99 thoughts on “GOH: The Wiggleworm”

  1. Actually made my 13-year-old listen to it (they weren’t amused) because they came home with a conduct slip for laughing in class too much. Sigh… ๐Ÿ˜

  2. Well because I don’t have kids I’m not as familiar with the Patch the Pirate childrens’ songs as the parents who bought their kids all of the P the P dvd’s and the kids played them til they had them memorized. Probably drove the parents nuts. Mostly I know the contatas the choir would perform every Christmas. They do write some beautiful songs. Unfortunately one of his songs was sung as a special so much that I got sick of hearing it and wanted to scream every time someone got up to sing it, that song was “Rejoice in the Lord.”

    I wonder if memorizing and singing this Wiggle worm song really helped the little kids behave in Sunday school. I know it’s one reason I did not like teaching the little ones, I much prefer grade 5 and over, they don’t wiggle so much! :mrgreen:

    One other of the children’s songs I remember was something about pouchy lip or pouting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I like some of the music, too, and there are other children’s songs addressing wiggliness and giggliness (“Open, Shut Them” comes to mind). Ron Hamilton actually performing a duet with a child is the part of this that gives me pause. It’s just weird.

    2. every fundy children’s church uses this song because it gives a spiritualized opportunity for kids to get up and wiggle about, so they will hopefully sit back down and behave for the ill-prepared speaker. Of course those who are not strong dispensationalists will use “Father Abraham” for much the same purpose, but since we are only the children of Abraham in the sense that we share his faith, this one perhaps is misleading theologically… ๐Ÿ™„

      1. “Father Abraham isn’t acceptable because the (black) bus kids dance to it and dancing is a sin.”

        Yes, we were the only kids in the children’s church who didn’t participate in that worldly song and dance each week.

        1. “Father Abraham” makes me want to beat my head on something. It falls into that same category of repetitive songs like “12 days of Christmas” or “Hole in the Bottom of the Sea.”

  3. Behave now! Do’t do anything that might distract someone from hearing what the M-O-g has to say, your wiggling may cause someone to misshearing the very thing that would get them to heaven and then YOU will be the reason they spend eternity in hell! You don’t want that, now do you? Of course not, think about how embarrassed and upset you will be when they stand before god and their life is revealed and when it comes to that part of their life everyone will see it on the big screen, that it was you who distracted them in church. So don’t let the wiggle worm send anyone to hell, sit up straight and listen with both ears what the Man of gawd has to say. That’s a good girl.

    Here at Stepford Independent Fundamental Baptist Church children know how to behave. We know how to “Train up a Child” to bring honor and glory to their parents, amen? ๐Ÿ™„

        1. Personally, I like george’s little “ing” addition in “may cause someone to mishearing….” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. This is EXACTLY how I was raised — be quiet, look straight ahead, and don’t move a muscle or you’ll send someone straight to hell. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      I do want my own kids to behave like civilized people in church (they don’t always sit still, but as long as they aren’t blowing spitballs or rioting in the aisles, I call it a good day), but why on earth would anyone put that image in their children’s mind? Horrible.

      1. My mom often tells me, after observing my own less-than-perfect offspring, that WE (my siblings and I) would sit quietly on a couch when we visited someone, being quiet and well-behaved. “Children should be seen and not heard” is a dictum still widely loved in fundamentalist circles.

        1. We had to do that at my grandma’s house, dress up, sit still, and be quiet. My other grandma made cookies and had HBO.

        2. Yes, sit still on those couches covered in plastic in your dress so that your legs would get stuck to the plastic and it hurt to peel them off when you got up and be careful not to let your patent leather shoes with that buckle rip the plastic! ๐Ÿ™„ Hands in lap, smile on faceโ€ฆ and I wasn’t even raised IFB.

      2. Remember a child’s behavior is a direct reflection on the godliness of the parents.

        If you have a “girl” child that is wiggling too much in Church it may be time to contact Truth4Teens.org to get info on that indoctrination/concentrat.. I mean that home for girls who cause trouble.

    2. “Dr.” (haha) Comfort once preached at a revival being held at our former church that a child who would not sit still was:
      1) Born with a hardened heart,
      2) The behavior was further hardening the child’s heart and,
      3) The child was destined for hell.

      I distinctly remember this because one of my kiddos was a wiggle worm. I didn’t bite. By that time I knew that the good “Dr.” was a joke. But just think of all the feeble minded in the pews who believed it and what kind of impact that had on their child. Ticks me off. ๐Ÿ˜ก

    3. I went to Colonial Hills Baptist Church in East Point, GA (the same racist church Phillip Yancey writes about barring African Americans from entering, and joining the church one fateful Sunday), and was baptized by Paul Van Gorder – later of Richard De Haan’s Radio Bible Hour(just giving my fundie credentials) ๐Ÿ˜‰

      While sitting in those extremely uncomfortable wooden seats, I, even as a boy of seven, never understood why I couldn’t close my eyes or even draw on the bulletin. I allowed my children to draw and even (gasp) close their eyes, and sleep. Hell, I wanted to, too. ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. If we moved or cut up in any way during the church service I remember my dad grabbing a good portion of my inner thigh with his thumb and index finger and pinching/twisting the s#$! out of me.

    We sat motionless….until one of us nodded off and smacked the back of our heads on the wooden pew giving us a very rude awakening. ๐Ÿ™„

    1. *That’s* what always bugged me. We were expected to sit still and be quiet and NOT fall asleep. Kids, for goodness’ sake! What a ridiculous request. My church started handing out those children’s bulletins after a while, though, and then I was golden. I just can’t handle watching parents expect their little ones to listen to a sermon that would bore the mind of even the most focused adult and not want to do something else. It’s kind of a lose/lose. Either wiggle to stay awake or stay still and fall asleep. *sigh* Poor kids. I’m glad some churches have opted for children’s church now (though obviously not fundy circles).

      1. The fundy churches I’ve been in do have Jr. Church which is just another way to get adults to serve I guess. The kids are expected to sit up and behave though they rarely do. They are offered a “Quiet seat prize” if they behave well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        The thing that really irked me was when I helped out with the senior saint lunch which took place in the fellowship hall as the kids were having their lunches. The younger kids were NOT allowed to talk! The older ones were, but the younger kids had to sit and eat silently. What kind of barbaric nonsense is that? ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

        1. Our church has it’s own children’s church during the sermon time. It’s priceless for me, because I get to pay attention to what’s being said rather than whisper-scream at my kid to settle down. I do work in it once a month, so I pay my dues.

    2. Once upon a time (when I was too young to remember), my brother (the Golden Child) was sitting with my grandparents in the pew in front of my parents. He was “cuttin’up” during the Sunday Morning revelation for God. Dad thumped him on the shoulder, but my brother thought in his hardened heart “I am with Ma and Pa. Dad can’t get me! HA!” So my Dad, having enough of the rebellion, yanked him over the back of the pew and was headed out the back of the church (it was of the God-ordained design for old SBC churches). As Dad was making his exit, with my brother over his shoulder, my brother started screaming “Don’t beat me, Daddy! Don’t beat me!” The Great Man up front was laughing so hard he stopped the sermon, the entire congregation was giggling. Everyone except my dad and brother. Mom still enjoys telling that story 37 years later.

    3. I remember my old pastor proudly proclaiming that when his children were little, he made them sit through entire sermons, even if they had to go to the bathroom. And on a couple of occassions they wet themselves. It was really disturbing the way he told that story becasue he was so proud.
      It may explain why 2 of the kids are not in church at all anymore.

      1. That is terrible, and it’s child abuse! And it could cause health problems. I wonder what the authorities would have to say about this?? ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  5. The men in the gallery behind the pulpit evidently learned this song well — with only two exceptions, all of them sat there as stony-faced as Congressmen at a hearing.

    This reminds me of a story from colonial times, of two children in a New Hampshire Congregational church who were put in the stocks on the town common for a day for the offense of smiling in church. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  6. Just watched it…and what I find interesting is that not ONE person in the background was smiling. Yes, it’s an odd song, but she was cute and I can’t get paste everyone’s stone faces. Maybe they were fighting off the smile worm… :mrgreen:

  7. It was a cute song the first couple times I heard it. But I’ve probably heard it a thousand times, and I wish I was exaggerating. It started out as humorous, and then it was used as a club to pound little people into submission. ๐Ÿ™ Kids do need to learn to behave, but I’d rather see a child go to a children’s service and get up and MOVE.

  8. Oh MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! I have never heard that song before, but what an AWFUL song! Kids wiggle because they are GROWING!!! Oh my GOSH! I don’t even know what to say! I am really angry now. (but the little girl was very sweet and cute… I feel sorry for her.) Oh my GOSH! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  9. Thank God we have learned that some kids are kinestetic learners. We have one boy who is always moving, as long as he is in one area I’m ok with it. He actually can tell you most of the details.

  10. I agree that some of the Pirate’s kids’ songs are cheesy and get old quickly.

    But . . Ron Hamilton is music director at my church, and he is truly a humble, friendly man who is never too busy to stop and chat a little. I appreciate that about him.

    1. I met Ron one time; he came to our church as “Patch the Pirate”. He was quite friendly and humble, and had a hilarious (not fundy approved) spoof slideshow about his life.

    2. Eh. I was a huge Patch fan as a kid…I could sing every song from every tape. But I too was a member at Calvary of Simpsonville and had quite a different experience with Ron and Shelly. He seems personable enough on the surface but they are total music elitists. They wanted me to be in the choir and/or orchestra but I just couldn’t take the snobbery. And Shelly especially is not very gracious when it comes to sharing her role as piano goddess.

    3. Keith L., another nutjob on the site. Please take your radical, Republican, conservative, pro-life nutjob, pro-religious views elsewhere and quit bothering us. We are trying to distance ourselves from people like you, not get closer.

      Thank you for your support in this issue.

      1. Keith L said: I agree that some of the Pirateโ€™s kidsโ€™ songs are cheesy and get old quickly.

        But . . Ron Hamilton is music director at my church, and he is truly a humble, friendly man who is never too busy to stop and chat a little. I appreciate that about him.

        Where do you get from this that he is a radical conservative Republican pro life nut job? He only spoke a few positive words about Ron Hamilton. His political affiliations were not part of his post.

        If you want to jump on someone for being conservative and pro life pick me. I am both of those things and I am not ashamed of it. Notice I did not say Republican, IMO most Republicans are not conservative enough. Most of the posters here are still Christians though we have left the IFB. Maybe you are the one who we need to distance ourselves from. Especially since I do not remember ever seeing you here before. ๐Ÿ˜•

        1. Macushalondra, you actually admit to being Republican and pro-life? Both of those traits are anti-woman, anti-poor, anti-worker and wrong on just too many other levels to get into here. Why are you here?

        2. You know what’s anti-woman? ABORTION. You know what else is anti-woman? ISLAM. Both of which you liberals seem to embrace with a lot of enthusiasm. What do you think of the islamic honour killings that take place every time a woman merely speaks to a man not related to her? Or is raped? Or refuses an arranged marriage? What do you think of that?

          Anti-poor? Not toward people who would rather work than live off welfare. Where do you think the money comes from for welfare? Those who work! Who would rather spend their hard earned incomes on their own family rather than those who are too lazy to work and would rather live off the blood sweat and tears of others.

          It is you liberals who are against the worker, by stealing their money to give to others who won’t work.

          It’s not good to get me started on this stuff because I have a tendancy to get very wound up about it! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

        3. I’m a Republican. And I’m pro-life. Neither of those is a secret. I’m also the owner of this site.

          And these people are here because we’re talking about issues of fundamentalism not politics.

          Many of us disagree on issues. Most of us get along anyway. Showing up and telling long-time readers that they don’t belong here isn’t likely to endear you to anybody here. We would love for you to stay around and talk but to have a conversation people need to actually talk instead of trying to get the other person to leave.

  11. OH MY GOODNESS… I had totally forgotten about that song. Augh!

    Thank you, Darrell, for slowly redeeming my childhood, smashing down one fake god after another. Today it’s the fake god who wants children to sit still and be entirely respectful in church. Bless you.

  12. See, this is the stuff that always leaves me torn. Wiggle Worm aside, the Patch will always have a unique place in my past. Like many of you I was also raised on his music but I also had the privilege of eating dinner with him and his wife twice when I was young. They were friends of my parents when they attended the same church in SC. I remember after losing my grandfather playing Peace Be Still over and over. #conflicted

    On a side note, when did it become cool in churches to let pirates represent Christianity? Wouldn’t that be like getting your examples for moral living from “some tribe deep in Afrika that never heard about Christ”?

  13. Whoa, is that syncopated piano playing I hear. Hmmmm, you know the devils music has a lot of syncopation, plus the saloonish style of playing (we all know what goes on in saloons) makes this song eeeeviiiiillll!
    LOL, I had laugh at the fighting motions he made when fighting off the wiggle worm.

  14. We sing this song in my 2s and 3s Sunday school class, and the kids LOVE it! But, we sing it with lots of wiggling, smashing, kicking-out-of-Sunday-school, and fighting motions. I’ve never seen anyone sing it standing as still and calmly as that little girl did, although I imagine she was maybe a bit nervous.

    1. It’s hard enough standing up in front of a congregation to sing, but I can’t imagine how much harder it would be with that cadre of grim choir members behind you!

  15. The men in the choir are probably grim-faced because: 1) They are in an IFB church where too much, I mean, any emotion is taboo. And 2) They would rather not have to wear jackets and ties.

  16. Having had three VERY ACTIVE toddlers, I must confess that I sang this tune to them…but I changed the lyrics to affirm, rather than condemn, their cute wiggliness. How can you rebuke a child for being, well, a child??

  17. OK, I watched it.

    And, man, those choir members, ladies too, look MISERABLE! Ron Hamilton comes across as friendly and seems upbeat, but, despite a couple smiles in the loft, what a chill is emanating from the choir.

    Watching them, one gets the impression of “I’m bored” to “I’m judging you”, but definitely not, “I’m happy to be here.”

    1. And, yes, I know choir members are supposed to look unobtrusive and not distract from what’s happening on the platform, but to me their stoic faces ARE distracting, especially when a cute little girl is singing.

    2. I didn’t even notice the choir members; I was feeling a little sorry for the girl. I assume that she is local to the church, and was the best singer of the young people, but she still had some trouble. It was probably helpful to have Ron Hamilton join her on the chorus.

      I may have to re-watch just to look at the choir.

    3. Welp, little bit late to reply to this one, but I hope that I can give some clarification. Us…er…those…folks in the loft aren’t choir members. They’re college students, specifically, juniors and seniors, that were required to sit there to make room for regular church members. And yep…I was definitely up there, though obscured by Mr. Hamilton’s head muahahaha!

      And yes, it really sucked to be up there during the service. It was often hot, and we HAD to keep the suit on…for appearance sake. Yick. Oh, and no chewing gum or the like either. And if you nodded off…bad business there. After all, all of fundamentalism could be watching over the interwebs…

      1. Ah! That makes sense! It’s interesting how there’s almost always more to a story or picture that gives a fuller perspective. I doubt I’d be looking happy if I’d been told as a self-conscious college student to sit up in the loft just so “more important folk” could be in the pews!

  18. In our fundy church we used to have to sit and be proper all the time. I had it down to a fine science that I could sit there, almost make it look like I was paying attention, smiling and nodding and be a million miles away daydreaming about being out riding our dirt bikes and chasing girls.

    It appears not much has changed in 25 years, I’m at work, trying to pay attention, still day dreaming about riding dirt and street bikes but since I’m married (10 years this summer!!!) i’m now daydreaming about my wife… ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  19. Yeah, I’m conflicted about Ron Hamilton too. I grew up with Patch the Pirate, and he came to our church several times, and he really did seem genuine and nice. I also got the impression that he wasn’t quite as hardcore IFB as most of us were. Unlike a lot of the adults I knew at our church, he seemed to have a sense of humor, and a sense of fun.

    That said, a lot of his songs are not really great messages for kids. Also, the pirate theme does seem a little questionable. It’s just odd how pirate culture has been whitewashed (and this is not just in IFB circles either). I don’t quite know how they turned into a hero figure…

  20. still not a fan of broccoli and had to sing that song too when I was a kid.. I probably dislike it even more now just for having to sing about loving it.

  21. While I understand the affiliation with IFB culture; but Patch the Pirate is a great tool for kids (albeit, annoying at times). Our kids listen to them and love them. I don’t particularly care for a lot of the people behind the products we use everyday; but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the product.

    Ron Hamilton is a really nice guy. Sure, I don’t care for his father-in-law (Frank Garlock) and I don’t always stand side by side with everyone he’s affiliated with; but that doesn’t mean that his songs are automatically discounted from being acceptable.

    1. I was there when Patch sang. He also sang for chapel while wearing his Patch costume. You should have seen the line of kids… er college students lined up to get his autograph!

      It was really kind of sweetly sentimental to see all of those college students lining up to shake hands with their childhood hero. Lord knows how Patch brightened their lives as young children.

      1. If you think Pete’s comments are far-right, nut job and hysterical I would challenge you to read some of the older posts where we had ACTUAL trolls. Pete’s comments are perfectly reasonable and I don’t see any of the things you described.

        I read your comments further down and at least now I have some understanding about your comments but I still find them more hysterical than Pete’s. Just sayin… ๐Ÿ˜

  22. This song brings back memories of a pastor who’s kids always sat perfectly in church, but during the week they acted like ADHD kids on steroids. The change was so drastically different that a friend of mine asked the pastor one day how he got his kids to sit so still for church when they were so psycho the rest of the week. Quite proudly the pastor/father revealed that he worked in a pharmacy during the week and each Sunday morning he injected them with some kind of tranquilizer that pretty much turned them into barely awake zombies while at church. He was so determined his kids would sit still perfectly during church that he was not above drugging them into it. Fortunately my friend immediately turned him in to the police for abuse…but this song still brings back memories of those poor kids! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ™

    1. Another situation of abuse! Why bring them if they are going to be zonked out during the service so they get nothing from it? Maybe that was just as well since this way they wouldn’t get that fundy indoctrination. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

      1. Because this is what happens when so much focus is placed on outward appearance: some end up not even caring about the truth as long as there is a SEMBLANCE of whatever virtue they’re trying to portray.

    2. Rose, it’s so sad that some people don’t believe in medicating kids and giving them helpful psychotropic medications. I can’t stand these people who say “kids just need to learn discipline.” Thankfully people who believe in withholding medication are being turned in to the authorities. I am so saddened that in your story the parents felt so pressured to hide medication their children as if that was a “bad” thing.

  23. I also grew up on “Patch the Pirate” tapes! Did you know that his CD “Misterslippi River Race” is not allowed at BJU. Really? 19 year olds not allowed to listen? Oh the joys…

    1. That reminds me that my daughter-in-law got 50 demerits for having the Muppets Christmas CD buried deep in her suitcase in her closet at BJU. Yes, someone went through all her things and she got 50 demerits for that CD. She wasn’t even listening to it. :*(

  24. We brought books, coloring books and other things for our kids to do without distracting others when our children were toddlers. Now as teens, our children doodle and generally act like they are not listening, but when I ask them later about the sermon, they give good responses. Listening is not about stillness and eye contact, it is about engaging the brain.

    On a side note, I used to do my college studying at the bars. I could absorb much more knowledge with a drink, loud music and dim lighting than I could at the library where I would normally fall asleep within 5 minutes.

  25. My son has autism. We left him in the nursery until he was about three, and then came the battle of trying to keep him quiet during the sermon! Either I would take him out or my husband would. For a time, we had two services, and children’s church would go on during our preacher’s sermon. Either my husband or I would need to go with our son to help him behave.

    When he outgrew children’s church after 3rd grade, he stayed in with us.

    What finally helped was someone asking us if our son would help clean up after communion. I’m Church of Christ, and we take communion weekly, before the younger kids are dismissed for children’s church and before the sermon. Now, Matthew leaves after communion is over and comes back in the middle of the sermon. We also use the children’s bulletins to keep him busy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Yipes. What a song. “Fight off the wiggleworm.” Lord have mercy.

    OK, y’all have convinced me. I thought those Mean Nuns were bad, but this takes the cake. I am really glad I wasn’t raised a fundy.

  27. Like most of people at this site, I find this video sick, disgusting and sad. And also like most of the people at this site, I am on several psychotropic medications. I am appalled and saddened that this video tries to teach “character” or “good manners” and seems to completely downplay ADHD, anti-social disorder, and all other forms of mental illness that can be “cured” with good manners and “pulling oneself up by your bootstraps.” I am a recovering alcoholic and am also in several other 12-step programs and can’t stand these groups who say you can “cure” alcoholism and other diseases.

    1. I agree with you. I had to go into recovery for an eating disorder. I was also raised fundy. I was just trying to keep my body a perfect temple… ugh!
      Also, as a kid I was made to sit perfectly still in church and school (also at my church). I developed this awful habit of peeling all the skin and nail bed off/out of my thumbs when I was very young. I distinctly remember when I was 8, I was no longer able to color on the bulletin at church anymore because I was “too old” and had to listen to the sermon, my fingers got so bad I had to go to the doctor. They would never stop bleeding because I just kept picking them. BUT I FOUGHT OFF THAT WIGGLE WORM DURING CHURCH!!! … of course there is also no such thing as self-injury in fundy circles… I hate this song and the idea behind it.

  28. I also find this video terribly racist. Most Afro-American kids (and adults for that matter) cannot sit still and be quiet for more than 30 seconds at a time. To try and project our white culture on them and deny them their natural cultural manners is just horrible.

    1. Oh I dunno, I’ve known plenty of white kids who can’t sit still for more than two seconds, including one little girl I knew many many years ago (I still–I mean she still suffers from Fingeritis as well.) ๐Ÿ™„

  29. Ms Kalundra, you make several excellent points. When I viewed the video, I thought of the first Spanish Mass I ever attended. There were a lot of little kids at that Mass, and they were all wiggleworms to the nth degree. It seems Spanish-speaking people — or at least the Mexicans I know (there are many different Hispanic cultures after all) — do not believe in suppressing their kids in church.

    Doesn’t bother me one bit. No, kids shouldn’t run amok, but sheesh, let ’em be kids.

  30. Great points, CG Crashmaster. Other cultures other than the white Christians seem to be fine with allowing kids to be kids. It’s sad that white Christian culture still has such a stranglehold on the culture of America.

    1. I was guilty of judging other parents whos kids couldn’t sit still when I was deep in fundyville with only one very well-behaved child. Then, I had a child with autismโ€ฆ I know not all kids who don’t sit perfectly don’t have adhd or autism but boy, I sure learned to cut people some slack and realize that I don’t know squat about why someone else’s child is doing whatever.

      I went to an all Spanish service today at my new church and there are definitely cultural differences, many babies were taken right into the service and no one cared, if that would have been my former church, everyone with a baby in tow would have been quickly accosted by ushers telling them they couldn’t bring babies into the service.

      Lastly, two of my friends that had visited my former fundy church came with last night to my new church and without any prompting from me, the floodgates from both parties opened as they let out how much they hated when they visited my former church. One of them even said I should have invited her to the new one when I switched!

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