Irina’s Favorite Songbook
NOT long ago, Irina, a nine-year-old girl from Sofia, Bulgaria, was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She loves to sing and particularly enjoys the songs in the book Sing Praises to Jehovah. Irina therefore made it a goal to learn a few songs by heart every month.
One of Irina’s favorite subjects in school is music. So her music teacher was perplexed when Irina turned down an offer to sing in the school choir. Why did Irina refuse? She realized that much of the music she would be required to sing glorifies national heroes and holidays that are of pagan origin. Some songs even advocate rebellion and violence to promote national ideals. The teacher could not understand Irina’s position on this matter. Irina resorted to writing her teacher a letter setting forth her religious convictions—but to no avail.
Irina’s father had an idea. He gave the teacher a copy of the book Sing Praises to Jehovah, containing the songs that Irina loves to sing. A few days later, the teacher called Irina into the music room. She asked Irina to sing some of her favorite songs from the book—in the presence of her classmates—while the teacher accompanied her on the piano. The performance lasted for over an hour! The teacher had to admit that Irina’s favorite songbook had some beautiful melodies.