Do not worry. Honor your parents. Do not lie. Do not covet. Give generously. Don’t grumble. Value others above yourselves.
These Biblical, “simple” rules are easier said than done – and suitable for framing above the fireplace of every Christian home. For Randall Goodgame, they serve as an underlying current for his latest title in the wildly-popular, Dove Award-nominated Slugs & Bugs series: Sing the Bible, Volume 2.
“These songs are rich in practical instruction, specifically about how Christians act as they are being transformed by the Holy Spirit,” Randall explains. “They’re are also packed with bedrock Truths of the Christian faith. By combining these elements, I hope the project will serve as a musical ‘handbook’ for the Christian home.”
Throughout the album’s 14 tracks, Sing the Bible, Volume 2 incorporates 43 Scripture verses from 12 Books of the Bible. Produced by Ben Shive (Rend Collective, MercyMe), Sing the Bible, Volume 2 takes listeners on a true-to-life journey through celebration, struggle and repentance, culminating in forgiveness. The intentional song sequence ultimately tells the story of the Christian life in a way that’s understandable for kids, yet also meaningful for parents.
“Parents are in the car, too; they’re listening with the kids,” Randall notes. “Experiencing music together creates a great opportunity for relationship building.”
Slugs & Bugs had its genesis somewhat accidentally in the early 2000’s. At the time Randall was a highly-acclaimed indie singer/songwriter, having released several CDs of his own and penned a slew of songs for Caedmon’s Call and other artists. He and good friend Andrew Peterson were touring together and both lamenting the lack of quality music available for their young kids. During downtime on the tour, they began crafting some silly songs and lullabies. The informal collaboration led to the 2007 release of a small side project: Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies.
After its debut, Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies took on a life of its own, generating a growing buzz and drawing a strong response from parents and kids alike. It even led to the creative duo penning silly songs, such as “Monkey,” for VeggieTales episodes. “Writing for VeggieTales helped me realize how much I loved writing for families. I became captivated by the challenge of bringing humor, artistry, and the Good News of Jesus together to serve families in a new way.”
In 2009 Randall put together a Slugs & Bugs concert series based on songs from Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies. And with Andrew’s full blessing, Randall became sole captain of a new brand, and Slugs & Bugs was born, releasing A Slugs & Bugs Christmas in 2010, Slugs & Bugs Under Where? in 2011 and Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs in 2015.
“Even before I played the first concert,” Randall says, “I realized I had found a deeply satisfying calling. The live show immediately connected with families and as word spread, within a few months my tour schedule was booked solid with Slugs & Bugs concerts.”
After the enormous success of the Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, Randall realized Scripture set to music was an invaluable tool for both parents and children. “The response was very enthusiastic for Sing the Bible,” he says. “It became clear that families were hungry for more, and I was eager to serve them in such a meaningful way.”
Following in Slugs & Bugs tradition, Randall crafted 14 songs with musical excellence in mind, making sure the music was as emotive, relevant and fun-filled as the lyrics were Truth-filled. This time around, Slugs & Bugs, Volume 2 also quickly became a family affair for the father of three. Randall’s wife, Amy, plays silly, selfish reporter Shelly Sharkbug in a conversation opposite Chauncey the Raccoon (voiced by Andrew Peterson) on “Whoever Sows,” a song about generous giving.
“Andrew is so good at silliness, and I am thankful he is always up for joining me in at least one song for some good-humored tomfoolery,” Randall says of his longtime friend.
In addition, Amy also lends her vocals to “Hear, O Israel,” and Randall’s daughter, Livi, sings harmony across the entire project. Meanwhile, his son Benjamin—adopted from Ethiopia—performs a poignant solo on closing track “By His Wounds.” “It really is extraordinary being able to include members of my family in so many ways,” Randall shares.
Specifically, the final track serves as a call for reconciliation, an important theme near to Randall’s heart. The cut features a swelling gospel choir made up of some of Nashville’s finest singers. “I approached ‘By His Wounds’ with racial reconciliation on my mind,” Randall explains. “On that song, black voices and white voices join together to sing, ‘By His wounds, we are healed’ over and over again… Of course, we take these words from the prophet Isaiah and point them at Christ, acknowledging Him as the Messiah. But His wounds heal every strife. Because of His wounds, war will cease and He will wipe away every tear. By His wounds, racial wounds will also heal.”
From the lighthearted to the serious, Randall manages to merge hilarity with sincerity on Sing the Bible, Volume 2, creating a whimsical world bursting with creativity equally enjoyed by moms, dads and kids. Ultimately, he hopes this new collection of songs sparks discussion between parents and their little ones for years to come.
“Slugs & Bugs music can be a catalyst for spiritual and relational growth in the home,” Randall concludes. “When the music is really fun and wily, spontaneous silliness ensues! And when the music is beautiful and meaningful, often deep questions come up. Conversations happen, and relationships grow. All of that put together is why I do what I do.”