KEYWORDS: song, kids, songs, show, number, music

Kid Power

David Berg

—From M&M & Mwm!Do98710 March 1981

1. ALWAYS PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD, YOUR VERY BEST NUMBER FIRST! If you don't, if you've lost them on the first number, you've lost them on the whole programme! But if you hook them on the first number‚ then you've got them hooked & they'll put up with a few poor ones. That "Kid Power" number is not a good number to open with. It's not clear, the words aren't clear, it's just a mob yelling.—Sorry!

2. THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER SONGS ON MWM TAPE FAR SUPERIOR, like this "Everybody Can Be Happy" would have been a good one to start with. "Little Things" or "Everybody Can Be Happy" or that rock'n'roll number "Rolled Gold". But I think this "Everybody Can Be Happy" number carries the message best of all. It's a better number, got more swing‚ & a far superior message.

3. ALWAYS USE YOUR BEST NUMBERS FIRST, YOUR SECOND-BEST NUMBERS LAST & YOUR WORST NUMBERS IN THE MIDDLE. And if you've got two best numbers, use them first & last & the other mediocre numbers in the middle or between. Some of these songs are the best & clearest we've ever heard them sing them. The words are very, very clear & will help other children learn them. The song about Peter & Heidi & Grandpa really gives me the chills whenever I hear it & Abrahim always wants to talk! The kids really sing Aaron's "Jesus Really Loves You" well also.

4. "KID POWER" IS JUST NOT A GOOD SONG TO OPEN OR CLOSE WITH, you can't even understand the spelled letters. For God's sake, please put it in the middle if you're going to use it at all! I don't like that song at all, it sounds like something you'd hear on Muppets or Sesame Street! For your Number One song‚ "Kid Power" is rather flippant. Sorry, but I just don't like it. Maybe later, but not first.

5. NUMBER TWO "I BELIEVE IN LOVE" IS PRETTY GOOD & AT LEAST YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORDS‚ which you can't much on the "Kid Power" song. Number three, "Rockin' Robin", is a real cute song. Number four‚ "The Hare Never Made It but the Tortoise Did" & Number five‚ "It's the Little Things", are both very good top songs. "Rockin' Robin" is a very cute son, very lively, popular music which could easily attract attention or even give a name to a group, the "Rockin' Robins!", without giving away your Message as an opener.

6. "THE HARE NEVER MADE IT BUT THE TORTOISE DID" AND "SQUEEZE DON'T JERK", ARE CATCHY LITTLE REFRAINS WITH A MESSAGE that even Techi goes singing around the house, & of course "Little Things" always has a powerful message for everybody, & it's very appropriately sung by children & very clearly. But I think "Little Things" ends rather abruptly with "waiting to see your smile." What about adding a line "and feel your love." I think that would be more of a clincher. "Little Hills" or "They Shout for Joy They also Sing" is surely a lively number well sung by the children.

7. "LET'S GET BACK TO THE GARDEN" IS BEAUTIFUL, VERY CLEAR & WELL SUNG. You don't miss a word of its powerful message. It seems to have such an appeal & so draw the net that it would make a real good finale or song to end on with this personal invitation. It's good for an appeal for action, for decision or just before a final appeal for raised hands‚ decisions & prayer. "Rolled Gold" is always a popular rocker & it ought to get your audience dancing! But it seems it would be more appropriate in an earlier part of the program before you get down to the final serious request for a decision.

8. OF COURSE WE THINK THAT "EVERYBODY CAN BE HAPPY" IS ONE OF THE BEST LEAD SONGS YOU COULD POSSIBLY USE AS AN INTRODUCTION, lively & happy, carries your message, it could almost be your theme song! You could even begin the show & end with it both, or the song that Ho's kids sing "The Time to Be Happy Is Now". In fact, these two songs could be linked together & sung consecutively both at the beginning & at the closing of the show.

9. THE "GRANDPA & HEIDI" SONG, OF COURSE, IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES & always makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck in a spiritual thrill because I feel the witness of the Word! But of course it may raise the hackles of some people who might object to its risqué insinuations if they catch them, so it's kind of good to lose it somewhere in the middle & follow it quickly with something lively to make them forget it or confuse them as to what it really said. I really love it personally. It makes me fall in love with Heidi all over again, all you Heidis! It was definitely inspired. (Tongues:) "These are the kisses of thy father!" TYJ! PYL! Abrahim really likes that one!

10. "GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS" IS ONE OF THE BEST, OF COURSE, AS IT WAS ALWAYS ONE OF AARON'S BEST, presenting both the problem & the solution, everybody's problem & the only solution. Because the message of Jesus is so strong & clear, it probably should be one of your last songs because it's a real invitation, even better than "Back to the Garden". Heidi really packs it a whallop! She sings it with real conviction, another excellent last song, & you could just drop that last "Kid Power" song altogether. Sorry!—Unless you want to stick it somewhere in the middle.

11. WE WERE REALLY SURPRISED YOU DIDN'T USE "THE TIME TO BE HAPPY IS NOW" ON THE TAPE AS IT'S ONE OF YOUR BEST SONGS. It seems like you used some of your poorer songs in the beginning. You need to put your best foot forward with your best songs. They're not bad‚ but they'd better fit somewhere in the middle & not at the beginning or the end `cause they're not really your best songs. They're all good, but some are just gooder than others!—Ha!

12. THERE'S A LITTLE INVITATION SONG THAT WE WERE JUST THINKING OF THAT WE USED TO SING IN CHURCH A LOT for an invitation which would be very good for an appeal for decisions if you were going to pray with people. It's a prayer that they could even sing to get people to ask the Lord to come into their heart. It wouldn't be appropriate for every situation, but would be very appropriate for wherever possible for you to end your program with a prayer & an appeal for decisions or even hands & which is so simple the people could even learn to sing with you‚ but best left at the very end of the tape so that you could cut it off in situations where it would not be fitting: (Sings: )

"Into my heart‚ into my heart,

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

Come in today, come in to stay,

Come into my heart‚ Lord Jesus!"

13. WE BOTH THINK IT MIGHT BE BETTER TO BREAK THE WHOLE SHOW UP INTO TWO QUARTER-HOUR PROGRAMS. You have plenty of good music, enough good numbers to open & close both 15 minute shows. It's very seldom that you can get kids to sing that long well without over-tiring them‚ both them & your audience‚ & for most street corner or cafe or park or store singing they're not necessarily going to give you that much time.

14. A HALF-AN-HOUR CAN GET AWFUL LONG IF THE ATMOSPHERE'S LITTLE ICY, so we'd suggest you break it up into two shows of about a quarter-hour length each with your top openers & closers, possibly the first show with not quite so strong a message, maybe ending with "Back to the Garden", & your second show with a very strong Gospel message ending with "Jesus Really Loves You" & the little invitation song maybe, "Into My Heart". Then they could use the show as best suited for the occasion where they will take it.

15. THE LIGHTER SHOW COULD BE USED WITH ALMOST ANY PUBLIC AUDIENCE, particularly non-captive audiences, where people are just coming & going & passing by‚ whereas the heavier show could be used with captive audiences such as orphans homes & old folks homes, jails, churches etc. where they're apt to be more willing to take it & receive it & respond to it.

16. I THINK THIS WOULD MAKE A VERY VERSATILE TAPE IF YOU WOULD ORGANISE IT IN THAT WAY, TWO COMPLETE QUARTER-HOUR SHOWS: The first one light with only a light appeal & fairly light message, & the second one heavier with a real heavy message at the end preparatory to the actual invitation prayer & prayer of decision. This way, like our own MWM radio shows, they have variety & a versatility of use either as quarter-hour shows, either light or heavy, or a full half-hour show where you have a captive audience that can take it & a group of singers that can last that long.

17. REMEMBER, IT'S NOT ALWAYS WISE TO USE ALL YOUR THUNDER AT ONE SHOW. It's better to be brief & invited back again than to sing every song you know & have nothing left for a second time. Since these are most of your best songs, you're not going to have much left for repeat performances & the kids are going to be pretty well sung out in the end unless you have a slide or puppet show or skit in between, variety segments to give the kids a rest. However‚ if they participate in the skit also, such a long show may be a little hard on them.

18. WHEN MY FOUR CHILDREN WERE YOUNG & WE SANG LIKE THIS IN ALL KINDS OF PLACES, we found that most audiences in a non-captive situation would start drifting away after the first few songs. Of course we would get new folks, but there would be a constant turnover & very few would stay for the whole show if it lasted more than half-a-dozen songs, & most church programs or captive audiences programs wouldn't allow more than about half-a-dozen or 15 or 20 minutes of singing‚ or interspersed with testimonies maybe half-an-hour, as the preacher usually had to be left time to preach or there were others on the program as well.

19. OF COURSE, WHERE YOU'RE THE WHOLE SHOW & CAN GET AWAY WITH IT & your audience can't run out on you & you can hold their attention longer‚ you can give them more with a strong appeal & prayer at the end. But long shows are not going to work usually in most street scenes or other public places with non-captive audiences.

20. WHY NOT NAME EACH SONG AS YOU COME TO IT ON THE INSTRUMENTAL SIDE ? Have a strong male voice just briefly state the name of each number just before it begins playing. Such as "Rockin' Robin!" or "Everybody Can Be Happy!" so as to ID the numbers & remind the kids of what song it is, & what song they're supposed to sing next. Otherwise, unless they have a lot of practice & a mighty good memory, they might not always get it straight. If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, how are they going to know when to attack? (1Cor.14:8.)

21. SMALL CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY‚ ARE EASILY CONFUSED, especially when there is a lot of other confusion going on, & they usually have to be told in advance what they are going to do next. I think it would be very good just to announce the name of the song only just before the music begins so the kids can get cued in & know what they're supposed to start singing. It can be a happy, cheerful‚ male or female voice, either one, just simply announce the name of the song only‚ just before the music begins with a lively, enthusiastic voice loud & clear so the kids can't possibly miss it.

22. REMEMBER, I'VE WORKED WITH KIDS THIS WAY & KNOW WHAT SOME OF THEM NEED. Some of them need very clear, positive, immediate direction & cannot necessarily memorise a whole series of songs & their exact order or even always recognise the musical accompaniment, particularly if the accompaniment does not have a strong lyrical melody lead‚ such as much of this music most of which is background harmony with no clear instrumental melody but just musical interpollations, obligatos, interludes, & harmony.

23. THE KIDS ARE APT TO GET VERY MIXED UP UNLESS THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SINGING NEXT. Most kids need a very strong positive certain direction & leading with strong cues, definite cues. Of course, if they learn the songs by singing them with the children on one side of the tape so often & so regularly & always exactly the same in the same order, then they might recognise the musical accompaniment of the instrumental side & know where to begin on some of them, but they'll certainly have to be started by some leader or director on others which have no opening cue whatsoever but only instrumental background.

24. THIS IS WHY IF EACH NUMBER COULD BEGIN WITH A DEFINITE STRONG MELODY carrying instrumental introduction so they'd instantly recognise the tune & therefore the number & recall the words, this could cue them in along with the voice announcement of the title just before the music begins. Not all of our Family kids are as talented as the MWM Mob, nor do they all have as good direction, nor do all parents have as good knowledge of music & harmony, cueing‚ timing and leading music.

25. SO I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO REALLY HAVE TO MAKE IT SIMPLER FOR MOST PARENTS & MOST AVERAGE CHILDREN. Start every song with a spoken title, loudly, clearly spoken, & a strong introductory phrase or bar or two or a whole refrain or partial refrain so they'll recognise it & remember the tune & know where & when to begin.

26. IN FACT, SYNCHRONISING THE AVERAGE LITTLE KID'S SINGING ALONG WITH SUCH COMPLICATED MUSIC I think is going to be very difficult for most families unless they are unusually talented like yours or Ho's kids & with excellent musical direction by knowledgeable parents. I think probably the most useful side of your tape is the singing side where the local family's kids can simply sing along with yours, & that way they can't forget the words or melody, or if they do, they've got a strong backup that can carry the ball even without them.

27. EVEN IF THE KIDS CAN'T SING OR DON'T KNOW THE SONGS, THEY CAN GET OUT THERE & MOUTH THEM A BIT even if they can't carry a tune. We know a lot of kids & we've heard a lot of them, including some of our own, who merely mouth the words but couldn't carry a tune in a bucket! But if somebody is singing strongly along with them, they can stick together pretty good, such as with your vocal side of the tape, & they can dance around to the rhythm even if they can't sing or don't know the words. It'll seem like a good show with a bunch of cute little kids singin' & a swayin' & a rockin' & a rollin' to all these cute little songs.

28. I HAVE AN IDEA THAT'S THE WAY MOST PARENTS ARE GOING TO USE IT & it'll be only the rarest almost professional musical group that will know how to use your instrumental side. I'll bet even your kids couldn't use it without strong direction & cueing from somebody. Try it & see. Especially if the parent doesn't know anything about it themselves or doesn't know the songs & knows nothing about music, pitch, key or anything, & can't sing & neither can his kids.

29. I BET EVEN YOUR KIDS CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOUR GIVING THEM THE KEY, PITCH, OPENING REFRAIN OR SOMETHING to let them know what they're going to do next & where & when & how to do it on which beat. I'll bet even you have to cue them when to begin & on what beat; although they know those songs so well they could almost sing them in their sleep & maybe sometimes do!

30. I'D LIKE TO SEE HOW YOU REALLY DO IT FOR A SHOW JUST LIKE THIS. I'll bet somebody is directing & leading & cueing & counting the beat & showing them where to start, where & when to start & even mouthing the first words or maybe all of them so they won't forget. Try the instrumental side of this tape on your own kids & see if they can do the whole thing without any direction or a single cue or beat from you—just to pick it up off the tape itself & let's see how well they do.

31. THAT'S THE WAY MOST NORMAL NON-MUSICAL PARENTS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO. They don't know music well enough or keys or pitches or beats or anything. They don't know the first thing about how to start the song or when or where, with nothing but background musical accompaniment. So I'll just about bet you most of them are going to use it with the song side first so that even if they don't know how to start them, at least the kids can join in with them & sing with them‚ & the audience will hear some strong singing voices to carry the tune even if the physically present kids can't sing & are only mouthing the words, sort of lip–syncing.

32. THIS IS DONE ON STAGE BY LOTS OF PERFORMERS, AS WELL AS IN THE MOVIES, & hardly any video recording or movie making or telecasting is done with direct live music anymore. It is merely pre-recorded with both voices & instruments & then merely mouthed & lip–synced on the show. But this takes talent too & perfect direction & an exact knowledge of music & timing which few people have except professional musicians & singers.

33. SO WHEREAS IT MAY SEEM EASY TO YOU & COME NATURAL BECAUSE OF YOUR MUSICAL GIFTS & ABILITIES—nearly all of you have genuine professional quality—very few of our parents have that much talent or that much ability to direct the children with nothing but a musical‚ instrumental harmony background accompaniment.

34. SO I'D SAY THE VOCAL SIDE IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE MOST USED, & their little kids will simply sing along with it, which makes it the easiest & the simplest of all ways to do it, & make sure they're singing the right songs with the right accompaniment at the right time with the right words & that the songs are still there even if they forget them.

35. BUT THERE MAY BE A FEW EXPERT PARENTS & HIGHLY TALENTED CHILDREN WITH GENUINE MUSICAL INTUITION WHO MAY BE ABLE TO USE THE INSTRUMENTAL SIDE. And in most cases that side would be a great blessing to them‚ particularly if they have to sing in any other language. So I still think the instrumental side has its place & possible uses, but I don't think it's going to be the most used side. I think most of our kids are going to sing along with yours & will love it, & so will their parents & their audiences, too. So more power to you!

36. ORGANISE IT NOW INTO TWO QUARTER-HOUR SHOWS—ONE LIGHT & ONE HEAVY, both beginning & ending with your best numbers, & the weaker ones‚ lighter & non-message ones in between, & those with the heaviest appeal at the ends—& let's see what you come up with. Try again. It's terrific music, beautiful singing, excellent content, terrific message‚ but needs some new programming as to song order & music into two different shows for the two different types of audiences.—Very public non-captive, & more private captive audiences.

37. SO PLEASE TRY TO SEE IF YOU CAN REARRANGE THE WHOLE TAPE RECORDING with the addition of the "Time To Be Happy" song, perhaps in place of the "Kid Power" song. Maybe put "Kid Power" in the middle of the light show or just drop it. It might be admissible as a theme song for a radio show of the same name, but even then I would consider its message a bit weak that few will get or want to repeat. Use something catchier with more message for your opening theme songs, & something with good strong appeals for your closers, & put the rest somewhere in between. OK? Thanks! GBY!

38. YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB‚ LET'S JUST DO EVEN BETTER! We really loved your latest tapes, keep'm rolling! We'll give our comments on them later. Incidentally, what happened to your Video Shows? We thought they were terrific! Can't we have some more? The Family & the World are waiting! All the World is waiting for your sunrise! Let them have light!—and you have it & it's good! God bless you!

39. BUT PLEASE TRY TO REARRANGE THE KIDS TAPE, both vocal & instrumental sides, in an easier-to-use more effective fashion with double diversatility of two separate shows which could be used as one show if necessary. Thanks! We'll be waiting to hear it! Please send it as soon as you can.

40. I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO DO ANY RE-RECORDING, all the numbers are just about perfect, all you have to do is rearrange them, & on the instrumental side announce them with perhaps an added melody refrain to introduce each one, plus with the addition of the two very good songs "The Time to Be Happy Is Now" & "Into My Heart, Lord Jesus"—which Maria may have to sing on the phone if nobody knows it! Thanks a lot. GBY! We'll be praying for you!

41. SO THANKFUL YOU WERE SPARED IN THE EARTHQUAKE! Mobile living has its advantages, thank the Lord! Looks like you're really shaking up Greece! God is evidently very angry with some of those who have rejected you & His Message of Love. So, praise God, we hope that knocked a little sense into them. Maybe now would be a good time to go back to that area while they're still pretty shook up by the judgements of God if you feel so led, PTL!

42. GBAKYA! WE LOVE YOU & ARE PRAYING FOR YOU!—And we sure love your music & we know it's being a blessing to the whole World! We're getting raves from everywhere! So keep it rolling!—And a `rockin'! Praise the Lord! GBY, in Jesus' name, amen. Love, M&M.