—By Father DavidDFO104312/12/80
—Good Advice to All!
1. WE CERTAINLY ENJOY "BO-BO & THE BLUEBIRDS" & YOUR CHILDREN'S SINGING GROUPS, they're a real pleasure to hear & add real spice & variation to the Show, & I'm sure our Worldwide audience loves them. However I'm wondering a little bit about your choice of numbers for children. It seems that some of the numbers which you have chosen for the children to sing are rather adult sentiments & not really the childish sentiments of children.
2. "SAD DAY FOR A POOR MAN" COMES ACROSS WHEN THEY'RE SINGING IT, but I'm wondering if it's natural for children to really express such sentiments, sort of like my Christmas tree poem, "You can have your little baubles & your Merry Christmas Tree, all I want for Christmas is the Spirit wild & free," etc. That is not exactly a child's sentiment.
3. CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST MADE FOR CHILDREN‚ at least particularly the way that we celebrate it nowadays, & it was my own personal sort of rebellion against this childish way of celebrating Christmas that inspired the poem—particularly the ignoring of the real meaning of Christmas & Jesus. But that is an adult's reaction, a deeply spiritual Christian's reaction to the modern celebration of Christmas. I wouldn't say it was really a child's normal & natural reaction to the thrill & excitement & gifts & decorations & parties of Christmas.
4. WELL, MAYBE I'M STRAINING AT A GNAT OR SPLITTING HAIRS‚ but it just seems to me that children's songs should be naturally & normally more happy songs, more childish songs, expressing more natural childish sentiments, like many of the songs that Ho & Esther's children sing on their tapes, simple little children's songs.
5. I'M ALWAYS VERY FOND OF THAT ONE ABOUT "THE TIME TO BE HAPPY IS NOW, the place to be happy is here‚" & it's a simple little tune that keeps running through your head‚ & the simple little words that keep repeating over & over again. But Amminidab's "It's a Sad Day for a Poor Man" & my own "Spirit Tree" are a bit deep, it seems to me, for children's childish songs.
6. MAYBE THAT'S JUST MY OWN PERSONAL REACTION, BUT IT'S MARIA'S TOO, & we've discussed it with some‚ & they just feel like these are not normally naturally children's songs. They're more songs for adults & expressing adult sentiments. I'm very hesitant to give you any criticism there because you are doing such a wonderful job & working so hard‚ & the children sing to well. They do a bang-up job of it, terrific, to try to handle these big deep subjects & great big adults songs, but they just don't seem to fit.
7. I THINK THAT CHILDREN SHOULD SING SIMPLE, HAPPY, CHILDLIKE SONGS‚ & not these big, heavy, deep, adult, sad message songs. They are very good for adults & I think the songs are perfectly good for the Show, with real meaning, Music with Meaning, terrific meaning! But I think the meaning of songs like that, these deep adult songs, is too deep for children, really.
8. NOW OUR CHILDREN ARE UNUSUAL, I REALISE THAT‚ & they understand these things & even understand the "Spirit Tree" poem. They understand "Sad Day for a Poor Man" & they can actually sing it with meaning, but to have such child prodigies singing such deep expressions of adult sentiment just seems to bit out of character. I think the normal public will react a bit hesitantly or wonderingly—I don't know just how to say it—but puzzled over children expressing such deep adult sentiments in song. It just is not natural & normal.
9. I REALISE OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT EXACTLY NATURAL & NORMAL, THEY'RE UNUSUAL, they're really child prodigies, they're whiz kids, they're really brain children and they understand these deep spiritual things & deep sad things about the World, etc. But I think when the general public are listening they're going to be a bit surprised & shocked by some of the songs we've had the children singing.
10. I KNOW SOME OF THEM WERE ALMOST RISQUÉ LIKE "BYE BYE TEACHER." It would have been better even if you'd had your teenagers or voices that sounded like teenagers, older girls, etc., singing that! I love the song, it's terrific & those are my sentiments & I'll take love in preference to school any day, hallelujah! But to have little very minor children singing what sounds like about sex, is apt to raise some eyebrows, if not a few complaints!
11. TO HAVE OUR CHILDREN UNDERSTANDING THE ECONOMICS OF THE WORLD & SPIRITUAL THINGS & EVEN SEX is just a bit out of character with the general public. They just won't be able to understand how little children can understand all these things. In fact, maybe they won't even believe it.
12. WE KNOW IT'S TRUE & WE KNOW IT'S FINE & WE KNOW IT'S OK‚ & we thrill to how smart they are & how wise they are & how experienced they are & how much they know about the World & themselves & God & everything! But child prodigies are pretty incomprehensible to most of the world. How little children could know so much & understand so much & be so deep & so wise & broad–experienced is a little bit beyond the World's comprehension.
13. SO I REALLY THINK YOUR CHOICE OF SONGS FOR CHILDREN & THE CHILDREN'S GROUP SHOULD BE A LITTLE MORE SIMPLE & more childlike & a happier type of music‚ more fitting to normal children, & I think then the World would understand a little more. The World looks to children for hope & joy & happiness & Godliness & Heavenliness, they're like His little messengers straight from Heaven—& they are.
14. THEY EXPECT THEM TO BE HAPPY LITTLE ANGELS SINGING HEAVENLY SONGS & sounding like little angels‚ & giving the simple little childlike messages of God & His Love from above.—Not deep complex expressions of understanding of the problems of economics & sex & the Spirit World.
15. I THINK MARIA FEELS THAT IT DISTRACTS FROM THE HEAVY MESSAGES OF THE SONG, the meaning of the music, when the children sing such heavy songs. Because the people will naturally enjoy, most of all, the children's singing & almost ignore the Message. Or since they can't possibly comprehend children singing such songs, they just almost blot it out.
16. THEY FIGURE IT MUST BE SOME KIND OF A JOKE, because certainly normal children wouldn't be singing such songs, & I think it would be quite surprising & shocking to them & almost offensive to some, & just incomprehensible to most. They just don't sound like little children's sentiments & they don't sound really like children's songs. I think little children's songs should be more of a simple happy childlike nature & message & music.
17. I DON'T KNOW, PERHAPS SOME OF YOU THERE FELT THAT THE ADULTS COULDN'T GET AWAY WITH SINGING THOSE SONGS & might be blamed for it‚ but maybe the children could get away with it, because people just love children. But I wouldn't suggest, frankly‚ putting such songs on radio in the mouths of children nor in public to strange audiences, general public audiences anywhere. I think the people will certainly enjoy the children & they'll laugh & they'll smile & they'll applaud, but sort of ignore the song & its message & just kind of tolerate that or brush it aside & more or less forgive you for it; in spite of the song‚ they love the children.
18. SO REALLY I WOULD TRY TO SELECT MORE CHILDLIKE MUSIC, happy childlike songs such as little angels from Heaven would be singing & the public would expect them to be singing, little songs of simple childlike messages of hope & love & Heaven & "The Time to Be Happy Is Now" & many other good simple songs that your children have sung & which really go over with us & I think with the general public, the kind of songs they would expect children to sing—but not these heavy political‚ economic, psychical & sexy, deep, adult, complicated expressions which are not normal & natural for little children.
19. SO WOULD YOU KEEP THAT IN MIND WHEN YOU'RE SELECTING YOUR NUMBERS for your beautiful, wonderful little children? I know our kids are geniuses & they are child prodigies & they are amazing & we do like to show'm off & let the public know how smart they are & how deep they are, but frankly I think it's hard for the public to believe that they're that smart & that deep & that experienced that they could even know what they're singing about, when they sing songs that are that adult & that deep & that political & economic & sexy, etc.
20. IT JUST TO ME DOESN'T SEEM TO FIT IN THE MOUTHS OF CHILDREN. "Out of the mouths of babes & sucklings He has perfected praise"—not politics, economics & sex, necessarily, but praise! "And a little child shall lead them" simply. We're to become as little children in our meekness & our love & our simplicity, & in malice we are to be children, but in our understanding we're to be men. (Ps.8:2; Isa.11:6; 1Co.14:20.)
21. WE WHO ARE MEN & WOMEN & ADULT & GROWN, WE COULD BE EXPECTED TO HAVE SUCH SENTIMENTS & we could be expected to sing such songs & it would not sound strange in our mouths. Such songs would not sound incompatible & inconsistent with our own adult life & experience. But to find songs of sex & politics & economics & deeply spiritual Spirit World in the mouths of little children—in other words, adult sentiments, at least what the general public would consider adult sentiments—I think the average Systemite would find them even offensive, many of them, if they even understood the songs at all, & I'm hoping sometimes they don't when I hear your children singing them!
22. NOW I KNOW SOME OF US HIPPIES LIKE TO BE OFFENSIVE TO THE SYSTEMITES & I know you like to jar them & shock'm & grate on their nerves & rub'm the wrong way because you detest & despise & deplore them! It's some of your old hippy hangovers, frankly, but I don't really believe it's Christian.
23. I DON'T BELIEVE IT'S REALLY GOD'S LOVE TO DELIBERATELY TRY TO OFFEND SYSTEMITES & try to rub them the wrong way with the wrong kind of songs that they can't possibly identify with & they can't even understand—particularly coming out of the mouths of tiny children! I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with this business of teaching little children such deep, heavy‚ adult, serious, political, economic, spiritual songs that the average person‚ the average public, the average Systemite would not expect a child to understand at all.
24. I THINK THEY'D FIGURE YOU JUST PUT THOSE WORDS IN THEIR MOUTHS & you just taught them to sing them although they're not their personal sentiments at all & they themselves, the little children, don't feel that way at all! You're having them mouth your message, not their own! You're having them sing your songs‚ but not what would naturally, normally be their own kind of songs & their own type of happy childish singing of simple subjects.
25. I JUST THINK THAT MAYBE THE WHOLE FAMILY NEEDS TO HEAR THIS PARTICULAR MESSAGE about the type of songs you have your children singing to the public. I just don't think that that kind of songs‚ "Bye Bye Teacher" & "Sad Day for a Poorman" & "Spirit Tree" & quite few others we've heard the children singing, are suitable for the general public, nor that the general public would receive & accept them out of the mouths of children as being their genuine sentiments of their genuine understanding.
26. I THINK THEY WOULD CONSIDER THAT THE MUSIC HAS MEANING, ALL RIGHT, BUT CERTAINLY THE CHILDREN DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND what they're singing themselves!—Which makes it a bit inconsistent & their singing a bit out of character. So would you please try to think about that & discuss it & pray about it?
27. I KNOW THE KIDS MAY LOVE TO SING'M & they know'm & they're good at it & they themselves are such little revolutionaries that they don't mind shocking the public themselves & droppin' a few bombs on'm to shake'm up & wake'm up, but it may cause the Systemites to want to shake the children and drop a bomb on you & wake you up by taking you down to the police station or something, to have your children singing such revolutionary & sexy songs, adult songs, which really sort of are a little bit too over their heads to their natural way of thinking.
28. I KNOW WHAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEEPLY SPIRITUAL & we're supposed to have the understanding of men‚ & so on‚ even our children—& they are & they have & they're amazing!—But I just don't think the general public is going to believe it, frankly, especially not on radio where we're reaching totally unknown strangers & into all kinds of places which we would not normally reach on the street or in cafes where they can't see them.
29. ON BROADCAST THE CHILDREN ARE UNSEEN‚ BUT IMAGINED & HEARD, & I think that many Systemites & many very fair members even of the general public are going to be a little surprised, shocked & offended by some of these songs that the children have been singing, if they understand them at all. I'm sure they figure the children don't know what they're singing about & the children themselves don't understand them, but you adults have just put them in their mouths, in their heads, & you're having them sing songs that are really not their own or on expression of their own sentiments.
30. I THINK ALONG THIS LINE I'LL HAVE TO GIVE HO CREDIT for having his children sing songs that would be more expected of children & better received from children‚ & he's been quite successful in putting over his children in a very difficult, strange, foreign situation amongst the Chinese & in places like Hong Kong & Macau & China, etc., even been invited into Mainland China itself to sing for villages & mayors & dinners & so on, for his children to sing children's sons that would be expected of children, about happy, simple, loving, childlike messages.
31. I JUST DON'T THINK THAT SOME OF THOSE SONGS YOU'VE CHOSEN FOR THE CHILDREN ARE CHILDREN'S SONGS, & I don't think the public would be expecting children to sing them. I know you love your children and you're proud of them & we like to show'm off & to show how smart they are & that they do understand these things & they are very mature & they can sing about such heavy subjects. We know that, but the public doesn't know it.
32. IF YOU'RE GOING TO TRY TO INDOCTRINATE THE PUBLIC THIS WAY BY MEANS OF THE CHILDREN, with such heavy subjects, I think it's going to be a little hard for them to believe much less receive, & could possibly even be offended by it, & even object to it. So I wish you would really please think & pray about it & think it over & reconsider some of these very heavy deep, adult, economic, political, sexy & whatnot songs that you occasionally had the children sing.
33. NOW I THINK I MENTIONED THIS ONCE OR TWICE BEFORE, maybe, & maybe it didn't get through to you, but I daresay I have said enough about it & maybe too much this time that you won't forget it. I don't want to discourage anybody, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, & I certainly wouldn't for the World want to hurt the children's feelings or discourage them, because I don't consider it their fault.
34. I HOLD YOU ADULTS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT KIND OF SONGS YOUR CHILDREN SING, particularly on the radio, & your choice of songs, etc. If they want to sing those songs to themselves or to the camp or to groups of radicals & revolutionaries & hippies, well, fine‚ they might be really wild enough to receive it! But for the general Systemite public, I don't think that kind of children's singing will go over.
35. IN YOUR MOUTH IT'S SHOCKING ENOUGH, coming out of you adults, you ex-hippies & radicals & so on & you younger generation, it's not going to be surprising to adults & Systemites & the general public & your parents & so on, they expect it of you & they're not going to be shocked by it & they're not going to be surprised to hear you singing such things. They might be offended, but at least they expect it of you.
36. BUT FOR YOU TO PUT SONGS LIKE THAT IN THE MOUTHS OF YOUR CHILDREN, I think they may find it even offensive & objectionable & it might even actually cause you trouble, frankly. They can call it all kinds of things, corruption of minors & contributing to the delinquency of a minor & sexual corruption or molestation or God knows what they'd call it! You could make some people pretty mad! They're mad enough to hear you singing such songs, but they could get furious at hearing you have taught your children such songs, & they might consider it even criminal! That's how the System is.
37. I UNDERSTAND IT & I UNDERSTAND OUR CHILDREN & I understand how radical & revolutionary & mature & shocking & wise & deep they are & spiritual & all that, that they do understand all these things, but they've had a lifetime of education in them & the general public have not, particularly the real System Systemites of the System who are already not going to particularly like you & may just absolutely furiously object to your music if you put such songs in the mouths of children. I'm sorry, but that's the way I feel about it.
38. I JUST DO NOT THINK THAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS GOING TO RECEIVE SUCH SONGS FROM THE MOUTHS OF CHILDREN, & I think they're going to find them strange. I think they're going to think them very strange & that they sound very peculiar coming out of the mouths of babes & sucklings in which God is supposed to have perfected His praise. Well, PTL, there you are!
39. I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE WANTED ME TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH‚ WOULDN'T YOU? If I'm just going to praise & brag about you & shout hallelujah & say everything is just great & every song is marvellous & there's nothing wrong with anything, I don't think you'd believe anything I had to say‚ if I didn't tell you the truth about things that I don't like, or at least that I don't think are fitting or suitable, in this case, that type of songs & words for your children's numbers.
40. SO PLEASE KEEP THAT IN MIND & PLEASE TRY TO HAVE THE CHILDREN SINGING LIGHTER, HAPPIER‚ SIMPLER MORE CHILDLIKE‚ MORE LOVING SONGS, instead of those very deep & radical & sexy songs which would just simply not be expected of children & may even be offensive & objectionable to some. Amen? Will you please try to keep that in mind & please think about it, pray about it, discuss it?
41. MAYBE LISTEN TO SOME OF HO'S CHILDREN'S TAPES & see what you think about some of them. Ho is dealing there with very important high officials & deep into the System where he was using this music‚ & he had to be very conscious of what the government officials thought & so on‚ & I think he was quite wise in his choice of music for little children in Christmas songs & simple little happy songs & even funny songs like "Yellow Submarine" & things like that.
42. MARIA'S MENTIONING THAT SOMETIMES YOU SHOULD GIVE GREATER ATTENTION EVEN TO MATCHING THE ADULTS OR THE PERFORMER OR THE SINGER, MUSICIAN, TO HIS OR HER MUSIC. Sometimes the singer of certain types of songs seems to be a bit out of character, the song doesn't exactly fit that person or their personality. That's something to remember & consider.
43. SINGING IS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL THING, MUSIC IS SO EMOTIONAL, IT SHOULD BE A TRUE EXPRESSION OF YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRUE EMOTIONS, the way you feel yourself personally when you sing it or you play it. If it's not your type of music, if it's not your kind of song, it doesn't really fit you, then I don't think you ought to sing it. I think you ought to give it to some type of singer or personality that that kind of music fits, or they fit that kind of music.
44. I THINK THAT SOME OF THE VERY DEEPLY SERIOUS SONGS WOULDN'T GO OVER MAYBE TOO WELL WITH SOME OF YOU MORE COMIC CHARACTERS, & some of you more comic characters the funny songs & things fit better. Don't let that discourage you from singing serious songs if you feel that way, if you feel like it. Remember, I was in the music business most of my life. I was a singer by profession & I frankly couldn't sing a song I couldn't feel personally.
45. IT HAD TO BE THE PERSONAL EXPRESSION OF MY OWN PERSONAL EMOTIONS & THE WAY I FELT ABOUT THE SUBJECT! It had to be me! It had to be my personal testimony, my personal message, the thing I wanted to tell the people & I was convinced of & convicted of & really believed! And I could really sell it & sing it because I believed it & knew it & experienced it & I was a salesman just as much of the Gospel when I was singing the Gospel as I was when I was preaching it!
46. THERE ARE JUST SOME SONGS I COULD NOT SING, THEY JUST DIDN'T FIT ME. There are some hymns I just flatly refused to sing. I wouldn't even lead the general public in some of those hymns‚ I wouldn't even lead the church people in some of those hymns, because I felt like the people were just not singing the truth.
47. NO MATTER HOW TRUE THE SONG MIGHT BE, I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THEY WERE HONESTLY EXPRESSING THEIR OWN PERSONAL FEELINGS IN SINGING THAT SONG. I would feel that they were actually lying & it was hypocritical & it was almost blasphemous for them to sing even certain hymns. They were just completely out of character for church people. I knew good & well that they either didn't believe it or receive it or didn't practice it, it was not their testimony, it was not the truth out of their mouths & it didn't fit'm! So I flatly refused to lead them in singing such hymns & such songs.
48. AND THERE WERE SOME LITTLE SILLY CHORUSES THAT I USED TO REFUSE TO SING. I thought they were silly, frothy, light & ridiculous & had no place in serious nor even happy worship. They were just frothy & shallow & silly!—Christian choruses, Gospel music! I think some of it just hasn't got any place on an honest show that's honestly trying to get across an honest message & make the people really feel it & believe it & make it believable & receivable & not too silly & ridiculous. So, there you are. Hope I'm not offending anybody.
49. PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND ME, YOU KNOW I LOVE THE CHILDREN, & I know you know that, & I know that they love me, & I just want to be honest & I want to tell you the truth & how I feel about it. Maybe you don't agree with me‚ maybe you don't feel that way at all, maybe even your experience in having your children sing in public has not been the same & maybe you feel like the songs go over with the Systemites in spite of what I've said.
50. WELL, IF YOU FIND IT WORKS & BY EXPERIENCE FIND THAT THEY DO GO OVER & nobody has any objection or finds any problem in receiving them‚ well fine, I hope so. But maybe they would have gone over better if you'd have sung more fitting songs. Maybe you'd have done a heaven of a lot better if your children had sung the right kind of songs & the songs that fit children which would have been more receivable by the general public & less offensive. I really mean it.
51. SO LET'S PLEASE LET OUR CHILDREN BE CHILDREN AS LONG AS WE CAN, SHALL WE? We're to be like little children ourselves, & we're to be loving, sweet, simple, easy believers & childlike in faith, believing, receiving, loving, & happy. So please let your children be what they really are‚ & if they're so strangely deep & different & utterly radical & revolutionary & such whiz kids & brain children & child prodigies that they are so unusual that those songs fit them, I still don't necessarily think the public is going to think that they fit, & therefore, I don't think they fit the program! Now that's the way I feel about it.
52. WHAT YOU DO ON YOUR OWN‚ WHAT YOU DO IN PUBLIC‚ park singing, street singing, cafe singing or on your own show or anywhere else‚ that's up to you, but on this radio show, which we're trying to help you with all we can & back you with to the limit, I would like for you to try to follow our counsel & our advice & guidelines.
53. AS FAR AS WE'RE CONCERNED, MARIA & I BOTH & OTHERS HERE, WE FEEL THAT THESE TYPES OF NUMBERS DO NOT PARTICULARLY FIT CHILDREN, & the children don't fit this kind of music or these kinds of words‚ & these numbers I would prefer you not to use on the MWM Show in the mouths of children. Now if you want to sing'm, fine, I love'm!
54. WHEN AMMINIDAB USED TO SING "IT'S A SAD DAY FOR A POOR MAN," IT USED TO MAKE ME CRY! And when he used to sing "I feel like runnin' out the door, my head is such a mess," I knew that was the way he really felt. He was a war veteran, or he knew how the war veterans felt, & he sang from his heart & from the depths of his soul. That was real soul music, the expression of what he really felt, & it made me weep!
55. MY OWN POEM "SPIRIT TREE" THAT YOU PUT TO SONG HAS TREMENDOUS DEPTH OF MEANING. I believe it was from the Lord, it was His own disgust & revulsion of His Spirit against the tinsel & tinniness & ridiculousness of the Christmas tree! In the hands of children‚ the Christmas trees looks fine, but for my adult daughter to be staying up all night & making herself sick just decorating a Christmas tree was a bit out of character, I thought, for an adult grown supposedly spiritual woman. If she'd have let her kids stay up an hour or two or more decorating the tree, well, that would have been fine. But to see her & her husband spending their valuable time doing that all night long was just a little ridiculous.
56. SO LET'S BE HONEST, LET'S LET THE MUSIC BE THE EXPRESSION OF OUR OWN PERSONAL SENTIMENTS & those of our children, & not something just put in our mouths by somebody who assigned us to the song on the Show or put in the mouths of our children by adults. Whatever it is, you must understand it, believe it, receive it & sing it with feeling, & it must be the expression of your own personal testimony & your heart, & come straight from the depth of your soul with real conviction.—Amen? PTL! GBY! WLY! The new children's song tape is beautiful!—Just right for children! We love it!