Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Old Time (Mormon) Religion

Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Oh give me that old time religion
It's good enough for me!

You may have heard the gospel standard "Old-Time Religion." It's an ode to the spiritual devotion of previous generations of Christians ("It was good enough for my mother/my father/Paul and Silas/the Hebrew children" etc). Setting aside possible qualms about its inherently fundamentalist nature, it's a wonderful song and I love it.


Pete Seeger wasn't big on organized religion, but he didn't let that stop him from performing (his own version of) a classic. He just pretended to be nostalgic for equally ancient religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. He sang it with verses like "Let us pray with Aphrodite / Let us pray with Aphrodite / She wears that see-through nightie / And it's good enough for me!" and "We will pray with Zarathustra / We'll pray just like we used ta / I'm a Zarathustra booster / And it's good enough for me!" and "We will pray with those old druids / They drink fermented fluids / Waltzing naked through the woo-ids / And it's good enough for me!" Egyptian, pagan, and new-age religions are also included. It's a wonderful parody. Here's some guy on youtube performing one version:


So what would a Seegeresque Mormon version--one that gently pokes fun at our tendencies to lionize early leaders and only tell our best history--sound like? I've come up with two verses so far:
We will pray with Joseph Smith / Say monogamy's a myth / We'll get married--who knows with / And it's good enough for me!

We will pray with Brother Brigham / We'll embrace the curse of Ham / And believe that God is Adam / And it's good enough for me!
I'd love to hear any verses you all could come up with!

Note: This isn't meant to be disrespectful or antagonistic towards any person or the institutional church--in fact, I'll bear testimony of the LDS Church, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and its current prophet-president, Thomas Monson, to anyone who will listen. It is rather meant to be taken both as a celebration that we are a living church and as a reminder that church leaders and members haven't always done things that are easy for us to understand and wholly accept. That doesn't make the church untrue, it makes it colorful!

9 comments:

  1. Maybe a stretch?

    We will pray with John C. Bennett,
    While he claimed he really meant it,
    He never lived a single tenet,
    But it's good enough for me!

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  2. @Ryan No that's perfect! Haha love it

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  3. We will pray to Heavenly Mother...
    No we won't.

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  4. @jdd Hahahaha that should totally be the last verse, like the "I met an old lady" song that ends with "who swallowed a horse--she died of course."

    On a brighter night, here's a verse my sister and I composed jointly about Eliza R. Snow:

    "We'll pray with Sis Eliza / than most men she was much wiser / woulda voted yes on ERA--no Scheiße! / and it's good enough for me!"

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  5. We will pray with good J. Golden
    Oh the lessons, how he told 'em
    Foul mouthed sailors, they're beholden
    But it's good enough for me.

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  6. And let's remember that there were plenty of good guys who were just as wise as the venerable Presidentess Snow. McKay was way ahead of the curve with race relations and women's rights...He just had some serious issues with Marx- and said some things that make me think that he just might have needed a hug that day.

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  7. "and said some things that make me think that he just might have needed a hug that day."

    lol jdd! love.

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  8. It was good enough for Bill Marriott
    It was good enough for Steve Young,
    And I heard that it was good enough for Steve Martin,
    It's good enough for me!

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