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
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
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?