“Yes, Jesus Loves You” and other songs we all know
I don’t care WHAT religion you were raised in, if you weren’t completely hidden away for your entire childhood you know the song “Jesus Love Me.” If, for some very strange reason you DON’T know this song, here’s a very cute video of some very small children singing it. You can squee, I won’t laugh:
Yes, Jesus loves you, yes, Jesus loves you, yes, Jesus loves you, the bible tells you so.
There are a LOT of Christian Childrens’ songs. A lot.
God told Noah to build him an arky arky!
The wise men built their house upon the rock so the rains couldn’t wash it away.
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Pharaoh Pharaoh, oh oh, let my people go!
I can go on for quite awhile. My point is that these songs are songs that almost any Christian kid will know, at least some of them. They can walk into a church in California or Boston or Maine and hear these same songs being sung. And, maybe even more importantly, they are fun to bond over when you are older. I sang somebody “Rise and shine and give God your glory glory!” the other day. I was being incredibly sarcastic and possibly mean spirited to an atheist friend of mine, but the fact remains that we both knew the song.
This isn’t only fact among Christian kids. It happens with Jewish kids, too. Hearing four friends spontaneously break into “it is the tree of life to all that hold fast to it and all of it’s supporters are HAPPY” ON the T in Boston is a little horrifying.
Music is SO important. In Phoenix we were able to hold a fairly spontaneous vigil outside the 4th Avenue Prison without hymnals or too much prep because we knew the songs. It certainly didn’t hurt that Fred Small was leading us, but we did know the songs.
Last winter/early spring our minister decided that we were going to get good at singing a few songs. Not just stumble through them, we were going to SING them and we were going to SING THEM WELL.
Ok, not gonna lie, there’s only so many times you can sing “Jazz Alleluia” before you are sort of ready to throw the friggen hymnal out the window (why were we using the hymnal? There is one word to the song: Alleluia, and it’s just repeated 10 times. And it’s not like 90% of us can read music anyway). But it was good for us. We could sing that song by the time we stopped.
I know that there are jokes about UUs and not being able to sing because we are reading ahead to see if we agree with the lyrics. I have seen some of that; once or twice we’ve even just given up and started over, once we abandoned a song entirely, because it wasn’t working. But when it does come together, when we are on time and not thinking about anything but worship? When we sing from our hearts it is beautiful.