121 thoughts on “GOH: Birds In The Wilderness”

    1. And that ^^^^^^ is, in my opinion, the funniest comment ever on SFL. ๐Ÿ˜†
      Thank you, Pastor’s Wife, for making me laugh out loud this morning.

      (When I was a teen, my dad would offer this same advice when he insisted on a strict curfew and I now find myself saying the same thing to my kiddos.)

    1. Isn’t that the same tune as:
      “Sixteen tons of greasy, grimy, gopher guts,
      greasy, grimy, gopher guts, greasy, grimy, gopher guts.
      Sixteen tons of greasy, grimy, gopher guts
      …and I forgot my spoon.”

      1. It’s “The Old Grey Mare, She Ain’t What She Used to Be.”

        I learned “Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts” as a chant, but YMMV.

      2. With us it was:
        Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
        Mutilated monkey meat,
        Disconnected birdies’ beaks,
        Gory eyeballs rolling down the dusty street,
        And I forgot my spoon! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

        The reason I think of the Gory Eyeball part is that I also recall the principal at my fundy high school preaching a sermon on I Cor. 12:17, along the lines of “Now suppose your whole body were one great big eyeball, now how would you like to see a thing like that bouncing down the street?” ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ™„ It took everything I had not to laugh. :mrgreen:

      3. Dear Don:

        Aeons ago, I heard this version …

        Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
        Mutilated monkey meat, concentrated chicken feet,
        Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
        Swimming in pink lemonade,
        And I forgot my spoon!


        Clearly, there was a seeing a common source that connected these various traditions. The exception would be the โ€˜Old Grey Mareโ€™ tradition, which is very different and undoubtedly reflects foreign influence. Were there syncretistic efforts to bring these together? We may never know.

        We can say with certainty that the 4 line and 5 line texts versions are linked to a common source. But at some point, scribal errors entered the picture. These notes [marginalia?] were incorporated into the text by later redactors, resulting in the disparate renditions in the copies we have today.

        Christian Socialist

      4. Let’s see, the version that my dad taught me (taught to him at Boy Scout camp in the 50’s)…

        “Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
        Mutilated monkey meat,
        Petrified frogs’ feet,
        Something something something that I’ll have to ask my dad again
        And I forgot my spoon.”

        Well. That didn’t turn out like I had hoped.

      5. The one I learned:

        “Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
        Mutilated monkey meat rolling down the dirty street,
        Piles and piles of pink and purple porpoise pus,
        But I forgot my straw!”

      6. I’m late to the party, with yet another variation:

        “Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
        Marinated monkey meat, chocolate-covered parakeet;
        Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
        And I forgot my spoon!

        Ah,the joys of childhood!

        1. Thanks, george–you erased the end quotes after “spoon!”. Shoo, now–find somebody else to bother.

  1. Wow. That’s a STRANGE song.

    First, it seems like something for kids in children’s church, not adults, though often at church, preachers or evangelists like to make grown-ups do something childish for amusement.

    Second, I just don’t get the allusion. The birds in the wilderness weren’t sitting but flying into camp, and they weren’t waiting to be fed; they WERE the food.

    Psalm 102 mentions birds – “I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top” – but they don’t seem to be waiting to be fed.

    I guess I just don’t get it. (But as someone who once sang, as a grownup in an evening service, Al Smith’s song about the robin and the mouse, I really shouldn’t say a word!)

    1. Care to post a rendition of said robin and mouse song in Mp3 format for all of us to hear? Or if not, posting the lyrics is bound to be entertaining ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. The Robin and the Mouse

        Once there was a little robin outside the kitchen door
        He wanted so to go inside, to hop upon the floor.
        Oh no, said robinโ€™s mother. You had better stay with me
        For little birds are safest sitting in a tree.
        I donโ€™t care said robin as he gave his tail a fling
        I donโ€™t think that old folks know quite everything.
        So into the kitchen fast he flew and quicker than a wink
        A great big cat had caught him, because he didnโ€™t think.

        Once a little trap was baited with a little piece of cheese
        It tickled so a little mouse, it almost made him sneeze
        An older mouse said danger, say be careful where you go
        Ah, nonsense said the little mouse, I donโ€™t think you know
        Mousie stepped in boldly for nobody was in sight
        First he took a nibble, and then a great big bite
        Then the trap snapped fast together, as fast as you can blink
        And caught poor mousie fast inside, because he didnโ€™t think.

        Listen all you little friends of mine as we sing this happy song
        Donโ€™t you see what trouble comes from simply doing wrong?
        So why not learn a lesson from mouse and robinโ€™s fate
        And letโ€™s begin our thinking before it is too late
        Read the Holy Bible, it will teach you right from wrong
        Give your heart to Jesus, sing a happy song
        Then when Satan comes to tempt you, just look to God in prayer,
        And Heโ€™ll be there to help you, for God is everywhere.

        1. Awwww… well, even some of the worst songs sound okay when two sweet little girls sing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. “Listen all you little friends of mine as we sing this happy song”

          HOW can this be called a happy song? I don’t care how peppy the tune might be, it’s singing about a young robin and mouse getting killed! Thankfully, not explicitly, but still!

          Replacement options: sappy, crazy, sad ol’, dreadful, nasty, moral, teaching, awful, scary,…

        3. Wow–my great-grandmother used to recite the verse about the mouse getting caught in the trap when I was a little girl back in the early fifties–usually when I was about to do something stupid. I had no idea it was part of a hymn. Thanks, PW!

        4. The version I knew had a slightly different final verse (I just got this off the internet because I couldn’t find my copy of the music). It definitely didn’t say “happy song”; it might have said “little song.”

          I don’t know if Al Smith wrote the song or adapted a bit of verse from folklore and added a final verse and put it to music.

  2. I’m racking my brain to figure out what on earth this is talking about? Was thinking the ravens, that fed Elisha, but weren’t waiting to be fed, and I don’t think were in the wilderness.

    1. And I can’t tell if it’s meant to be insulting or not: is their sitting like birds waiting to be fed a good thing (“open thy mouth wide and I will fill it” and “like babes desire the sincere milk of the word”) or negative like they’re just sitting around waiting to be served.

      I’d rather be marching in the infantry.

      1. It’s just baffling enough for an evangelist to use however be sees fit to berate the people paying his salary.

  3. FWIW – I think it’s the same tune as “I’m in the Lord’s Army.” “I may never march in the infantry, fly in the calvary, zoom ore the enemny but I’m in the Lord’s army.” I know. That doesn’t help.:?:

    1. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I never made the connection before! Now I’m going to be forced to compose some sort of mashup where the kiddies sing about being in the Lord’s army of old, grey mares, yes, SIR! ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. I’d rather hear “There’s a Sweet Sweet Bird singing in my heart..” Right before getting told how you don’t really love God if you ever ever miss a church function or don’t knock doors every week.

  5. From Favorite Camp Songs website:
    (TUNE: Old Grey Mare)

    Each cabin had there own verse that they made up. The song was sung outside the mess hall (on deck in photo) and each cabin added their verse as it moved from group to group. I recall, “sit like bumps on a cedar log…”

    Here we stand like birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness,
    Here we stand like birds in the wilderness,
    Waiting to be fed.
    OH! Waiting to be fed,
    OH! Waiting to be fed,
    Here we stand like birds in the wilderness,
    Waiting to be fed.


  6. I lasted five seconds.

    Which is about how long I would last in such a Sunday School class.

    Good grief. Can you imagine being a first-time visitor, walking into that mess?

    1. Meh. If the person had a stick up his or her backside, maybe. My husband and I visited a church last year where they were leading the congregation in the Charleston, lol. It was a little silly, a little fun, and a little out there, but we didn’t really cast all these “OH MAH GAWD!” judgments on them for it. I mean, it was probably a great way to wake people up and get their blood flowing. And everyone was obvi having fun.

  7. First time I heard this little ditty was nearly fifty years ago from my uncle. He was a UMC preacher.

  8. I think I’ve notices a trend. You have to watch for it in videos like these… they’re *dancing* ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Things like this are the closest thing that IFBers can get to actual dancing without getting pregnant.

  9. My dad would sing this occasionally to us, just being goofy. I had no idea it was a “real” song. Now the song is going to be stuck in my head all day long. Thanks, Darrell.

  10. Just a little ditty they sing before getting fed The Word?

    The movements would help keep them awake.

  11. Maybe it’s supposed to be about Matthew 6:26, though that says nothing about wilderness. But WE are like birds in the WORLDLY wilderness, AMEN?!

    I know we must come to Jesus as a child but this is ridiculous. Maybe I’ve just lost all innocence, but unless you are 4 years old this isn’t the definition of fun, anywhere.

    1. It seems that Evangelicals in general trending toward larger churches. They have small groups where people can connect with others that they have a little more in common with. Young marrieds, older singles, single parents,……..etc………. You also do not have to answer why you skipped Sunday evening church.

    2. I have noticed that in a lot of these videos. Not so much in this one but a lot of gray hair also.

  12. I love the commercial video that plays first. Hahahah people in bathing suits partying.

  13. They sing a song how they are helpless little birds who cannot even feed themselves. Then they wonder why so many of their people have mental health problems.

  14. I found it funny that they were all singing about sitting in the wilderness when everyone was standing.

    The way the song leader had them start the song by holding out a note just made me think the people knew this song was coming too…

    1. Fundie SLR (Song Leading Rule) SLR-3-29-3.2 – All filler words such as OH shall be held out as long as possible by the song leader until everyone is out of breath or the Man Of God approves the song leader to proceed by the nod of the head.

  15. OH I get it. They’re sitting like birds in the wilderness waiting to be fed because Tony Hutson is going to be preaching. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. My Mom sang this “Birds in the Wilderness” song as a a Campfire Girl back in the early 1940s (and later taught it to me). My understanding was that they sang it at camp while they were in line for chow. I never heard that it had any Biblical reference.
    But if I were to invent one, I might use Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

    1. I worked at a Scout camp for several summers. This is what the campers sang outside the dinning hall while waiting for lunch.

  17. OH the humanity! I remember my fundie church would sing that song before going to an after church fellowship. No one was allowed to leave until EVERYONE participated.

  18. Maybe referring to Rev. 19:17-18?

    “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

    That would fit the Fundy MO.

  19. Typical IFB theology. The MOG will be along to feed you all you need. Don’t go looking into scripture for food on your own, because you need the Mog for true understanding and insight.

  20. I’m pretty sure I sang this in Sunday School at one point or another. I haven’t remembered it since then.

    I can’t imagine why.

  21. They kept reading the daily bombardment from SFL about fundies being corpulent, so they decided to start an excercise program, and look, they get criticized for that as well, just no pleasing folks with a CRITICAL spirit!…. :mrgreen:

  22. At least the song leader didn’t have them singing “Father Abraham!” LOL

    ~~~Marlene ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    1. I love the Father Abraham song and so does Paul–Gal3:28-29. Dispensationalist (because Darby and Scofield say so, that’s why) fundies liked to dis that song “because we’re NOT actually the children of Abraham”, but then I read my Bible.

      1. Michael… I actually always loved that song… It never failed to bring out the giggles in everyone who let themselves get lost in it and lose themselves in the moment!!!

        ALL TOGETHER NOW… “Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham, you are one of them and so am I, so lets just praise The Lord, right arm…” LOL

        ~~~Heart ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  23. Two things:
    There are NO young people in this church.
    This reminded me of the opening scene in the movie “Blue Like Jazz”.
    Do they have any idea of how childish they look or of how this activity would be viewed by a visitor?

  24. Dear SFL Reader:

    Liturgically speaking, I presume that this takes the place of the prayer for God’s blessing on the word???

    Christian Socialist

  25. Seriously how can we be expected to simply smile nod and move on with our lives? This is a softball right down the middle. The temptation is too great.

  26. I was racking my brains trying to think where I had seen the words before… and I eventually remembered a book I read many years ago: it was called Busman’s Honeymoon, copyright 1937. It contains apparently a similar song with these words:

    Here we sit like birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness,
    Here we sit like birds in the wilderness,
    Down in Demarara!

    Now this old man, he took and died-a-lum,
    Took and died-a-lum,
    Took and died-a-lum,
    This old man, he took and died-a-lum,
    Down in Demerara!

    So here we sit like birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness,
    Birds in the wilderness!
    Here we sit like birds in the wilderness,
    Down in Demerara!

    There is no mention of the tune, but it was considered “mad” to break out singing this song in the story.

    But it is apparently an old song.

    1. Demerara is an area of what is now Guyana. It was a British colony in the 18th and 19th centuries. So I’m guessing that this version of the song may have originated with British troops stationed in Demerara, which would indeed indicate that the song is old (dating back to at least the 1800s).

  27. Watched for the 2nd time ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I’m wondering if there was the threat of being “called out” by the MOG for non-participation…best I can tell it looks like 100% drinking the koolade ๐Ÿ™„

    1. Wouldn’t doubt it one bit — they did this at my old church with “Father Abraham”, and I was really glad I was the one at the piano. >.<

  28. “We would like to welcome you all, amen, to bring a friend sunday, amen. We will be picking our winner of our pack a pew contest in just a few moments. Now remember the winner will receive a 1611 Gold Plated, 75 pound King James Version bible HAAAAYYYMMEEEN signed by Dr. Ruckman. Now before we pick the winner and let preacher preach, lets sing this song to prepare our hearts and visitors you are welcome to join us amen”
    – 2 minutes before the song began

    1. Actually, I think that just before the song, there was a lecture about “being as a little child” and not being too proud to do the actions that the children do, together with a warning of “if you don’t participate, we know you have a cold heart”.

      THEN the song started.


      1. GR, you brought back bad memories! *twitch twitch*

        Why do fundies keep adults at children’s levels? The whole fundy empire is immaturity.

        1. Because you “have to put the cookies on the bottom shelf where everyone can get them.”

  29. Too too many old weird song memories getting awaken for me in this one. Haven’t thought of any of those old fundy-aerobic songs in ages.

    Also reminded me of a time during my high school years when we were made to sing a Patch the Pirate song for our parents at some gathering I can’t recall. We were thoroughly lectured for having rebellious spirits when we asked them to please consider their choice of, “Don’t go stretchin’ the truth”, for the HS class. *shivers* ๐Ÿ™

  30. The only way this would have been more bizarre would be if they sang (and did the motions to) Father Abraham.

  31. And the MOG is singing in his head:

    “I will make you all act like idiots,
    All act like idiots,
    All act like idiots.
    I will make you all act like idiots,
    ‘Cause that’s how I think of you.”

  32. Well… Fundies insist that it’s impossible to digest the things of God without the Managawd to feed us.

  33. And this church wonders why it only has enough people to fill 1/4 of the auditorium. ๐Ÿ™„

  34. Maybe it’s based on Matt 6:26. God feeds birds, so He will provide for our needs as well. It’s a song about trusting God for our daily provision.

    1. or…. it could be just to make sure the kool-aid dosage is high enough.

      *This was a test of the Emergency Pastoral Control system. Had this been an actual emergency the pastor would have been standing on the pulpit screaming his lungs out and beating his sheep into a guilt laden altar call on the spot.
      This was only as test.

  35. I’m digging the 3 robots on stage…wonder what they did wrong to get “volunteered?” ummmm…

  36. I am totally intrigued now. The only time I have ever heard this song before is my mother singing it when I was small, a million miles away from fundyland.
    She is from a middle class English family who attended their CofE parish church in Highgate London.

  37. Sang that song every day lining up for lunch at camp when I was a camp counselor and even when I was at family camp as a kid. I didn’t know it had a life outside of camp. I don’t think it should be allowed outside of camp…

    We didn’t do motions either. That’s different.

  38. Was that Tony Hudson, that fat freak?
    If that was a youth conference or something, I could kinda understand the stupidity…but that’s just plain insane!

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