These 5 Book of Mormon songs are not for the faint-hearted

Posted on 26 July 2019

The Book for Mormon does for the prudish what seeing blood does for the squeamish; of course, there's also plenty of blood and guts to go around in this outrageous musical comedy by the creators of South Park. Perhaps you already know these five Book of Mormon songs. But if you haven't rushed over to the Prince of Whales Theatre, then you probably don't know the half of what makes them so crazy-fun.

See our list below for the top five shocking songs in The Book of Mormon that are not for the faint of heart. (Be warned that this may contain some spoilers and adult content. Reader discretion is advised.)

Top 5 shocking The Book of Mormon songs

5. I Believe
Before we delve into the song 'I Believe' itself, let's review the antagonist of the story. Don't let the name General Butt F**king Naked fool you, it is definitely not a cheap attempt at humour. There is actually a person on planet Earth with the name General Butt Naked on which the musical character is based and his real name is Joshua Milton Blahyi. Once considered the cruellest and most evil man in the world, Blahyi is the former commander of warlord Roosevelt Johnson's Liberian forces. General Butt Naked is Blahyi's war name (nom de guerre) and he is infamous for killing 20,000 people during the First Liberian Civil War. He performed human sacrifice on his victims (as he was a priest in the Sarpo tribe) and even practised cannibalism on them. 

A fictional version of him serves as the main villain in the musical, The Book of Mormon, in which he is a Ugandan warlord. There are a few scenes of graphic violence in the musical cause by General Butt Naked that will make you jump out of your own skin. One such scene happens just after the song 'All-American Prophet', in which Elder Cunningham equates the Bible to a "trilogy". After this relatively light-hearted number, which is like an eye of the storm, audiences are in for a real shock when General Butt Naked comes barging on stage, demanding all female villagers have their genitals mutilated and shooting a protester right in the face. The special effects in this blood-splattering moment are so incredibly realistic that you may find yourself shrieking in the audience!

In the song 'I Believe', Elder Price confronts General But F**king Naked in an effort to convert him. Such shocking lyrics from the song include, "I believe that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people," "I believe that Jesus has his own planet as well, and I believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri." After becoming annoyed with Elder Price, the character General Butt F**king Naked does another rather graphic thing at the end of 'I Believe', this time left to the imagination as he drags Elder Price off stage. It's only when we see an X-ray of Elder Price's pelvic area later that we know what actually happened to him at the end of the song, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Take your Bible and shove it!"

4. Turn It Off
This next song on this list is perhaps the most jaw-dropping and eye-popping performance in the whole show. Complete with a tap-dance break, this showstopper sees the young missionaries in the story share their advice on how to get their minds out of the gutter and how to handle their existential thoughts when they experience crises as believers. Some key lyrics include "Don't feel those feelings, hold them instead! Turn it off, like a light switch. Just go click! It's a cool little Mormon trick." When compared to the violence found during 'General Butt F**cking Naked', 'Turn It Off' is certainly much more light-hearted and silly, that is until it mentions domestic abuse... After the number, you can't help but admire Trey Parker and Matt Stone's divine ability to present a hilarious song that still manages to touch your soul with its sad and depressing subject matter, a talent they've demonstrated since South Park began.    

3. Joseph Smith American Moses
This number takes place well after the Act II opener in which Elder Cunningham began to 'make things up' to prevent the villagers from walking away after they had grown increasingly frustrated with the Mormon missionaries' teachings. 'Making Things Up Again', in which he mixed LDS doctrine with Star Wars and The Hobbit, was vanilla compared to 'Joseph Smith American Moses'. After having encountered a local African superstition that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a young virgin (and in the case of this musical number, with a baby), Elder Cunningham is deeply disturbed and swiftly recites, "Joseph Smith, do not f*** a baby, I'll get rid of your AIDS, if you f*** this frog." It's a very wacky moment and it just doesn't get any more bizarre than that...

2. Spooky Mormon Hell Dream
...but actually, it does. In this odd dream sequence, Elder Price encounters Genghis KhanJeffrey DahmerAdolf HitlerJohnnie Cochran, and of course, Lucifer himself. The dream serves as a premonition of what (and who) awaits Elder Price in the afterlife. Things take a turn for the weirder when Jesus Christ himself calls Elder Price a d**k. Talk about getting out of character for the Saviour himself.

1. Hasa Diga Eebowai
As fans of The Lion King, you already know that 'Hakuna Matata' means no worries. But what about 'Hasa Diga Eebowai'? Well... it means 'F*** you, God', which may seem absolutely blasphemous for believers if it weren't for the context that makes you feel sorry for the Ugandan villagers. Such saddening lyrics include: "There isn't enough food to eat. Hasa Diga Eebowai. People are starving in the street. We've had no rain in several days and eighty per cent of us have AIDS." This fourth song in the musical will play with all your emotions, so just be sure you're ready for it!

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.