Which is your favorite song from “The Book of Mormon”?
Chino put a link to the cast recording of God’s Favorite Musical in our sidebar a while ago, but I didn’t take the time to listen to the songs until people here started discussing them. My new advice: don’t wait!!
Listen first and vote, before reading my opinion.
A lot of them had me going “Wow, fantastic! And so true!” But it was listening to “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” that made my whole youth and childhood pass before my eyes. Standing there, happy to supportively sing “my best friend…” while somebody Awesome! (in the spotlight) sings his heart out about serving God. And it didn’t hurt that it kind of reminds me of ’80’s pop, and of “Humble Way” from God’s second-favorite musical.
Anyone else find that these songs bring back memories?
This is my new favorite song. It is brilliant!!
This same missionary scenario — including the leader/subordinate relationship, and the fact that it’s cute that they’re not really humble about their awesome task — is exactly what the song “Humble Way” was about. “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” is what “Humble Way” wanted to be (if it had been totally brilliant).
I completely agree with Holly’s assessment that this would be perfect sung as a duet between a young LDS guy and his fiancee. I don’t think that’s reading anything into it that’s not there. Hierarchy colors so much about Mormon interpersonal relationships. And the (officially unequal) partnership between missionaries sets the model for marriage.
One point that is pure genius is the fact that their unequal relationship isn’t quite the central focus of the song. The leader’s earnest desire to do something great for mankind and God is as central (if not moreso). And the fact it’s tied in with his own ego is (at most) winked at.
You can see this symbolized in the temple endowment (which I haven’t been through, but I’ve heard about it). The fact that the wife covenants to obey her husband is OK because the husband is making a covenant with God. If you complain (or do anything other than stand beside him being supportive), then you’re the buzzing fly that’s detracting from a man and his important business between him and God!
I can’t imagine any song could more perfectly capture what Mormon patriarchy feels like.
God’s second-favorite? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try watching it again. I ordered the Saturday’s Warrior DVD and got about five minutes into it before I decided to “Turn It Off” … By the way, for MSP readers who complete the survey, NPR has agreed to make the entire cast album available for download here.
I guess you have to have grown up singing those songs to appreciate it. 😉
I’m going to have to say that “Joseph Smith American Moses” is my favorite. It’s like the Parker/Stone take on The Small House of Uncle Thomas (e.g., story culturally mis-told to honor guests), while summarizing everything Cunningham “made up” over the mission.
I also like You and Me, Turn it Off, Two by Two, Man Up, Spooky Mormon Hell Dream, etc., In fact, it would probably be more notable for me to list songs I didn’t like as much, since there are far fewer of those…
Andrew @4 — True, that’s a good observation about that song.
It’s funny how many of the songs pay homage to classic showtunes! I love the way “I Believe” echoes the lines of I Have Confidence from “The Sound of Music.”
I have to choose just one? Turn it Off has to win but by a very close margin. As a gay post Mormon nothing captured the fear of reality a Mormon feels better than that song.
Having actually seen the play, I would consider Spooky Mormon Hell Dream a very close second. The production value in that one from a performance standpoint is amazing. When they selected the stereotypical things a Mormon fears/hates and included Johnny Cochran and coffee cups the entire theater was in stitches.
I thought about allowing multiple answers when I created the poll. But I was worried that too many people would select almost all the songs. And I was kind of curious which ones get that “very favorite” distinction, if only by a tiny margin.
I actually watched “I Have Confidence” last night to see how closely “I Believe” echoes it. “A Warlord who shoots people in the face–what’s so scary about that?”
You can also hear hints of “Tomorrow” in how Elder Price sings the words, “Orlando, I love you.”
And the playbill quotes Parker and Stone saying that the entire show is based on The Music Man.
Also note: the LDS Stake Medium Council made essentially the same point as Invictus Pilgrim did with respect to President Kimball’s famous prophecy about the Mormon arts.
I said Sal Tlay Ka Siti; I Believe, Baptize Me, and Spooky Mormon Hell Dream are also my favorites. But really, I love them all.
My favorite line though has to be when Jesus calls the guy a dick. I was falling over myself laughing.
Looks like “Turn It Off” and “Hasa Diga Eebowai” are neck-and-neck! Two great choices! And there are a number of other strong contenders.
It’s funny — I have so much fun listening to “Man Up” and “Making Things Up Again”, which are essentially not in the running. It’s just that there are too many fantastic songs!! There’s not a single track that I would want to skip, but my favorite is still “You and Me (But Mostly Me)”.