GOH: What’s Wrong With Living Right?

(This is a slightly more jazzy version of the song than you’re likely to hear in a fundy church but the versions actually sung but IFB groups had such terrible audio that I decided to go with this one)

100 thoughts on “GOH: What’s Wrong With Living Right?”

        1. I wonder if the problem is that the uppercase E has that straight, up and down line that looks like an I. Perhaps had it been lower case, our brains wouldn’t have interpreted it as cookies.

      1. I’m guessing that’s something you might see after you eat the magic mushrooms.

        1. Nah, that’s their alter ego band, The Death Cookies, 😎 saw a review of them by rock critic Jack Chick. 😛 😀

      1. My boys LOVE IT when I sing that song in my best Cookie Monster voice! In fact, I am singing it as I type this.

    1. “Singing Cookes” is a somewhat redundant name for their group, considering that they are clearly a singing group since their picture is on a CD.

      1. They are legally obligated to call themselves “The Singing Cookes” because The Sword-Swallowing Cookes had prior rights to the name “the Cookes.”

    2. Me too! I was like “now how did they arrive at THAT name??”

  1. Dear Lord save us from the people that go around telling everyone, especially themselves, how right they are.

      1. The worst part of the delusion that being right is the only thing that matters is the accompanying delusion that you are right. 🙂

  2. “They took prayer out of school and violence filled our land!”

    Har har har, tell that to those killed during the war of independence and the civil war….

    1. So true. But this song is part and parcel of the romanticized view most fundamentalists have that up until the 1960s, America was this halcyon Garden-of-Eden-type place where nothing bad happened to anyone and certainly not to CHRISTIANS. My mother and sister refer to this mystical, magical time as “backthen” (always pronounced as one word, not two) and when I was growing up I had to listen to them go on and on for hours about how they wished we lived backthen when people were all Christians and everything was like in the Anne of Green Gables movies and the Little House on the Prairie books etc. (Never mind the fact that lots of bad things happen to good people in those stories!)

      1. For a closer look at these halcyon days, check out the Glurge section at Snopes.com; no end of stories of sick children, little angelic puppies, and interfering angels. 😛

      2. Deacon’s Son – Your observation is 100% correct. Fundies do have a romanticized (distorted) view of America pre-1960. Just for fun, try mentioning to a Fundy that America was never a “Christian” nation and watch their heads explode. When they challenge you on that, point out that if they believe you need a KJV to be a true Christian, how could the creator of the Jeffersonian Bible be anything less than the spawn of Satan. The fundy rule is that any historical figure who acknowledged the existence of God is a Christian…but any living person who doesn’t conform to every one of their man-made standards is a reprobate.

      3. Yes, if you think that bad things didn’t happen in Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, or even The Waltons, you didn’t pay attention at all.

        1. That . . . and the fact that Anne of Green Gables was CANADIAN. A point mostly lost on my mom and sis.

      4. Someone should hang a plaque of Ecclesiates 7:10 over their pulpits.

        “Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.”

      5. OMG, my mom is convinced that back when she was a teen in the 60s that so many more people were reading the Bible & praying and therefore good. Has no ability to understand how many of the people she thinks were good were reading the Bible to find what was wrong with “the blacks” and how to keep Civil Rights suppressed.

        1. If you ever figure out what’s wrong with the blacks, and the whites, and all the other people, please explain it to me. I’d like to know.

      6. There’s a Catholic counterpart to this: Catholic ultra-trads (mostly young) who have this romanticized picture of pre-Vatican II Catholicism I do agree with them about some things — I miss the reverence and majesty of the Old Mass (although that stuff is coming back), and I will always have a soft spot for dimly lit old churches crammed with statues and reeking of incense and candlewax, LOL.

        However, what these younguns don’t realize is that there was a lot of Bad Stuff back then; it wasn’t all plainchant and polyphony and well-behaved little kids in First Communion clothes. Manualist legalism was very real. Mean Nuns could be, well, really mean. And that’s just for starters.

        Recently a local priest was telling us about racism in 1940s Catholicism. He told of parishes that didn’t allow black Catholics to attend Mass, much less receive Communion. He told us of separate communion altars for the black parishioners. I’d always assumed we were less racist than Protestants, even “backthen,” because we are by definition a global multicultural church. Apparently I was wrong.

        Some things are worse now, IMHO. (I don’t think prayer in schools would harm us, frankly.) But other things are definitely better.

        I’d rather put up with drecky Marty Haugen hymns than racism. But that’s just me.

      1. AMEN!! I was born in 1931 and grew up in the war years (WW2) people back then were just as bad and need of Bible reading, church, sunday school etc as they are now.Christians were made fun of, carrying a Bible was sissified and going to Sunday School also.

    2. I’m confused, I though violence filled our land because of the gun show loophole? Which whining extremists are correct?

      Also, I have seen 3 separate instances of public prayer in my kids’ public school this year, someone forgot to cc them on the memo.

  3. I just got home from my 12 hour overnight shift. Please tell me it will be better if I listen to it rested.

  4. Maybe The Singing Cookes should have stayed in the kitchen. Besides, I’m pretty sure they just changed the words to a George Jones/Tammy Wynette drinking song. It’s easier when you don’t have to write your own music. Those little dots with the cute flags get complicated.

    1. Awe hellll naw. Do NOT change a George and Tammy song around me. Hold my drink. Imma snatch somebody bald-headed.

      1. Stony, you don’t have to. Time is doing the bald-headed bit just fine.
        I was not disparaging George and Tammy. The tune reminded me of them, and I was using their song-writers as examples of someone’s hard work being plagiarized for no good reason.

        At least Spike Jones and Weird Al take/took tunes to parody for humor and satire. The Cookes was just bad.

        1. Spike Jones meets George Jones…now there’s a duet that should have happened!

        2. Oh honey, I was going after them, not you. ‘Course, it’s hard to tell when I turn into a quivering snarling ball of white trash terror. Sorry!

        3. I thought that was likely the case, but I hadn’t slept much and was a mite too defensive.

          The weekly transition from 12 hour nightshift to what others consider normalcy never gets any easier. Maybe harder as I age.

  5. If Mrs. Cooke were living right, she wouldn’t have a pair o’ them men’s britches on, would she? Hay-men?

    1. She’s wearing knickers?! Must be palazzo pants, because the way she’s standing I honestly can’t tell.

      Not that it matters, becuz pay-ants are eee-vuhl! 😉

      1. It COULD be an ankle-length skirt, but with that structured jacket (plus the style of the clothes and her hair), I assumed those were probably wide-legged pants.

        1. BAM! QUALIF- er, I mean, ORDAINED!*

          *this ordination may not be considered legitimate in Fundy circles because I am a woman

    2. I was going to give a good booger-slingin’ Hay-Men, but then I remembered that you are a Pastor’s WIFE and thus have no business teaching me, a man! But perhaps this is the Ladies Meeting section of today’s comments that I have stumbled into by mistake. *Looks sheepish to have wandered into the Ladies Meeting and starts nosing around for the snacks.*

  6. Well, by definition, there’s nothing wrong with living right, or it wouldn’t be right…. Oh? You meant that rhetorically? Well played, fundamentalists! Well played.

    I wish the rest of the church would catch up to their superbly artistic lyricism.

    1. There is nothing wrong with living right, but there is plenty wrong with being sanctimonious, self-righteous, smug, and acting superior to everyone else.

  7. Ohhhh, my brain. The lyrics just…I can’t.

    To answer the question, “What’s wrong with livin’ right?”: absolutely nothing.
    What’s wrong is using your definition of right to dictate others’ behavior.

    Removing teacher-led prayer from public schools has no bearing on the choices you make your life. None. Likewise the removal of the 10 commandments from courthouses. Just live right and mind your own business!

    *deep breath* Ok, mini rant over.

    1. George! “…the choices you make IN your life.”

      Thanks for nothing. 🙄

    2. Most of the 10 Commandments monuments on courthouse lawns and similar public places in the U.S. were not placed there as an act of piety by the local community; they were sponsored by Cecil B. DeMille and Paramount Pictures as a promotion for the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments.”
      Look it up.

    3. The Bible has something to say to every fundy who thinks the Ten Commandments ought to be posted everywhere (as though positng these somehow magically transforms human behavior into something virtuous): “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (I Tim. 1:9-10). Ironically, the religion that boasts (and I mean boasts) that is is strictly “New Testament,” has adopted the premise that the law, as represented by the Ten Commandments, will now save America, or put us in better graces with God. James had something to say about people who want it both ways, James 1:8.

  8. The singing cookes. I’m sorry, I’m very tired and my brain is fried and all I can think of is – “Master Chef: The Musical!”

    1. With guest appearances from the Iron Chef Chairman, the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Grownup? Please please please! :mrgreen:

    2. Better than Master Chief: The Musical (Cortana on bass, Sergeant Johnson on keyboard?), but not nearly as entertaining.

  9. The lyrics of this song are terrible! Paul said, “against such things [the fruit of the spirit] there is no law!” There is nothing wrong with “doing right” as they define it in the chorus of their song and pretty much no one in the modern USA would have a problem with them “living for Jesus.” (Now, their musicality might be another matter.)

    I have grown more and more weary of the fundamentalist persecution complex. Evolution/prayer in school/Ten Commandments issues do not represent, in my opinion, religious persecution. Rather, they simply represent the more controversial aspects of America’s commitment to keep government OUT of religion. These people never mention the cases where Ten Commandments monuments are allowed to stay in place (as long as there is a “historical” justification). They never mention that prayer happens in schools every day because it was never “taken out of schools” (I am a lawyer for a teachers’ organization and I honestly have been somewhat taken aback at just how much prayer and religion IS found in public schools – but then again, I live in Oklahoma!).

    1. Thank you, DS. I am daily frustrated by the hand-wringing over prayer in schools and monuments, given that they are usually just a display of false piety and real exclusionism. It also shows an egregious lack of education on the history of removing religion from schools. Hint….Protestants and Catholics couldn’t agree.

    2. Of course prayer still happens in school, all students participate in it, every time there is a pop quiz. 😮 As Peppermint Patty put it, “This kind will always be with us!” 😛

      1. My school just finished a science fair last week. One of my kids told me over ice cream afterward that he had been going to daily dawn prayer meeting and fasting once a week for God to help him on his project. Absolutely made me laugh.

        1. Sounds like a guy I knew in college who was of a charismatic persuasion and would not write a paper until the Holy Spirit gave him his thesis . . . even if the Holy Spirit did not give him said thesis until after the paper was due!!!

  10. Oh my goodness! It sounds just like a country song! If I was playing it on my car radio, it would be an appearance of evil! On a different note, is anyone else being driven batty by the bad grammar in verse 1? She dropped an article! It’s my pet peeve.

  11. So how then shall we live right? Preacher will tell you, of course! Here’s a little song to help you out with that. (Sorry, I’ve got way too much time on my hands today.)

    (Originally Flung by the Flinging Flukes)

    “Do What I Tell You”

    Tune: “Dayton”, very Irregular
    (i.e., “Tell It to Jesus”)

    Stanzas are to be sung by preacher, and the refrain by the choir.

    1. List’ to all my rantin’ and a-ravin’,
    Do what I tell you!
    Do what I tell you!
    Only in my church should you be slavin’,
    Do what I tell you to do!

    Do what he tells you!
    Do what he tells you!
    You’re thru when he says you’re thru! (optional: Hay-MEN!)
    We must work to gain the preacher’s favor,
    Do what he tells you to do!

    2. Don’t play that contemporary music,
    Do what I tell you!
    Do what I tell you!
    Nor that music that sounds like it’s Cath’lic,
    Do what I tell you to do!


    3. If you play that wicked syncopation,
    Do what I tell you!
    Do what I tell you!
    You’ll become a sermon illustration,
    Do what I tell you to do!


    4. Now you’ve listened to my helpful lesson,
    Do what I tell you!
    Do what I tell you!
    Never my opinion should you question,
    Do what I tell you to do!

    [Refrain / repeat as necessary during the Invitation]

    1. Your moniker is awesome. And now “Play That Funky Music” is stuck in my head.

  12. Well played! That is a thing of beauty. We really need an applause emoticon.

  13. 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    Luke 18:9-14

      1. I used to have something of an obsession with that song. While the Louvin Brothers’ version is great (the entire “Tragic Songs of Life” album is a stone-cold classic), I’m partial to The Blue Sky Boys’ version from 1936 (not on YouTube, but look up their recording of “Banks of the Ohio”; just as gruesome and deadpan as “Knoxville Girl”).

        I’ve heard one version (by Stonewall Jackson) that replaced the line “I picked a stick up off the ground” with “I thought of how she cheated me”. It kind of ruins the song when the guy is given a reason — no matter how irrational — for his actions.

        1. A lot of what’s fascinating about “The Knoxville Girl” is that the crime seems completely unmotivated and the narrator’s confession shows no remorse and no introspection at all.

          I, too, think it ruins it when you try to give the guy a plausible motive.

      2. STRANGE and DEMENTED?????? What kind of weird stuff are you into? How many girls do you have in the attic or basement?

        1. Didn’t you listen to the song?
          They belong in the river, not the attic. 😈

        2. kinda gives new meaning to:

          Gonna lay down my burden,
          Down by the riverside,
          Down by the riverside,
          Down by the riverside
          Gonna lay down my burden,
          Down by the riverside….
          ” 😈

    1. @Jack B.

      “Don’t let them rob our children of salvation”.

      I had to back it up twice to make sure that was what they were saying. Weird doctrine for sure.

  14. If we really lived in a world where doing right was enforced, the Singing Cookes would be arrested for pedal steel guitar abuse.

  15. Gotta love the homemade CD cover. 🙄 I remember when our church would host “traveling” music families and they would have all their ink-jet printed CD and cassette booklets. We had one where their printer must have been running out of ink because it was all streaky.

  16. I prefer Sam Cooke to The Singing Cookes. (At least they pluralized Cooke, and didn’t make it a possessive Cooke’s.)

    1. Sam Cooke!!! YES!!!! Musical Talent on Steroids!!!

      — CGC, Twistin’ the Night Away

      1. That may have too much of a backbeat for the IFB crowd, but I think it’s mighty fine!

  17. Ugh, the title of this song creates a horrific picture in my mind of Jack Schaap singing…If Lov’in You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right!!

  18. The ad I got with this post has a picture of a woman wearing a T-shirt that reads, “The voices are back. EXCELLENT.”

    1. Earn a Bible Degree
      Study the Bible and Earn Your Degree Online

      Not sure how I get those…

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