I Remember That Song!
I consider myself fortunate that I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s when churches and Sunday schools were booming among Lutherans. I was a part of a large Sunday school and youth group and we always loved to sing. A couple of weeks ago, the second verse of a much-loved song (Kurt Kaiser’s “Pass It On”) from my Youth Group days came to mind as I was driving around town and admiring the budding and flowering trees.
“What a wondrous time is Spring when all the trees are budding.
The birds begin to sing; the flowers start their blooming.
That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.”
I shared about that experience on my Facebook page later that day and some old friends recalled that song and commented that they “sang along in their heads” as they read the words.
It’s a well-known fact that songs are a great way to help anyone learn and remember, but this proved it to me again. I learned that song back in the 1970s and I still remember the words to all of the verses. Think about it -- Isn’t it amazing how you can remember all the words to “Jesus Loves Me” but forget to pick up milk on the way home from work? It makes me smile to realize that, hopefully, many things that I know, I won’t be able to forget because I learned them in songs in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School as a child. Thank you, teachers!
I didn’t attend Sunday School or Vacation Bible School here at St. Paul’s but, because I grew up Lutheran, some of the songs I’m remembering today you may also remember -- especially if you’re anywhere near my age. Perhaps they will bring back some memories for you and have you singing along.
What kid doesn’t enjoy laughing, shouting, and acting goofy while singing a song? Many of the songs I learned provided tons of fun for us kids. Sunday School and Vacation Bible School songs are not just about fun and entertainment, though. In fact, we probably never even realized that we were actually learning something important when our teachers taught us songs in Sunday School. It was the plan of our teachers to be planting that small seed of familiarity with God and the Bible so that, many years later, that seed will have taken root and become an anchor of faith for us. Other songs we learned taught us about how God wants us to live. The fact that “Jesus loves me” isn’t only a special truth to a five-year-old child but also to an adult when they recall that simple truth later on in life.
In addition to “Jesus Loves Me”, some songs I learned early in my childhood are:
- “This Little Gospel Light of Mine”
- “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy (Down in My Heart)” (We always loved the part about the devil sitting on a tack! Haha!)
- “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam”
- “How Did Moses Cross the Red Sea?”
- “Do Lord”
- “Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Halleluljah, Praise Ye the Lord”
- “Happy Day Express”
- “The B-I-B-L-E”
- “Praise Him, Praise Him, All You Little Children”
- “Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain”
- “O Be Careful Little Eyes”
As I got a little older, I remember learning:
- “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
- “I Am a C, I Am a C-H……” (This song also taught spelling. Haha!)
- “Give Me Oil in My Lamp”
- “His Banner Over Us Is Love”
- “Silver and Gold Have I None”
And, finally, one that I remember learning in Vacation Bible School also taught me that pastors like to sing silly songs, too. Haha! This particular song was not taught to me by one of my teachers; our Senior Pastor at the time taught this to us. I’ve heard it called, “Arky, Arky” but our pastor called it:
- “Floody Floody” (Rise & Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory)
If you have Sunday School song memories, I’m pretty sure they’re happy memories. So why not share those memories the next time you have some quality time with your little children or grandchildren? Instead of reading them a story, consider teaching them a song about Jesus. (Psalm 100:1) I think that’ll be something you both remember.