GC removes clapping/stomping from “If you’re happy and you know it”

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Just say "Amen" for all four verses.
Happy people don’t give a clap…
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Childrens’ Sabbath School departments and summer camps across the Adventist world have been urgently advised to “remove all references to clapping and stomping from the song If you’re happy and you know it.”

The song features verses starting with the line “If you’re happy and you know it…” and then fills in an action per verse. Extremely popular with Adventists, the traditional lyrics have encouraged children to “clap you hands,” “stomp your feet” and “say ‘Amen'” before the final verse calls for them to “do all three.”

GC leaders cited a late-breaking epiphany for the change to the beloved song. “It seems they have discovered a contradiction in encouraging our children to clap and stomp in Sabbath School praise songs only to ban clapping in church later in the morning,” said Adventist Analyst Fanny Dhat.

GC leaders insisted that not all was lost. “The song can be salvaged,” said stern-faced GC Director of Overreach, Debbie Daughner. “If Adventist praise leaders want to continue singing If you’re happy and you know it with children, they should simply have them say ‘Amen’ for all the verses.”

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  1. Sevvy, can you get in touch with the Adventist Analyst “Fanny Dhat” again, and let her know that the Bible tells singers to “clap your hands, all ye people” (Isaiah 47:1) and “praise Him with tambourine and dancing” (Psalm 150:4)? Funny, that.

  2. Theo Logian

    Psalm 33:1 – “Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.”

    Psalm 100:1-2 – “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.”

    Isaiah 38:20 – “The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD.”

    Psalm 149:3 – “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.”

    Psalm 150:2, 4-6 – “Praise God in his sanctuary . . . Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!”

    Jeremiah 31:12-13 – “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, And they will be radiant over the bounty of the LORD. . . . Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together. . . .”

    Psalm 30:31 – “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.”

    Exodus 15:20 – “Then Miriam the prophetess … took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.”

    Jeremiah 31:4 – “I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines.”

    Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

    Psalm 149:1 – “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing His praises in the assembly of the faithful.”

    Psalm 146:2 – “I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

    Psalm 95:1 – “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”

    Psalm 98:4 – “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. . . .”

    Revelation 14:3 – “And they sang a new song before the throne [in heaven] and before the four living creatures and the elders.”

    Col. 3:16 – We should sing “psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

    Eph. 5:18-19 – “… be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

    Psalm 98:1 – “Sing to the LORD a new song….”

    Revelation 5:9 – “And they [in heaven] sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You [the Lamb]….”

    Psalm 149:3 – “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.”

    Psalm 33:3 – “Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

    Psalm 150:2, 4-6 – “Praise God in His sanctuary . . . Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!”

    Psalm 22:3 – God “inhabits the praises of [His people] Israel.”

    Luke 19:40 – “If [His followers] keep silent [and fail to praise Him], the very rocks will cry out” the praises to Him.

    1. Ray Kraft

      Enthusiam is soooo undignified.

      Those Biblical references to singing and dancing with tambourines and all that, those were for primitive Israelites who didn’t know any better thousands of years ago, we’ve surely progressed.

  3. Confused

    What a dichotomy in the comments above. “E. G. Why?” says, “Church should be stately, dignified, and somber … like a funeral.” Hmm. . . . I’ve been to many church services like that. I kept looking around, trying to find the casket and corpse. But that is so opposite from the verses which “Theo Logian” posted directly from the Bible. I’m so confused. Maybe I should watch that Jose Rojas sermon.

    1. DancingLikeDavid

      E.G. Why was being sarcastic.
      I think that we need some universally recognized symbol for satire/sarcasm since tone of voice and facial expressions don’t come through in comments.

    1. Warning

      “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.” Don’t sleep in church!

  4. Bruce Wellsteen

    Drums are OK as long as you can’t see them. All the singers (middle-aged ladies) in my church use accompaniment tracks with loud drum parts, and no one cares. But my pastor always made our live praise team drummer hide behind the grand piano. When the new pastor came, he allowed the drummer to be partly visible, in a fully-enclosed glass “cage” with a metal roof and air-tight 360-degree walls. I’m not sure how the poor guy can breath in there. No wonder he turns blue about half-way through the service.

    1. DancingLikeDavid

      There are good reasons for a drum cage even where the drums are completely acceptable. They can often overpower the other instruments/singers and the sound operator can’t turn them down. Put ’em in the Plexiglas with mics and a proper blend can be achieved (assuming your sound person is competent, which is a whole ‘nother conversation).

  5. Hilarious Clinton

    A drummer, tired of being teased by his bandmates about not being a “real” musician, decides to switch instruments. He walks into a local shop, points to what he believes to be the best new instruments, and says, “I’ll take that trumpet and that accordion.” The shop-owner/mechanic replies, “OK, you can take the fire extinguisher, but the radiator is not for sale.”

  6. Ray Kraft

    Clapping and stomping feet if you’re happy and you know it is just the first step down the long slippery slope . . . before we know it we’ll be havin’ rock’n’roll church services, and you know where that goes.

  7. Ray Kraft

    I’m so old I remember when the Wedgwood Trio was highly controversial, oh my goodness, those guys were playing guitars and banjos, in church of all places! What’s the world coming to? A Sign of the Times fer sure! And they even sounded kinda like . . . uh, yes, the Kinston Trio. And the Kingston Trio sang worldly songs.

  8. G.C. News


    In a dramatic turn of events, after reading sevvy’s blog and the comments under it, the General Conference has made a climactic shift in its ruling. “We stand corrected,” said Puri Tan, director the G.C. Department of Morality Enforcement. “The edict has been revised to allow clapping and stomping as long as they are done in secret in your closet, where no one can see or hear them.” The edict was handed down this afternoon with great fanfare at the G.C. Vatican in Mary-land.

  9. richard mills

    I have the most complete solution to this dilemma. “If your happy and you know it, eat more Little Debbies. If your happy and you know it, eat more tofu. If your happy and you know it, fill your tummy with lots of it. If your happy and you know it eat some more!” No one is offended except the healthy people. No one is overly sensitive except the healthy crowd. McKee’s profit goes sky high! Who cares!

    1. millie richards

      Richard, your wisdom is awesome. I will pass along your advice to my praise team, minister, church board, and conference president. Thanks a billion. Now, I suggest we both get back to our padded cells.

    2. Jordan Michaels

      The best solution has already happened: after reading this report and the comments, the G.C. Vatican relaxed its prohibition and made a new decree: “Clapping and stomping are allowed if done in secret, in your closet, where no one can see or hear them.”

  10. The Preacher's Kid

    Oh no, now they are messing up my happy thoughts that I had some 60+ years ago of my SS time in both IL & WA. What will I now have to tell my grandchildren, that my church wants to back up and now not allow them to be happy?? I feel that the people who made this ruling may get the shock of their lives if they are part of the ones who get to enter into the Pearly Gates. How in the world will they ever be able to get excited about now being able to sit at the feet of Jesus, as they listen to tens of thousands of Angels in the background, singing praises to Him who gave us eternal life? Do they think that I will just sit there saying Amen, Amen, Amen. NO, I will be on my feet, jumping for joy, raising my hands up, clapping, etc. so happy that God saw me on this earth and gave me the right to eternal life!

    PS to the person who wrote that church should be a place of reverence. I totally agree with you on this. But, I also would hate to eliminate the ability to keep a kid’s attention span in order to be politically correct in Sabbath School (a place where we now try to encourage the older set to open up and share their thoughts and they sit there stoic as if to wonder how to do this?). As an ADD kid, it was these active songs that kept me involved. So, when it now cames time for the kids to show their learning in front of the adults who most may have their heads nodding by this time, just eliminate any happy songs. Sing the quieter ones that will help us older folks to struggle to keep our eyes open.

  11. I love Jesus

    And this is why I go to a Pentecostal church now! PRAISE THE LORD!! *Clap, clap, stomp, stomp, DANCE DANCE*!! AMEN!!”

    Ain’t no time for politics – Jesus will be here soon!! Let’s start populating heaven instead of putting people off it. And turning them away because they want to CLAP in church, REALLY?!

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