Friday Challenge: Hymnbook Games


For fundamentalist children (and adults!) who have sat through many, many hours in the pew, hymnbook games have provided an amusing diversion.

What’s your favorite hymnbook game?

35 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Hymnbook Games”

  1. Not sure if this counts, but now that I’m an ex-fundamentalist who has to visit my parents’ fundy church a couple times a year, I amuse myself by looking through the hymnal for all the non-fundy friendly elements – you know, things like the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds (can’t have those “Catholic” ties to 2,000 years of church history!), and of course the third verse of every hymn (often the verse with the best theology!). Love it!

  2. My favorite game was alternate lyrics.

    1. “Satan catches our underwears” instead of “Satan catches us unawares.”
    2. Lead on, Oh Kinky Turtle
    3. Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear
    4. Surely, He Hath Worn Our Briefs

    (I’m really going to Hell now, aren’t I?)

    1. The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly says that he went through is entire (Catholic) childhood mis-singing a well known Christmas Carol. He thought it was “a Ween in a Manger”, (“Ween” being a Glasgow Scottish term for Wee ‘Un or Child.). Does kinda makes sense….

  3. My personal favorite still remains adding “in the bathroom” to the end of song titles.

    Rescue the Perishing In the Bathroom
    No Not One In the Bathroom
    Sweet Hour of Prayer In the Bathroom

    and so on and so on…

    This also works with in the bedroom, bathtub, etc. with varying results…

  4. To add a few to Beowulf’s list there’s also

    Bringing in the Cheese (Sheaves)
    What can wash away our skins?

  5. Jim writes in that another fun one is to mentally change the definitions of words. For example, imagine that ‘deliver’ means ‘take out your liver’

    You’ll never sing “He is able to deliver thee” the same way again…

  6. Yeah, but there are some old campmeeting hymns/songs that really don’t need any help to sound silly…

    The Royal Telephone
    I’ll Fly Away

    And the alternate lyric game isn’t limited to Fundy’s…

    Lo, How a Nose E’er Blowing

  7. Back in the day we were guilty of singing “Angels we have heard are high, sweetly stumbling o’er the plain”.

  8. You write, in pencil, on the front page a silly question: Where did Adam propose to Eve? Then write a page number for the answer. So, let’s say it’s page 112. You turn to page 112 and the title is “In The Garden”. So, on the bottom or side of that page your write another ‘riddle’.

    What did the drunk say to the toilet? page 216
    “I Need Thee Every Hour”

    What does Johnny have when his mom tells him to go wait in his room for his spanking? page 11
    “Sweet Hour of Prayer”

    Oh yeah. We were witty.

  9. It is too bad that Darrell has opened the door so you can make fun of Hymns that are sung in some churches. Many of these hymns were written due to some crisis in the song writerรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs life. They reached out to God through the words of the hymn they wrote. These hymns contain many Biblical truths and are so uplifting to sing. Someone needed to stand up for the hymns and that is why I commented.

    1. I love good hymns.

      I also love funny hymnbook games. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  10. I think it’s hilarious that you (Charles) would assume that having a little fun with hymns is such a travesty.

    Especially without knowing which of us sing and love and listen to hymns on a regular basis.

    It’s HI-LAR-EE-US!

  11. Ladybug, do you really sing and love the hymns? You compare (in humor of course) a drunk and the toilet to our need for our Saviour. To me that is rather revolting. Darrel you say you love good hymns, yet you encourage others to share how they picture Jesus wearing our underwear. And the in the bathroom, bedroom, those thoughts lead down a twisted road. IMO you can’t respect these hymns and endorse these comments too.

  12. Erin says: IMO you can’t respect these hymns and endorse these comments too.

    I say: Watch me.

    I think it’s sad that you’ve appeared to have lost your sense of humor in regard to things religious. Hymns are not Holy Writ nor are they divinely inspired. I have not mocked the Savior nor any part of our orthodox faith.

    Stick around for the jokes I can tell about culottes.

  13. Once a neighbor of mine was telling me about when she visited a Baptist church. She said she had a hard time singing songs such as “How Art Thou” (I’m guessing she meant “How Great Thou Art”).

  14. I will say that my favorite nonsensical hymn is “I Want That Mountain”.

  15. We used to have hymnal races. Whisper out number. First one there wins. Got in a heap o trouble last time I did this. Competition got fierce and too loud.

  16. lol, apparently another thing fundies like is turning everything into an argument ๐Ÿ˜€

    The “in the bathroom” on is the only one I know of and that was learned in college because they had us so worn out that if we didn’t do stupid things like that we would fall asleep and Gomez would call us out and it just got messy lol.

  17. I forget some of the games we used to do. I think one involved writing down various numbers and then having a race to see who could look up all the corresponding song titles and write them down. We had two or three other games we played too. Good times.

  18. umm. . .this is pretty bad. . but we used to add “under the sheets” after the hymn titles.

  19. In my old Pentecostal Campmeetings we used to sing a “hymn” that went somthing like, “Its all over me and its keeping me alive” I guess refering to ther Holy Spirit until one of the speakers said that from a distance it sounded like we were singing, There All Over Me And There eating me Alive,

    After that I don’t think I ever heard that song again.

  20. (I know this post is old, but I’m a newcomer to the blog, and have spent many hours “catching up” on all the posts I’ve missed.)

    Back during my time at a very large, influential IFB university, I would use the “Guess the Chapel Song” game to entertain the girls on either side of me in chapel. I even managed to guess the song once or twice over the course of three years.

  21. Well, as teenagers, we were like Beavis and Butthead…

    “Deeper, Deeper”… huh-huh… It says “Deeper”

  22. As a child, I learned my numbers with a hymn book and a very patient grandmother. I could count to 100 when I was 4.

    My favorite rewrite of a hymn when I was a kid was, “Moses’ sister hated him.”

  23. In the sweet (give me some meat)
    Bye and bye (give me some pie)
    We shall meet on that beautiful shore (give me some more)

  24. we used to play a game of making sentences with the Hymn titles. One person would pick the first Hymn, like “Let Him have his way with you”, the next person would pick a Hymn, “In the Garden”. “In the Garden” was always a good one.

  25. At PCC we had some “rewritten” hymns that had been handed down from past (non-fundy) students. For example:

    (Rewrite of “Love Lifted Me”)

    I was sinking deep in sin, having a grand ol’ time
    Then my roommate turned me in, now I’m in DC’s line
    I’ve been campused, socialed too
    Singing my sad, sad song
    How was I supposed to know that kissings wrong?

    Their shipping me!
    Their shipping me!
    When nothing else could help, their shipping me!
    Their shipping me!
    Their shipping me!
    When nothing else could help, their– shipping– meeeeee! ๐Ÿ˜†

    It always made me laugh when the students that were fundies would hear one of these songs. Their faces were priceless! Its really sad that some Christians think that having a sense of humor is evil.

    1. Ha! BJU had a variation of this one, too! My favorite, though, is “The Lord’s Army” rewrite:

      I may never march for women’s liberty,
      Wear a skirt above my knee,
      Kiss a boy behind a tree.
      I may never marry til I’m ninety-three,
      ‘Cause I’m at BJU (with Dr. Bob).

      1. We sang that one too. But the last line was, “Cause I’m at HAC” (which actually rhymes and I thought it originated there.)

    2. the BJU version:
      I was sinking deep in sin, having a grand old time
      then my PC turned my in, now I’m in DC line
      Dean of Women, Dean of Men, heard my despairing cry
      From this campus lifted me, now shipped am I.
      Fly Delta Fly, fly Delta Fly . . .

      DC= Discipline Committee, PC = prayer captain, shipped = kicked out.

  26. This was a rather personal one, in that no one got it, but I would go thru hymnals looking for “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross?” and when I found it, would always write “This is the hymn in ‘Tom Sawyer'”. It’s the one described as starting out on a medium note, and then would: climb steadily up till it reached a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word and then plunge down as if from a spring-board:

    Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies, on flow’ry BEDS of ease,
    Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro’ BLOOD-y seas?

    You have to actually see the words sloping up on the page to get the effect, but it always made me grin. ๐Ÿ˜€
    FWIW, I always wrote it in pencil, as it’s a sin to deface the hymnal with pen.
    Modern hymn books don’t have it anymore, ruins all my fun. :mrgreen:

  27. I loved request night when we find the most obscure hymn that nobody knows and see if the song leader actually sings it.

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