The rules governing Mormon missionary music listening habits are quite austere, generally restricted to churchy-stuff (like MoTab) or classical (but no Carmina Burana, lest the elders and sisters get the wrong idea). Individual mission presidents may adapt the rules a little. If you’re lucky you might be allowed a little easy listenin'; if your Prez is of the schoolmaster variety, you’ll be lucky to go beyond the hymns on CD.
Here’s the music I really heard for the first time auf Mission. Some if it was kosher, some not, some of it I did not approve of at the time, some I loved. (Don’t judge us too harshly. Even hard-working missionaries in Catholic central Europe need to let off steam.)
James Taylor and John Denver, Enya (sail away! sail away!), Michael McLean (homeless! homeless!), Amy Grant, the Little Mermaid soundtrack, and the mighty Phish.
Were it not for my mission, I doubt I would ever have discovered Phish given that they are largely anonymous in the UK. My first DL gave me a tape of Rift which I carried around with me for two years but mostly did not play. Driving around in my car back home in 1997 listening to “Fast Enough for You” brought back funny memories of Knittelfeld in 1995 with Elders AS, RL, and JS III. I even sang “Waste” to Rebecca on our wedding day.
What did you guys listen to?
There are other musical memories from the Mish (Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at District Meetings, missionary suitcases full of illegal bootlegs), but I shall not confess other people’s sins here…