This Big Mac attack unfair

Morning shows were abuzz with the recent report that a survey revealed many more Americans could name the ingredients in a McDonald’s Big Mac than could recite the Ten Commandments. Clearly, the implication is that American society is more interested in the trivial than the significant.
Of course, that is true. So-called reality TV shows reveal that fact, however, not this survey near the release of the new animated movie about the Ten Commandments.
The triple-decker burger embraced by Americans in 1968 has faced criticism in more recent years as health-conscious diners started reading nutritional charts.
But the beleaguered burger should share no blame for the lack of knowledge Americans possess about the Decalogue.
The answer is simple: We learned the jingle, and jingles never leave us.
The words, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” have been seared into our brains.
That doesn’t mean that more important information cannot be similarly learned. While recalling the Ten Commandments took a little effort for me, reeling off longer lists like the 12 Disciples and the 66 books of the Bible remain easy.
That’s because Sunday school and Vacation Bible School wardens of my childhood put them to simple tunes. (“There were 12 disciples Jesus called to help him, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John….”).
We memorized the words because we too wanted to be good disciples of Jesus — and be able to go outside to play, eat cookies, drink Kool-Aid and make ashtrays during craft time.
So does anyone have a catchy tune for the Big Ten? America’s moral future may rest on your jingle.


  1. Great posting. You and I learned the same song for the 12 disciples. I hope someone will come up with a 10 Commandments rap or something!

  2. Thanks, Laura. I like the idea of a rap. We’ll see what arises.
    Also, my daughter was in a children’s musical a few years ago that had some kind of catchy tune about the 10 C’s, I believe.
    I’ll see if she remembers the words. The odds are good that she does.

  3. I just read this blog article in Baptists Today, so I am a little late in commenting. I learned the 12 disciples from the same song that you did. But I also learned a song for the ten commandments. It is probably the same one that you heard in the musical because I did a search for it and found it to be a song in a musical. I never heard of the musical, but my aunt taught it to the children of my church. I found it here:

    If you scroll down you see it listed at the end, and the clip I listened to was the same one I learned.

    It has been over 15 years since I learned it, but I have been able to say that I do know the ten commandments by heart and in order.

    From what I remember (there may be a few words I’ve messed up):

    “Number one: we’ve just begun; God should be first in your life.

    Number two’s the idol rule: those graven images aren’t nice.

    Number three: God’s name should be never spoken in jest.

    Number four: the Sabbath’s for our worship and for rest.

    Number five: we all should strive to honor our father and mother.

    Number six: don’t get your kicks from killing one another.

    Number seven: life is heaven when you’re true to your mate.

    Number eight: don’t steal and break this rule for goodness sake.

    Number nine: don’t be the kind who goes around telling lies.

    Number ten: don’t covet when you see your neighbor’s house or wife.”

    Then there is a chorus.

    I am starting to teach this song to my 5 year old son. I also sing the 12 disciples one to him, too.

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