October 21, 2020

Now I’m Surprised This Wasn’t Used As A Worship Song


  1. Now look what you’ve done. Someone WILL use it as a worship song.

  2. Joy, love, and Jesus-absolutely! You don’t find many “worship” songs with Mary though.

  3. Is “toke” a Lutheran theological term?

  4. Mary –> Mary Jane –> Marijuana (Mari=Mary, Juana=Jane in Spanish)

    Considering Welk’s program heyday was in the 70’s, it’s not surprising something like this song would have been floating around then.

  5. oh my. i am speechless. talk about clueless… this truly makes me laugh… actually it probably could be a worship song for Coptics…

  6. Scott Eaton says

    I had to turn it off and make it stop. This might be the musical equivalent of waterboarding.

  7. That Other Jean says

    Whooooo. I could barely hear the end of the song, I was laughing so hard. I thought Christians didn’t go in for chemically-enhanced religious experiences. . .but I could be wrong.

    Thanks, iMonk–I needed that, even though I may never get rid of the ear-worm.

  8. It’s as if Welk doesn’t know what “toke” means, but I read one online dictionary that says it’s a tip in a casino. ?? No less objectionable, I suppose.

    I’ve always liked that song, in its original version, even after I discovered it wasn’t the Dead. I’m a sucker for American folk music.

  9. From Wikipedia…


    Oddly, the song was performed on The Lawrence Welk Show, a television program known for its conservative, family-oriented bent, by a duo known as “Gail and Dale.” At the conclusion of the performance of the song, Welk remarked, without any hint of humor, “There you’ve heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale.”

    This led Michael Brewer to comment:

    “The Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, named us personally as a subversive to American youth, but at exactly the same time Lawrence Welk performed the crazy thing and introduced it as a gospel song. That shows how absurd it really is. Of course, we got more publicity than we could have paid for.”

    I’m sure that the “Tokin’ the Holy Ghost” types have probably used the song to illustrate their point.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I’m old enough to remember when that was on American Top 40 with Casey Kasem…

  10. I thought that was a current TBN selection. My bad.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Naah. Not enough bling or big hair.
      Or grubbing for money at the end.

      That said, I wonder if you could pull the same stunt on TBN or similar today; do the presentation they expect and sneak the stuff past the Church Ladies…

  11. When we put people with MS, glaucoma or suffering through chemo in jail for trying to relieve their pain with something less dangerous and societally harmful than alcohol, we are indeed one toke over the line.

  12. Not even close. 😉

  13. I’ve heard of the Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” used as a worship song. I’m not sure how they dealt with the “I want to sleep with you in the desert” line.

    • uh….tune, yeah. But not words. Surely not.

      • “I got a peaceful, easy feeling, and I know you won’t let me down.” Sounds like a modern tune to me.

      • I meant “modern worship tune.”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Then do what they did on South Park — take Seventies teenage bubblegum tunes and substitute “Jesus” for “Ooooo Baby”. (Man, that episode was dead on…)

      • Somebody told me once they used the tune, but used the words to “Amazing Grace.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Spiritualization, Dave, Spiritualization.

      If they can write volumes of exegesis on Song of Solomon without ever mentioning that it was Classical Hebrew erotic poetry, they can do it to that line in “Peaceful Easy Feeling”.

      • True ‘dat. What was I thinking? Must be about Christ’s love for the Church.

        Uh…. yeh…

    • Sounds like a classic line from a monastic classic to me. 😆

  14. I thought I would’ve understood this since I have been both a christian and a pothead, but maybe since I’ve never been both at the same time, I have to say…”?????”

  15. Wow, clearly dealing with the capital campaign stuff that got dropped into my lap Monday has made me entirely too serious.

  16. A friend of mine visited a local church that played Hank Williams Jr’s “Family Tradition” and Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” during their worship service (my friend couldn’t take Kid Rock talking about sexual conquests during a ‘worship service’ so he walked out at that point). I like some Hank Jr, but during a worship service? I think they were several tokes over the line. Maybe this song inspired them…

    • Especially when you consider that “Family Tradition” was basically Hank Jr.’s apologetic for his own substance abuse.

  17. This is iconic! and ironic.
    Mainstream Welk labels a countercultural ditty as a “new American spiritual” without any apparent irony. The performers might as well have been singing in Japanese for all they appeared to know about what they were singing.

    I wish I’d seen it in the ’70s. The whole dorm would have been ROTFL.

    • You probably wouldn’t have been caught dead listening to Lawrence Welk in the 70’s–no more would your peers have been.

  18. I’ve heard “I’m A Believer” turned into a worship chorus. It wasn’t TOO obvious. “Then I saw His face, now I’m a believer! I couldn’t leave Him if I tried.”


    ps – at least the girl in the song was cute.

  19. Gee, maybe Welk had some after-hours habits we knew nothing about! My grandma loved him and I would watch the show with her. I don’t remember this song being sung then! Very odd choice. Maybe someone told Welk that “toke” meant something different than it does and he didn’t check it out. (?) Maybe someone did this as a joke on him.

  20. My niece just posted a link to a video showing a very upbeat entrance into a church of a wedding party. If is a very happy-sounding song. I think it would just make us all want to dance too. I wonder if my local Catholic church would have let them do this. I think this is cute. Marriage is a serious business, but you may as well begin it light-heartedly! I wasn’t sure if I missed which one was the bride, but don’t worry, you will see her in the end.

    There’s the link, I hope, if you want to see.

  21. Kinda reminds me of the preacher giving a sermon about how worldly Christians had become, going to showings of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, from the review he gave I’m sure he never saw it. The ending special music was performed by one of the Church’s young people, she sang, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”

  22. Now, can you get more good clean wholesome fun than that? Oy. I wonder if Laura Ingalls was ticked off that they’d stolen one of her outfits…

  23. Ah, the importance of research and context… 🙂

  24. rofl.. i wish i would have been at my gramma’s house when THAT was aired.

  25. iMonk can we have a discussion on the appropriate use of bongs, water pipes, and roach clips in worship now? It could lead to the playing of that other spiritual classic, “Don’t bogart that joint, my friend, pass it over to me . . .”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Or “In the Garden of Eden” by I Ron Butterfly…

      “In a Gadda da Vida, Baby…”

  26. I’ve heard this many times. Never in church though. Maybe it’s because I’m from Iowa

  27. Just look at how far we have come in 40 years. Now, a song can be mistaken as gospel without mentioning Jesus at all…and even hit the top of the charts on the KLove and Salem radio networks!!! Then, it has to be sung in every church on Sunday.

    Being hip, popular, and spiritually sentimental are more important than meaning and truth. Obviously Welk and/or his producers were trying to attract a religious audience; how is that any different than most churches today?

    I do think this is funny, but it is so haunting. It reveals how empty American spirituality has been for decades: becoming culturally relevant and utterly meaningless at the same time.

  28. I loved this song when it first came out. Brewer & Shipley classic. I got in trouble for playing this at youth group. Hehe.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Well, considering Brewer & Shipley said they wrote the song as a joke, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this Wholesome Christian Couple got on Lawrence Welk for the same reason (“Let’s see if we can sneak this onto the show”)…

  29. Eric Hinkle says

    Nice to know that some Christians still have a sense of humor!