“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?


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13 Responses

  1. EmilyCCto learn says:

    I think this might be just what I need to get my Mormon piano students to learn these songs.

    My favorite line has to be, “I can take a chainsaw and make a treat: some zombie-slaw that will fill the street.”

  2. sar says:

    Wonderful! Makes me almost wish I was back in Primary.

  3. leisurelyviking says:

    My sister and I loved singing this:

    There are penguins in my soul today
    More flightless and absurd
    Than any neotropical migrant
    For they’re my favorite bird!

    Oh, ther’re penguins, glorious penguins
    Where the cold Antarctic winds blow
    When the sun sets o’er Antarctica
    There are penguins in my soul

  4. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This webpage provides useful
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  5. Melody says:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS! I just found this. . . and as soon as October hits, this is going on my facebook wall! I love you, Heather. And that spooky brother of yours too.

  6. Christian says:

    Here’s another one:

    “Gah!” said the little scream
    “Gah! Yikes! Yelp! Gah! Yikes! Yelp!”
    “Gah!” said the little scream
    As it hurried, hands on head.
    “I’m scared, I know, but wherever I go
    The fear and panic spread.”

    Screaming, screaming all the day
    “Run away, oh, run away”
    Screaming, screaming all the day
    “Run away, oh, run away”

  7. Tessa says:

    I learned from my dad and still sing

    “We all have work
    Don’t be a jerk.
    Put your shoulder to the wheel.”

  8. Jamie Quist says:

    My husband and sons came up with another verse to Follow the Prophet :

    Missionary Ammon worked on the king’s farm
    Some robbers came along and he cut off all their arms
    The servants took the arms and put them in a sack,
    Poured them out before the king,
    Who said, “Yuck, please put them back!”

  9. amphvivian says:

    Love all the above!
    We made this one up in the 70’s as kids, and I can’t remember all the words, but I can’t remember the real words of the song either. When we sing the real song, this is far as I get before I am laughing so hard that I can’t sing at all!

    Tune: Baptism, page 100

    The Jedi came to destroy the Death Star
    from a galaxy far away ..

  1. November 4, 2012

    […] hair-do’s and Halloween potlucks. Do you like scary music? Check out this version of the Primary Songbook. Even more alarming, do you really know who […]

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