148 thoughts on “GOH: “Coming Home” (With Added Glurge)”

    1. Dear Darrell:

      I do happen to remember that song. More distinctly, I remember wanting a good, stiff drink to help me forget.


      Christian Socialist

      PS: Butt-cushion please!

      1. Oh my god, the southern accent can be heard immediately. Is there anyone from Texas who has ever even heard of this thing called “university,” much less actually been there? The entire southern US is full of incestuous, inbreds. The few who do escape still hold on to their accent because their mind has been so twisted by Southern Culture that it’s almost impossible to escape from. The sum of their lives is NASCAR, football, hunting, fishing, and killing abortion providers. So sad.

        1. Shandra, that was a remarkably partisan and bigoted comment. I was a military kid and lived all over, and their are fuckheads everywhere. In fact, there were more rednecks in New Jersey than in Houston. I understand your frustration, but broad-brush judgmentalism is not the answer.

        2. I don’t know if “racism” is the right term, but you certainly are attacking a very large population on the basis of your stereotypes here.

          And just FYI, I don’t think the people in this video are from Texas.

          I know you’re just trolling here, but still, I can’t let that go by.

        3. The sum of their lives is NASCAR, football, hunting, fishing — you say that like it’s a bad thing. :mrgreen: 😛
          I will agree with you about killing doctors. 🙁

        4. So I am an incestuous inbred who likes NASCAR, hunting, fishing, and killing abortion providers, eh?

          Last time I checked, my parents were not related before they got married, I am not related to my husband other then the fact that he is my husband, I hate NASCAR, don’t know how to hunt, have minimal skill in fishing, and have never killed anyone in my life, so that rules out killing abortion providers.

          And I was born and raised in the South and have a very Southern accent.

          Take your hate somewhere else. It is not welcome here.

        5. @WanderingTraveler: Please, I didn’t mean to offend. I only meant that people who do like NASCAR, hunting, etc, don’t understand why others put it down. There’s plenty of Yankees who do enjoy all that, and plenty of Southerners like yourself who do not. What’s sad is that a few jerks like these backwater preachers have ruined the image of the South.
          Again, I apologize. 🙁

        6. Dear shandra oreilly:

          Really? And on the basis of what epistemological presupposition do you substantiate that fatuous, ontological predication?

          Christian Socialist

          PS: How many registered socialists reside in the South?

          PPS: Tomorrow is Sunday; I’m waiting patiently for that butt-cushion …

        7. I think the means of butt cushion production are still adjusting to the ACA requirements! 🙂

          Your patience is appreciated! 🙂

        8. @shandra oreilly:

          I’m going with, “Bite me,” on this one. It’s clean, elegant and has just the right staccato rhythm to express what’s in my heart.

  1. If I had a buck for every time I’ve heard this story I could live the rest of my life without ever having to be concerned with money. 🙄

  2. Saint Peter Arrests Coming Home Group At Pearly Gates:

    ‘STOP RIGHT THERE! You’re not bringing that lyrical buffoonery in here!’

    Christian Socialist

  3. Ohhh yes. I remember this story! hahaha added glurge… Personally this guy should nominated for an academy award for this performance. Something like Best Glurge Integration.

  4. Song gives me the twitches…I haven’t heard that story but they are basically all the same anyway. Other than the actual words I’ve seen and heard it more than I could count. That fake crying and panting and carrying on, and people eat that $#!+ up!

  5. I remember hearing Lester Roloff tell pretty much the same story. But he had HoneyBee backup singers.
    As a kid, I wondered if he was retelling a Tony Orlando and Dawn song, or if they both knew the same story.

    1. The story goes back to way, way before Tony Orlando and Dawn. I imagine there’s a version where an Egyptian coming back from Nubia asked his mother to tie a piece of linen to a papyrus stalk.

  6. Oh come on, this is just “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” for the Good Ol’ Time Gospel crowd. 🙄
    Song’s typical enough, it really doesn’t need the extra glurge. 😕

  7. @ 2:00

    Preacher: Son thats all well and good, but how can you know that you’ll be welcomed home?

    Typical casting of doubt by a preacher who talks out of both sides of his mouth.

    Once saved always saved, but are you sure you are saved? Oil up that turnstile for the altar call, especially for those teens out there.

    1. “When you coming home, son?”
      “Don’t know when, but we’re gonna have a good time then, Dad, we’re gonna have a good time then.”
      –another comparison that would work just as well. 😛

      1. I meant “comparison Song”, spec. “The Cat’s In the Kettle”. Come to think of it, I bet that grey-haired old father is probably thinking that right now, mumbling, “If only I’d been home more, if only I’d read more stories to my boy, if only I’d played ball more, he wouldn’t have run off like that, if only….”
        Perfect for bringing on the guilt. 😥 😛 🙄

        1. Thank you, Scorpio. I will be passing that link to the kids. Especially my daughter who is an intern at an Asian library near Chinatown in San Francisco.

        2. @BG– You’re right, 😳 I was thinking of the Weird Al parody (one of my favorites); my mind seems to be stuck that way. 😀

        3. I’d not seen the video for this song, but I confess I have an mp3 of this squirreled away somewhere.

        4. I haven’t come across a Cat Stevens version, but Harry Chapin WROTE the song and his recording of it was a #1 hit.

  8. My dad used to tell that story in revival meetings, only the boy ran away from home, the parents did not send him away. And, there was nothing about the boy getting saved, he was accepted without conditions. I have never heard it put to music.

    1. I watched this on youtube just now and there are quite a few links down the side for “the apple tree song”.

      There is apparently a whole sub-genre of this song blended with this story. Who knew?

    2. Of course, it’s a modified version of the Prodigal Son parable.
      The trouble is that it’s missing many of the elements that give the Bible story depth: the son’s desperation, the father’s reactions, and the brother’s resentment.

    3. I know at least a few of you fellow readers will find this interesting:

      This post got me to thinking about the whole tie-something-to-a-tree motif, and so I sent an e-mail to Jan Harold Brunvand, who is maybe the foremost expert on American urban legends (in fact, he probably invented the name “urban legend”), to ask Professor Brunvand if he knew how far back the story goes. (JBH is the author of such popular books about legends as “The Choking Doberman,” “The Mexican Pet,” and “The Vanishing Hitchhiker.”)

      To my delight, Dr. Brunvand answered my query, as follows:

      Hello Gary:

      I don’t believe I’ve ever written about yellow ribbons, but other folklorists have. Look at this article by someone at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress:


      An earlier piece from the same source is linked in the first paragraph, and there are three references at the end to scholarly articles about the practice. It turns out that tying or wearing ribbons in general has a pretty long history, but the specifics of tying yellow ribbons to trees, fences, etc. to commemorate military heroes and the like is fairly recent and was aided greatly by popular culture (films and music).

      These discussions of the custom were written in the 1980s and ’90s, and I do not know of any later studies that might have pushed the history back any further. Even a Civil War connection seems to be doubtful.

      Best wishes,

      –Jan Brunvand

      The linked article mentions several sources for the story itself from the 1950s and 60s, although songs about wearing ribbons as pledges to sweethearts are much older. One of the earliest printed versions of the ribbon-on-the-apple-tree narrative was in a book on prisons and prisoners, so maybe the whole thing started as prison folklore.

  9. The song itself is kind of a Gospel classic.
    They ruin it with that smarmy story.

    The yarn may be the granddaddy of all glurge.
    When Tony Orlando and Dawn’s version of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” was on the radio, my Dad always laughed, because when he was in seminary (in the early 1950s), his homiletics professors held out this tale as the prime example of a story you should never use as a sermon illustration, because it was so corny, tired, and overused. So we know that church people were already sick of hearing it 60 years ago.

    1. Big Gary, I hope that your dad has since seen the error of his ways and has decided to “knock twice on the pipe” instead of the old ribbon thing. Like Ghandi said, “That christ guy may have been nominally ok, but his followers are all aholes.”

      1. I thought it was “knock three times on the ceiling.”
        Twice on the pipes means you ain’t gonna show.

  10. This congregation must have put all its rags in the apple tree, because they don’t have one left to wipe all that Vaseline off the camera lens. 😯

  11. The music reminds me of a funeral. I remember hearing the older women’s voices crack when they sang that song at the church I grew up in. 🙄

    Memories…terrible terrible memories. 👿

    1. There’s some famous footage of a man singing this song and weeping as F.D. Roosevelt’s funeral train passes by.

      I just tried and failed to find it on the Internet, but here’s a version sung by the great Paul Robeson. It lets you hear some of the song’s potential:

      1. Dear Big Gary:

        Thank you so much for this. PR’s voice amazes me. But he pretty much torpedoed his career when he joined the Communist Party. Now he is virtually unknown. A shame!

        Christian Socialist

        1. I think Paul Robeson is one of the most under-appreciated great Americans.
          Whether you agree with his Communist sympathies or not, you can see how he came by them, given his experiences, and they are understandable for the times.

        2. It’s sad that the right-wing media in this country have given Communism a bad name. It’s refreshing to come to blogs such as this where we realize that Communism is what this country needs and the answer to all of our income inequalities and gender-based, and heterosexist policies. Religion has destroyed more countries than anything else, and we all should thank Daryl and this blog for help pointing out the destructive, evil ways of the christ-followers and other wackjobs.

      2. Right church, just wrong pew. This is “Going Home”, also immortalized in Dvorak’s New World Symphony, while the hymn above doused in glurge is “Coming Home”. The two hymns bookend one another fairly well. 😀

        1. Really? I couldn’t make out what tune the choir in the glurgefest was attempting. It may well have been different.

  12. I’m in a pretty liberal (by fundamentalist standards) church, and there have been occasional opportunities to come up to the front to pray. Believe it or not this can be done without manipulation or guilt and can actually be a good thing! But too much of this crap has immunized me from ever doing any more public professions of anything. I just have no desire any more. It really hardens the hell out of you.

    And what is up with all the fake emotion? Why do preachers love that so much and that fake crying? I’m amazed that they don’t catch themselves and stop out of embarrassment. Friggin altar calls.

  13. “I’m a minister, you can tell me, son.”

    Well, okay then, let me tell you (although you are a complete stranger and have provided no tangible proof of your alleged vocation) my whole life’s story…actually just the really embarrassing parts.

    1. Actually, this worked quite well in the past when ministers were actual ministers, usually poorer and self-effacing, and genuinely loved people. There are still many ministers like this, my own pastor among them, but there are also a whole host of self-important church kings who ruin in for everyone.

  14. Fundy videos are so hard to date. Due to the low quality tape, musical selection and fashion, it’s difficult to determine if this takes place in 1985 or today.

    1. The date that pops up in the beginning of the video is March 1999. But to your point, without that clue it would be almost impossible to date it.

    1. GOH = Grand Old Hymn
      FWOTW = Fundy Website of the Week
      MOG = Man of God
      MOg = Man of gid (the fundy god)

    2. The SFL Official Fundy to English Reference Guide also lists these:
      FBCH/HAC = Pedophile Refuge
      BJU = [censored]
      NVBC = Trieber’s Kingdom
      SBC = Home of the Antichrist

      1. Actual alphabetisms:

        FBCH – First Baptist Church Hammond
        HAC – Hyles Anderson College

      2. It’s incredible that SFL interprets NVBC=Trieber’s Kingdom, because that is how his pastorate is described by ex-members. As far back to Trieber’s alliance with Jack Hyles in the late 1970’s, Trieber’s attempts at building ‘his’ church has closely resembled the building of a dynasty.

    3. As a Braves fan since they came to Atlanta (at the ripe old age of four), I find your avatar offensive. As soon as I figure out how it will cause me to stumble spiritually, I will ask you to remove it.

      My son says realignment was a long time ago, and it’s time to transfer that dislike to the Phillies or Mets.

      1. Mets fan here. Hard to hate us lately.

        I guess we can just be thankful we are not Cubs fans. :mrgreen:

        1. I have a picture of my son at about 10 or 12 standing in front of a large Mets logo at Shea wearing a Braves shirt and a Yankees cap. He wore them to the game we attended.
          Some old guys sitting near us found it quite amusing.

        2. Jack Hyles was a huge Cubs fan. He used to say he’d win Chicago and the Cubs for the Lord. His son-in-law was a huge White Sox fan.

      2. Philly born & bred here, so you are no doubt having a good laugh at our second half implosion. I would have replied to Scorpio, but I am having problems coming to grips with the fact he is a Mets fan.

        1. I know. He fell a bit in my estimation for that. I guess you could say Scorpio lost his testimony here today. I will be calling everyone I know and sharing my this prayer request today.

        2. Wow. I had no idea I could lose my testimony so easily. Maybe I do have a shot at being heretic of the Month on Ezekiel3.

      3. Uncle Wilver, in LA there are a lot of gangs and violence out here. Prop 8 just got over turned. Oh, and Hollywood. Take your pick.

      4. As far as the Dodgers go, we can just wait until the NLCS and I’m sure you’ll be offended quite a bit 😉

        1. I don’t happen to agree with you, but since I don’t live in Fundystan anymore, I guess it’s okay to disagree.

      5. Uncle Wilver, you are treading on dangerous ground, even as a joke. The “Braves” is a racist, heterosexist name and anyone who claims to be “a big fan” even in jest, is engaging in inappropriate behavior. Please reconsider your posts before continuing to post here. Or leave.

        1. You think “Braves” is bad? You ought to check out the Cleveland Indians, with Chief Wahoo. 😈
          Sorry, folks, I just can’t resist.

  15. I just poked my eardrums out with a q-tip after listening to 10 seconds of that. Scheduling a root canal for this afternoon.

  16. Yes, I remember this song. I started to listen to it but my cat gave me such a look of sadness and pain before she stomped slowly out of the room that I had to turn it off and go rub her ears and seek forgiveness.
    It is okay though. I remember this well. Glurge is a good word for it.

  17. Oh goodness, my stomach flipped as soon as he started talking. I can’t listen to that even in jest.

  18. This manipulation
    This morning, if your mama’s here, I’d love for you to just go to her and put your arms around her, and tell her that you love her today.
    caused severe flashback to other instances of the same.

    Reminds me of the usual comments that follow such glurge: “If your eyes are dry after that, you may want to check out your salvation.”

    Hates it! Hatessss it!

  19. I do know the song, and have heard it sung as an invitation song, but the story didn’t ring a bell… and yet… and yet, I think I may have heard (and possibly blanked out) something like it before.

  20. Make it stop. Make it STOP! MAKE IT STOP!!! Oh wait, I CAN make it stop. I lasted a whole 55 seconds. My wife was listening and just groaned. We’re both choir people and couldn’t take any more.

    1. My thoughts exactly; Bang the Drum Slowly and Play the Fife Lowly. This is a Dirge with a Glurge. And manipulation 101…

    1. I think the term was invented by the Barbara and David Mikkelson, the authors of the Snopes.com web site. But it’s such a useful term that it caught on quickly in the broader world.

      Snopes.com gives a definition that would be hard to improve on:

      1. The Mikkelsons are true American heroes. They make it their mission to rid the culture of these crazed, lunatic fringe types who vote Republican, love guns, god, etc. Sadly, they are fighting a tough battle and a dumbed-down populace who want to take away women’s reproductive rights at every turn. We need to support them as much as we can in order to salvage this sinking ship called America.

        1. Remember, I’m a PK — we always brake the rules. 😯 😀 In this instance, my hand was up b/c I don’t know what glurge means.

        2. Eyes closed?! Remember, I’m a PK — we always brake the rules. 😯 😀 In this instance, my hand was up b/c I don’t know what glurge means.

        3. Edited to correct word: “We always BREAK the rules.” (Even word usage). 😳

  21. I remember from my occasional IFB church pianist gigs, that this song especially lent itself to a throbbing rolling bass type of accompaniment. The hypnotic result of such improvisation was of course the point.

    In our church, this was ALWAYS AND ONLY an Invitation Hymn.

    1. Throbbing and hypnotic — it’s funny that fundies are quick to criticize CCM and never recognize that they use repetition and emotion to manipulate people too. The difference is that CCM is usually trying to make people HAPPY as they worship God, while invitation songs want to make you feel tremendously guilty.

      1. I absolutely agree. At least praise-and-worship music is designed to invoke emotions that are perceived as worshipful but invitation hymns are meant to invoke the same emotions for the purpose of manipulating people into a “response” of some kind. I think neither of these are always wrong per se, but both are abused by the respective churches that employ such methods.

    2. Funny how Jack Trieber and his mentor the world famous Jack Hyles blasted CCM music and southern gospel but now Trieber plays Southern Gospel on his radio along with great tunes from Alvin Martinez who is revered among IFB’s for his famous voice.

      1. Ahh, there are some who’ve noticed the change of standards! Indeed, Trieber once preached vehemently against Southern Gospel Music and concerts, however, the demand for such music on his radio station by listeners, and the need to attract listeners across the country, caused him to re-think his stand. Although his standards have dropped, any Southern Gospel Music afficionado will notice that only mellow, older songs are played there. Listeners will not hear the more lively tunes heard on the official SG radio stations around the country.

      2. No post would be complete without a Disco Dancing Troll comment about Al Martinez and his awesome voice.

  22. Preacher: “Ef I kin hep you with anything I’d be heppy to.”
    Wandering lad: “I’ve traveled all ova dis contry, I been into thangs that you wudn’t thank of preacher!!”

    (I seriously doubt this, but trust him he’s a MOG!)

    Lad: “And I wrote my mudder a letter and I sed “Momma I’m going be on this soul train. I’m a comin home.”

    Am I the only one who heard this that heard banjos accompanying? Is it just me?

    1. Bald Jones (Bob Jones) advocated girls wearing pants in the dorms and secular music.

      1. Since I graduated from BJU in 1980 I didn’t know what the girls wore in their dorms. It was the mystery kingdom for me.

      2. I do know however that in my time secular devil music was forbidden unless it was classical, semi-classical or serious religious music.

        1. check out the video “Bob Jones: Blue Jean Baby” BJU is a bit more liberal than other IFB schools.

      1. Well just as long as Brother Fin’s got his fiddle
        And brother Keaton brings his drums along
        Then Darrell and me, and Craig will be
        Sing your favorite church song
        Starting at the girls in the front row
        Heading out for West Coast
        It’s great to be a part of something so good that’s lasted so long.

        1. if you’re familiar with Jim Vineyards concentration camp (Windsor Hills/Oklahoma Baptist College) you’ll get those names.

      2. Big Gary, you gave me the best laugh of all day. “More cowbell”. Reminds me of the two all time best SNL skits ever: “Cowbell” and “The Colonel” coming home to his Southern plantation from the Civil War. Need I say more?

  23. I have no problems with the song itself, which is a great old challenge/invitation hymn. (By the way, the late, distinguished classical choral composer and arranger John Ness Beck wrote an absolutely gorgeous arrangement of it.) But this was seriously awful, and the story is about the most hackneyed tale imaginable. Spare us the choked-back tears, too — it’s lousy acting and even worse preaching. 😡

  24. Now I’ve got “Coming Home” by Phil Collins stuck in my head. Picture this fundy singing group singing a piano version only of that song.

  25. I remember the song. I just don’t know what to do with that narration. I laughed near-hysterically at first, then I started feeling bad for the guy. The Alabama education system did not serve him well.

  26. Can we get a Alvin Martinez video posted?? I’m guessing Darrell isn’t a fan of Martinez.

  27. Groan. I do remember the song. I remember the story. The music continues while the preacher preachers.

    I have never been one who wanted to do the public confessions. I have always felt dirtier going up to “the altar” than staying in my pew and talking to the Lord there. Someone coming up to you to “pray with you,” almost like a spiritual voyeur!

    And how many altar calls are made in a church supposedly full of “saved” people. But the preacher has to pour it on just in case someone doubts just a little bit.

    The service gets so mushy you almost feel guilt by association! And the guilt trip works, especially when you see people coming to the front who are ministers in the church and who probably live exemplary lives.

    For me, the confession of sin in the Episcopal service is quite sufficient. I know my sins. I want to get past the repenting to the part where I am in fellowship again through the sacrifice of Christ.

    Fundies leave you repenting at the altar. The service never takes you to the level of grace given and fellowship restored.

    1. Exactly! – “Satan is keeping you at your seat – just make that first step and say no to Satan …etc”
      Where does the victory come in – because the next week it’s the same thing all over again. When do we get on with life? 😛

  28. This! “Fundies leave you repenting at the altar. The service never takes you to the level of grace given.”

    And the number of souls at the altar can become a measuring success of the pastor’s success, even though the response to the invitation is frequently manipulated.

    I heard a pastor say during an altar call that his wife was “dealing” with someone and realize she was likely sharing scripture and praying. However, “dealing” is the role of the Holy Spirit!

  29. I remember a similar story in my dad’s Sword of the Lord book of preacher stories, but it was a prisoner on his way home & he asked for a lantern to be lit.

    Well, that old tree was hung with lanterns on every branch!

  30. What is it about fundamentalist music? I mean, a kid with a ipad cansound better than that! What happened to timing, pitch, and general musicality? I would really like to take a roto-rooter to someone’s nasal passages. I have heard sick cows with better vocal quality.

    1. They believe in making a joyful noise. Really, who needs to practice to do something well when you have all this “spirit”?

      If you were to talk to people about the “heavenly choir” they expect to be a part of, you would see they don’t expect to practice, they expect they will be experts and in unison immediately.

      Then again, their idea of what goes on in “the throne room” is appalling. They have this strange idea that “coming boldly before the throne of grace” means that one can interrupt the proceedings and ceremonies of the Court. Isaiah and Revelation demonstrate that those who come into the Throne Room must participate in Throne Room activities.

      Heaven will not be their anarchy of selfishness as God interrupts His Business to meet every petty request.

      Then again, I don’t expect Heaven to be a repeat of an oriental throne room with their customs. But that is another matter.

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