Friday, March 14, 2008

Eric's First Blog....

To all who have ever had a hopelessly futile discussion with a member of the opposite sex:

The Sunday School song, "This Little Light of Mine" - sung by thousands of us church-kids growing up has been brought to new light (pun not intended, but I laughed out loud when Kendra pointed this phrase out to me) this week in my life.

My beautiful wife 'called me out' on some of my lyrics as I sang them aloud:

"Hide it under a bush, Oh No"

To which she said, "No, No, No - it's, 'Hide it under a bushel, NO! I'm gonna let it shine.!" (To be fair she does have a degree in Christian Education from a gloriously overpriced private university)

To which I replied, "you're an idiot." (maybe it wasn't that harsh…)

I then got 'scientific' and said, "a bushel is merely a unit of measurement and can't actually impede the flame of a fire, but a bush is a literal object that could be placed above a flame to cause it to extinguish." (okay, I didn't really say these exact words, but you get the picture…)

To which She replied, "you're an idiot."

To which I replied, "Google-it." (the clear solution to ALL marital strife)

A quick Google-search reveals that sure-enough a "bushel" is merely a unit of measurement, and not synonymous with the bushel basked we're all familiar making with our cupped hand while singing this song. I also found enough lyrics defending BOTH of our "right answers" via Google.

Soooo... to our family and friends... what one is it....

01. "Hide it under a bushel, NO! I'm gonna let it shine."
02. "Hide it under a bush, Oh NO! I'm gonna let it shine."
03. "Hide it under a bushel basket lined with fire-retardant fabric, Oh NO! I'm gonna let it shine."

Please advise this feuding couple with the knowledge that your response may influence how a young John Hunter White learns a cherished Sunday School song (the bush way... or the wrong way).


The Whites (E, K and JH)

PS. Our next installment of "The Whitehouse Discussions" will be a complete dissection of the childhood game known as duck duck GRAYDUCK... not duckduckgoose


Anonymous said...

As the Aunt who sang this song to you over and over and over to keep you happy en route fomr MN to visit Nana and Papa in Texas when you were probably less than 2 years old, let me be the first - if not the most correct - to respond. :-)

The way I sang it to you then, and still do sing it with kids, is the phrase behind Door Number 1: "Hide it under a bushel - NO!..."

The fact that Google couldn't provide a definitive answer on this is not surprising, though... I think it's a "folk song" which by definition means it was passed down by generations singing it to next generations, and just like the game of "Telephone" one really can't be sure what the very first version might have been. However, being logical (which most Whites are!) I would conclude that "bushel" makes the most sense, as it's at least conceivable that someone might try to hide a light under a basket, while it you tried to hide it under a bush the light would still spread out in many directions, since the bush doesn't touch the ground in a complete circle... If the light was, in fact, a candle, the basket would catch fire... but then, so would a bush - look at Moses!!

Should be fun though, to see what everyone else has to say about it - especially Nana, who probably taught it to all of us to begin with! As the Whites love to say: "What Fun!"

Aunt Patsy

Kendra White said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kendra White said...


i'm with your husband on this one. i was tought: hide it under a bush, OH NO...


Anonymous said...

Is he crazy? It’s definitely BUSHEL!!


The Oakes said...

oh eric i'm not surprised through many years of being in sunday school and now with a few more teaching it i am in no way surprised that you don't know the right words. if i have learned one thing through all of my time in S.S. I've learned that the boys never listen! it is most definately HIDE IT UNDER A BUSHEL!

Even if that is how the MN people sing it when in Rome act like the i guess you are stuck with Kendra's KY version :)

Hope your first blog has cleared up any marital strife!

Anonymous said...

Great fun.

I have always thought it was bushel as in bushel basket.

Peter White

The Purvis Family said...

BUSHEL baby come on now!

Meghan said...

I'm with you Kendra...definetly bushel. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Eric, you are wrong... since we all know I'm always right and I say it's BUSHEL too. ;)

Sarah White

Anonymous said...

I must concur with Kendra...It has always been known to me as bushel. So where you got bush I do not know....I do remember that when you were 7, we started a church and there was no Sunday school until Diane Wichterman began teaching maybe it is she who is at the bottom of this tale!!
Or it could be the creative ears little ones have that make up words to songs so it makes sense to amazing!!!
So at this juncture...what is the score?
Love mom (Vicky White)

Anonymous said...

well, you're both idiots (just kidding)...the words are hide it under a bushel..but it's in reference to a bushel basket used for measuring fruit in joke....and eric, if you were to stick a flame under a bush, it would catch on fire....would love to hear what some of the other answers were!
Jessie Green

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kendra – I gotta go with hide it under a bush. And for future reference its duck duck grayduck.

Love ya,

Whitney (for the rest of the Shouses) said...

It's SO "bushel" and who cares if it makes sense! It's a kid's song about Jesus! And, what in the heck is duck duck greyduck. That really makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

I remember it being "Hide it under a bushel, NO!" I guess I was so
little that I didn't really think about whether it made sense or not. I
loved trying to be the loudest to say "NO!!!!!"

Erin Truex

Anonymous said...

I must agree with Estelle and Kendra

Definitely, Hide it under a Bushel.....

I spent a lot of years in Vacation Bible School so I think I am an expert:)

Brandi Jane Wedgeworth

Anonymous said...

it's definitely "hide it under a bushel, no!"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eben said...

As much as I hate to, I think I may have to concede on this one. I am definitely a 'bush, oh no!' singer myself, but then this controversy came up in my own life (it got published here:

While I was initially awarded the victory, a couple days later somebody posted a response and Chelsea seemed to think she was right again. I went to do my own google search and found your blog. I finally saw the post on Chelsea's blog, and knew I was toast when I saw that it referenced scripture (kind beats google as the authority any day)

So here are the two links that really seem to nail the lid on the coffin of my beloved phrasing 'bush, oh no!':

Exhibit A: All three synoptic gospels in the KJV use bushel referring to hiding a candle.

Exhibit B:'s second definition for bushel has it as a basket, not just the measurement.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Eric. I promise I'm really on your side. Maybe we should keep singing it 'bush, oh no!' just because 'oh no!' is far more emphatic than simply 'no!' And the song should rightly be sung with the most conviction possible. After all, we wouldn't want people thinking that we're only kind of serious about not hiding our light. Maybe your aunt was right: It shouldn't be hidden under a bush to wait until the bush eventually catches flame; it should be used to set a flame to the bush immediately so that the light blazes forth even more gloriously and so that God can sustain that light because just as God provided the flame on the bush and sustained it, we need him to sustain the fires we light with the flame he's given us; far be it from us to try to take credit for his work. Yeah, definitely something along those lines... it's definitely 'bush, oh no!'... definitely...

Anonymous said...

yes... interesting thread!

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