Way Out Wednesday: The Peter Pan Orchestra & Chorus, “I Believe: Songs of Devotion”

Written by Music, Way Out Wednesday

Our selection for this week is the Peter Pan Orchestra & Chorus’s I Believe: Songs of Devotion, an album of religious numbers presumably geared toward children. But this is quite a variety of songs. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find.

First we have “I Believe.” Most people probably remember Elvis Presley’s version; I don’t know who the singer on this album is, but he tries his best to be more melodramatic than the King, and succeeds. (I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a good thing.)

I Believe

I’m going to tell you point blank — I have no earthly idea why “The Great Pretender” is on this album. The performance is fine — I just don’t understand its inclusion here. Someone on my blog suggested that it’s meant to be interpreted in this context as a song about people who pretend to be Christians. That’s a valid speculation, but I’m not sure I’m buying it.

The Great Pretender

Probably the most kid-friendly song on I Believe is the classic “Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sunshine In.” I remember this one being covered by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on The Flintstones, and just like in that version, it sounds like the Peter Pan singers inhaled copious amounts of helium prior to recording.

Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sunshine In

We’ll end the festivities with a phrase you probably don’t hear very often: “a Wink Martindale cover tune.” That’s right, the Tic-Tac-Dough host had a hit with “Deck of Cards” way back in 1959. It tells the dramatic story of a soldier who, caught looking at a deck of cards in church, explains to his commanding officer how he uses each card to represent a different person or event in the Bible. I don’t know — it sounds to me like he was just trying to worm his way out of trouble!

Deck of Cards

If you’d like to hear the rest of I Believe: Songs of Devotion, you can find it here. See you next time!