Least Likely Christmas Lyrics to Appear on Holiday Cards

Have you noticed the trend in Christmas cards? Along with a family photo, quotes and lines from Christmas songs are splashed across the card. Among the most popular are: “Peace on earth goodwill to men;” “Merry and Bright;” “Have a  holly jolly Christmas;” and that old standby, “Joy to the world.” While sitting in Sacrament meeting this past week, my warped mind got to thinking about lines from songs that are LEAST likely to wind up on a greeting card. So with apologies to the families whose images I’ve swiped from the Googles, here you are.

10. Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Christmas2005web copy










9. You better not pout, You better not cry!

christmas copy








Read More

“Come Ye Husbands of the Ward!”


The Exponent Retreat is a highlight of my year. This weekend we had 98 participants convene in NH and still had a wait list. I admit I was nervous that the numbers would detract from the cohesiveness.  But it did not. In fact I felt such a unity this weekend. Here are some of my favorite moments:

A discussion on Feminist Ethics with Javert & Jean Valjean as metaphors for justice and care ethics, and Mother Eve as the proactive model. Nicely done, Caroline.

Pandora’s beauty pageant story. Go Miss Congeniality!

Diane’s choir singing “Hope is a Thing with Feathers” that made me cry. And “Where Can I Turn for Peace” that made snot pour out of my nose. Sometime you need to cry til you’re hideous.

Winning the snack bet with Denise that less than 6 people would take a Pepsi from the cooler. Coke rocks.

Spiritual Autobiographies by Emily, Sarah, and Julie. Soul enlarging and life changing. And funny.

A thorough discussion of Ordain Women where there was much disagreement but nobody said “I think we’re all trying to say the same thing” in that irritating RS way. Because we’re not saying the same thing. It’s not just ok to take different approaches, it’s vital. Mormon feminists are not a monolith. Suzette made me question my assumptions. Thank you.

And now I want to toot my own horn and say that I am particularly proud of the song I rewrote for the talent show.  I’ve thought a lot about how often we are patronized as women and how lame the excuses are for such treatment. Seriously. Sometimes I think women are put on pedestals just so dudes can try to look up our skirts. So here is my own slice of condescension to the tune of “Come Ye Children of the Lord.”(here’s a slideshow I put together to an audio of our rehearsal)

Come ye husbands of the ward,

You are precious to the Lord.

Being manly gives you worth

Even though you can't give birth.

Changing flat tires! Mowing lawns!

Your true strength is in your brawn!

Hearken unto your wife's voice;

Adam followed Eve's wise choice.

Oh how special are the men.

Never doubt your worth again.

Teaching boys to make a fire,

Looking modest in Sunday attire.

For your skills you are revered!

Only men can grow a beard!

Guard your virtue with your life;

For that is cherished by your wife.

When on Kolob women preside,

Men will be right by our side.

Never fear you're second rate;

We need your sperm to procreate.

You are vital to the plan!

Father Son and Brother Man!

Something tells me it is true

You are in Gods image too.

I hope that puts a smile on your face. Next time someone tells you we don't know about Heavenly Mother because she's just too special, feel free to share my ditty with them. But you don't have to twerk during the sperm part. That's just for the Retreat.

Read More

From the Uncanonized Gospels, Chapter 1

1 And it came to pass that as we approached the meetinghouse, even though it were for a piano recital and not on the day of worship, my daughter did turn to me and say, You know what I really like about anything involving church? There’s always a treat afterward.

2 And yea, verily, there were treats, many of them wrought of fine chocolate.

3 In these days there have been seventeen of our beloved families who have gone unto parts unknown to us, and many of them did beseech the Elders Quorum for assistance, which assistance the Elders and even some of the High Priests did readily give. Yea, and the visiting teachers did publicize the time and date of the final apartment-cleanings, and the women came in abundance, some with their nursing children, and they did scour and clean and make merry.

4 And what is more, a young child did present himself before the followers of God on the Sabbath day, to bear testimony of the truths that burned within his heart. Now the child was quick of speech and did mumble, and the disciples did turn one to another and wonder at his speech and the meaning of it. And though they did not understand his words, the Holy Spirit touched their hearts and they lifted up their voices and said, Amen.

5 And again, the day we forgot to bring the diaper bag to church, indeed there were offerings of many types of diapers, and also toys, and wet wipes, and books to keep the smallest among us from raising his voice, but not in worship.

6 And I cried to the interwebs with a loud voice, saying, Though I put not my faith in the arm of man, neither in the arm of woman, but in the strong arm of Christ,

7 Yet do I depend upon and delight in the small and simple tendencies or habits of those who would be Saints, and rejoice in them. Amen.

What are your favorite Mormon habits? What are some of the quirky latter-day traditions that make you feel comfortable (or not) in your ward?

Read More

“I can take a chainsaw and make a treat:” Primary Halloween Songs

As I contemplated a post for Halloween, I kept thinking about my cousin Rob.  Like me, he has a big irreverent streak. Like me, he has had embarrassing run-ins with the Secret Service. And, like me, he has a penchant for messing with the lyrics of Church songs.  When he was Primary chorister in Berkeley, no boys would volunteer to be Helaman so he had a girl play the part and changed “Nephi’s Courage” to be sung, “we are as the armies of Sheila-man.” Check out my blog if you want to read my Mormon food version of “Candy Man” (The Mormon Mom Can). So here is Rob, once again serving as Primary Chorister, sharing some of his delightfully spooky songs.

I am really lucky.  I have the marvelous job of singing with 50-70 kids each Sunday morning.  It is the best calling in the church–by far. Especially when the Primary leaders are not part of the Mormon Taliban who cry “Heresy!” at the least hint of unorthodox behavior. The four women who are in charge of the Primary in our congregation are fantastic: very low-key and supportive. Even yesterday, when I pulled out some hallo-weeny upgrades of some of our musical favorites.

The children have been very good and reverent for weeks on end as we have prepared for our annual program. They deserved a break.  I told the kids that I had looked very hard and found Halloween hymns in our Children’s Songbook, right before the Thanksgiving Hymns (anyone who knows the Songbook knows that you can look long and hard for anything spooky–except for some of those atonal Article of Faith songs).

 Actually, with the help of my own kids, we brainstormed the following songs. They were a big hit, and I give you permission to spread the spookiness across the Kingdom of Zion!

“Zombies Popping up” (this is my 14 year daughter’s creation. I only let the older kids do this one for obvious reasons. To the tune of “Popcorn Popping” and with lurching, gagging effects):

I looked out the window and what did I see
Zombies popping up and coming after me.
Halloween brought me such a nasty surprise
Zombies popping up before my eyes

I can take a chainsaw and make a treat                                    
Some Zombie-Slaw that will fill the street
It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to me
Zombies popping up and coming after me.

“Once there was a Vampire” (I had them turn up their shirt collars and sing it with a thick Transylvanian accent to the tune of “Once there was a Snowman:”

Once there was a Vampire, Vampire Vampire
Once there was a Vampire Tall, Tall Tall
In the sun he shriveled, shriveled, shriveled
In the sun he shriveled small, small, small (writhe on the floor like at the end of Nosferatu)

Alternate Verse:

Once their was a Bad Witch….Tall Tall Tall,
In the rain she melted…small small small (What a World!)

Skeleton Song” (To the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes…”)

Skull, Shoulders, Kneecaps and Toe-Bones..
Eye-holes, Ear-holes, Mouth and Nose-holes

“Boo as I’m Booing” (just like “Do as I’m Doing,” but with ghostly shrieks and wails)

Good, Clean Holiday Fun. How do you shake up your calling?


Read More

Love and Feth

Hymn 177, ‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love.

‘Tis sweet to sing the matchless love,
Of Him who left his home above,
And came to earth- oh wondrous plan
To suffer bleed and die for man!

‘Tis good to meet each Sabbath day
And, in his own appointed way,
Partake the emblems of this death,
And thus renew our love and faith.

Faith doesn’t rhyme with death.

I can’t be the only person whose brain makes them say ‘feth’ instead of faith, just to make it rhyme like it’s supposed to. Can I?

Read More

The Modesty Song

The Modesty Song

Over the years, the Exponent Retreat talent show has allowed me to channel my inner Weird Al.  Each year I pick a church song and rewrite the lyrics to something that’s been on my mind. Topics have included (but are not limited to): nursing, Diet Coke, friendship, casseroles, and lice. Irreverence is a must. This year’s theme came to me early and practically wrote itself. If you are Mormon and a woman, then modesty is a hot topic in 2012.

But this was not always so. I grew up in a house where wide strapped tank tops were fine. If a dress had spaghetti straps, that was frowned upon so one wore a corduroy blazer atop it (this was somehow okay in the 80s). My mom was in the BYU homecoming court in the 50s wearing a lovely dress that reveals collar bones and is certainly not garmentable (isn’t she gorgeous!).  I had no idea that ordinary, non-private-parts-flesh could be scandalous until I encountered women like my mother-in-law, twenty years my mom’s junior. Once my sister-in-law, who was about 6, caught her older brother and his girlfriend kissing. “Oooo!! You’re having SEX!” she shouted. Scott corrected her. They were simply making out, not having sex. Perplexed Sarah then asked, “So what is sex then? Is it showing shoulders?”  Nobody’s mad. Make your toddlers wear virtual garments, just don’t judge me if I put my wee ones in sundresses.

When something irritates me, I make fun of it. This year’s talent show offering, “The Modesty Song,” is my attempt to cope with a trend gone way too far. In your head hum the tune of “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” and picture a bunch of moms wearing ridiculously modest clothes. And one wedding dress.

Read More