Mormon Boy

I get completely random songs stuck in my head all the time. Yesterday, my subconscious decided to serenade me –ad nauseum– with this gem from Girls’ Camp:

I know a Mormon boy, he is my pride and joy,
He knows most everything from Alma on down (woo!)
Someday I’ll be his wife! We’ll have eternal life!
Oh how I love that Mormon boy!

M – O – R – E – M – E – N
More men! More men! Sing it again!

We are the Mormon girls, we wear our hair in curls,
We love to sing and dance and have lots of fun (woo!)
We are the biggest flirts! We don’t wear mini skirts!
Oh, how I love my Mormon boy!

Overall, I haven’t loved the Church’s mandatory rhetorical shift from “Mormon” to “a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” especially in casual conversations. While I generally comply, I had a lot more conversations about the Church with friends and coworkers when the Church (and its culture) were okay with me doing it naturally, in conversational cadence, with familiar language. Plus, I think taking ownership of labels that have been used against you can go a long way toward healing and releasing the shame associated with them. Plus, I think the things we do as individuals and as a church emphasize our commitment to following Jesus Christ more than the frequency with which we invoke His name.

But yesterday evening gave me a different perspective. If today’s Young Women do not have this trivializing nonsense in their head 15 years from now, perhaps the shift will have been worth it.

[fn1] This wasn’t the exact songbook we used, but it was pretty close.

[fn2] There’s another song with a similar name: “I am a Mormon Boy,” published in The Friend in 1986! It paints quite a picture opposite this one. My dad also has a copy of a book called “Mormon Boy” (in Swedish and English) that my grandfather took with him on his mission in the early 1950s.

Comments

  1. And now it’s stuck in my head too. Thanks, Laura?

  2. ;-)

  3. Should’ve been a ;-) after my comment. It was kinda fun (but only kind of) to relive the glory days of my mid-90s girls camp adventures, musical and otherwise.

  4. I remember learning that one at girls camp in the 90s in Missouri.

  5. “If today’s Young Women do not have this trivializing nonsense in their head 15 years from now, perhaps the shift will have been worth it.”

    They’ll come up with some other trivializing nonsense. Girls will be girls.

  6. Haha, Tara and Leona, you’re welcome :-). Maybe my ulterior motive was that I didn’t want to suffer alone…

    Jack, they’ll adapt to a society that primarily values their triviality. And the patriarchy will be the patriarchy *shrug.*

  7. It almost sounds like you’re saying: boys will be boys and girls will be girls.

  8. And jerks will be jerks

  9. Jack (Written without a hint of irony): Girls are superficial and will stay that way.
    Laura: Sure, okay, and men will be men and construct a society for girls to value such superficiality.
    Jack: So, you really believe what I wrote?

    Jack, can you see how your comments are very difficult to understand and seem to reek of sexism, misogyny, and patrimony? Is this what you’ve really intended to communicate?

  10. As a young Mormon boy, I remember sitting in the Tabernacle as President Ezra Taft Benson addressed our stake conference. I will never forget his solo acapella rendition of “I am a Mormon Boy” during part of his talk.

  11. Once again, Jack has managed to make BCC entirely about him. Why do we let him do that???

  12. Cordeiro — that sounds extraordinarily memorable. Wow.

  13. Trivial? Never.

    Want another verse? (What’s that? I can’t hear you. I think you said “yes”.

    This is how I learned it in YW:

    “We are the Mormon girls,
    We wear our hair in curls.
    We wear our dungarees
    Way down below our knees.
    And when we want a man,
    We don’t want any man.
    We want the best we can,
    We want a Mormon man!”

  14. A note about “I am a Mormon Boy.” It’s true that it was published in the Friend in 1986, and the “Composition Date” shown there is 10/01/1986. But it would have taken another kind of miracle to bring Evan Stevens back to life to compose it, since he (or his body, at least) had been decomposing since his death in 1930. (Actually, it appears that the song first appeared in the Deseret Sunday School Union songbook published in 1884.)

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