*Note: For my Best and Worst series, my intent is not to be negative for its own sake. Rather, I believe in balance, moderation, and critiquing personal sacred cows. Such is my love/cringe relationship with primary.
I first heard the words “Janice Krapp Perry” in the MTC.
Perry is the source of quite possibly the best and the worst of what the primary songbook has to offer. Having spent the majority of my post-mission years on the primary piano bench (and/or herding packs of sunbeams), I’m quite familiar with the songs. Here are some keepers… and some kick-to-the-curb-ers!
A Child’s Prayer
Manifestation of the Holy Ghost or not, this song makes me feel good. I really like the music, and the first line: “Heavenly Father, are you really there?” It seems to embrace wonder and validate doubt. What a great thing!
I Hope They Call Me on a Mission
I thought this was pretty cheesy growing up. Especially weird singing it as a 6’ eleven year-old (“when I have grown a foot or two” … which would make me 7 or 8 feet tall). However, at a zone conference in Japan during a rough patch in my mission, a zone leader played just the first few lines of this song and I totally got fired up to go ring another 500 Japanese kekko boxes. I LOVE playing this song as well.
We’ll Bring the World His Truth
Another song I loved on the mission. Really got me psyched up during long bike rides.
Somehow I also missed the “it wasn’t really so” part and thought for a long time that popcorn really did come from apricot trees. Also, any primary song that ends up on Letterman has to be great (some guy in the audience sang it).
Follow the Prophet
I LOVE the minor key… and the march-like feel. Playing this one is really fun. It sounds great in Japanese too. That should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Follow the Prophet
Thought I’d let this one off easy? This is quite possibly the creepiest song of the book. Can you say cult-ish? Something about the minor key and the words “Don’t go astray-ay!” that seem a little too horror-movie-ish. It’s one of the few things in the faith that when I’m called a cultist I actually think of this song and go, “well… kinda sometimes.”
I Am a Child of God
This song would not be on the worst list, if it wasn’t sung EVERY FLIPPIN’ WEEK. It got so bad in one ward, I actually complained to the primary president (we were tight like that, so don’t get too excited). Apparently, most of the kids were picking it for their “favorite song” for their spotlights because it was the only song they knew. Even my three year-old now randomly declares to inanimate objects around the house, “I am a child of God!” No, he doesn’t have Tourette’s. It just really sticks with you after 3x a week x 500+ weeks.
Book of Mormon Stories
I don’t know where to start with this one. Native-American/Lamanite connection issues aside, the “pretending to be Indians” hand action is at best ignorant. How can we continue to mock sacred symbols of other cultures? The Native American Powwow is a religious ceremony. The eagle feather is sacred. We should show more respect for these beliefs, just as we want our own sacred symbols to be respected.
If Jesus Were Watching
This is a song out of Friend a while back that we are singing this year for the program. I totally reject the premise of the song: If Jesus were watching me, would I still do ________ behaviors? How is this not false doctrine? Jesus IS watching, duh. Come on Sister Perry. You have done better.
What are your favorite/least favorite primary songs? Keep it balanced! I don’t want any posters with all negative or all positive opinions!