was progressive: many leaders in our old church taught explicitly that rock music was of the devil and even folk musicians like Simon & Garfunkel could lead you astray.  We were encouraged to have cassette and CD burnings and ask store managers to change the music when shopping.

So, I changed many pop songs into church-approved god songs.

I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life

became

I knew I loved you before I made you, Did you know I dreamed you into life 

(being romantic with god was OK, but to think this way about a fellow teen could lead to sex…)

What if god was one of us, just a slob like all of us

became

You know God was one of us, here with slobs like all of us

(Heaven forbid we call god a slob!)

The last few years in church I found I could not sing more and more of the songs.  At first, I would just not sing certain words, then I began to change them and sing something else.

Now I change the lyrics of church songs that get stuck in my head.

“Peace, peace, wonderful peace” is now

Sleep, sleep, wonderful sleep. 

As I jump down on this bed from above. 

Sweep over my spirit all night, I pray,

as I rest on these pillows I love.

My all time favourite is my cousins’ rendition of “I come to the garden alone” about the boy next door:

He pees in the garden alone,

When he thinks the neighbours aren’t looking

I think they have 4 verses. 

Any favourites to share to help me when I get something else stuck in my head?

7 thoughts on “Redeeming Songs

  1. Ahab says:

    (Okay, I just submitted a comment and it disappeared. Attempt #2.)

    I’ve never converted song lyrics to Christianese or vice-versa, but I have misheard song lyrics before. There’s a line in “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions that sounds like “feed her bacon, and feed her well.” I always picture some heavy metal groupie scarfing down bacon and eggs when I hear that line.

    There’s also a line in “Zoot Suit Riot” by the Cherry Poppin Daddies that sounds like “Who’s that whispering in the trees / It’s two satyrs and Merryl-Lee.”

    Yes, I’m odd.

  2. many leaders in our old church taught explicitly that rock music was of the devil and even folk musicians like Simon & Garfunkel could lead you astray. We were encouraged to have cassette and CD burnings

    The same folks said country music was OK. Did you ever listen to the lyrics of Country music? Good God! I never knew about S&G nor the CD burnings. Are you serious? What a pack of idiots.

    Lorne and I rewrote hymns, not secular music. About bringing forth royal duodenums and angels prostates falling and such.

  3. St.ain't says:

    “Jesus loves me,
    this I know!
    Parking spaces,
    tell me so!”
    And someone pulls out, right in front of the store.
    amen.

  4. prairienymph says:

    Ahab: I still mishear lyrics.
    When I was a kid, I was convinced the song “spring up Oh wells”, referring to the holy spirit, was actually about whales. It was my favourite until I found out what it actually said.
    I like bacon, maybe I’d like that song 🙂

    Blog Fodder: the ones against rock and Simon & Garfunkel are your contemporaries and weren’t in leadership while you still went. I think they are getting more extreme, at the last big meetings someone was preaching against even being friends with Christians of other denominations.

    St. Aint: Oh the divinely ordained parking spaces! Drives me crazy too.

  5. theo(il)logical says:

    Secular music purgings! I personally loved them! I built up my CD collection in high school thanks to many of my peers wanting to rid themselves of their own! Thankfully they had a modicum of relativism to give me what they found a stumbling block to themselves and dishonoring to god. LOL!

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