To me, that poem is a WARNING, not just a harmless bit of children's verse. It always has been--about NOT following other people or a creed without knowing what the music is REALLY trying to say, if you get my meaning.
Would you believe that ever since I was an older child, about 9 or so, I've had doubts about Christianity in particular and God/religion in general? It was difficult for me (if not impossible) to just BELIEVE, like my friends at church and at school did (and like my adult church friends did, too) without worrying about the basics that I'd been taught. More than anything, I got the strong impression that once you first accepted the faith, you were supposed to believe these "basics" (salvation, sin, God and Jesus) as given truths and then move ONWARD and UPWARD. You weren't supposed to revisit the facts of the Plan of Salvation more than once--and that "once" was when you first invited Christ to come into your heart. It's like being in school. Once you had mastered the alphabet and were learning how to write (said my faith and church doctrine) it was absolutely ridiculous to go over the ABC's again.
The thing was, the "basics", the truths that were SUPPOSED to be simple and believable by all people for all time, were actually very hard and complicated for me (and not only as a child, either). My friends in Sunday School and at Youth Group didn't ask too many questions because THEY believed, and wholeheartedly. What was wrong with ME, I asked myself? Many people told me I thought too much and overanalyzed things. That may have been true, but then again, I've always been a deep thinker and an analyst (even of the "simple" things that 95% of the population has already dealt with and mastered). I TRIED to believe, JUST believe, and have a "childlike faith." That was what my church promoted as the best sort of faith, not the kind that ruminated over the "given" truths as well as the "higher" ones of the Bible.
During the day, I tried to believe and obey. At night, that poem haunted me.
Believe. Obey. Believe. Obey. These were the two core values that my church (and, I thought, Christianity in general) stuck to, hard and fast, like epoxy glue sticks to skin. Meanwhile, I struggled inwardly with romantic and sexual (lustful, my church and Christianity would say) feelings. I also scorned and laughed at those who did not believe as I did. The people who partied, and who sat at my lunch table? I sneered at them and what they did, while secretly wanting to be invited. I scoffed at the pregnant girls at my high school, priding myself on the fact that I was still a virgin while ignoring a very basic Christian concept: HUMILITY. This continued all the way through college, where I believed and obeyed, believed and obeyed, nothing more.
Until everything fell apart, and my doubts exploded right out of my chest.
(P.S. How do I know that epoxy glue sticks to skin? Painful experiences. :P )