My Primary school (infant + junior) was a smallish Roman Catholic affair, now greatly expanded from the 300 or so intake of the 1970s, when I was there.
Here's one of them, as much as I remember from 30+ years ago:
The tune was monotonous and I now loathe it. I've noticed that many of the hymns people of around my age count as favourites, I can't stand at all. Probably because of how much we had to sing them back then. But there is a more serious reason for my hating this one.
[chorus] Suffer little children to come unto me,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven!
Suffer little children to come unto me,
for theirs is the kingdom of the Lord!
[verse] And Jesus said, "Children, little children,
blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah (can't remember that line)
[repeat, then chorus again]
At this time, I was being seriously bullied at home. Emotionally, verbally and physically. "I lived in fear" sounds like a cliche, but it describes it exactly. I was regularly hit. Mostly it was across the face. But thighs were targets, too, while brothers preferred forearms. More elaborate options included holding my hand against the wall behind a door, then slamming the door open against it, so that the metal handle bruised my palm, wrist, fingers or knuckles. I still have trouble with my hands today.
The unfairness of it all is what stings when I look back. It's the unfairness of it that ripples into my present and causes problems. The physical pains can't be re-experienced, but the sting of injustice lasts. When I'm low it haunts me, like a ghost walking his same path night after night anew.
Why didn't I speak up?
Why didn't I find a confidante?
Why didn't I write about it at school, try to tell someone that way?
Well, there was this hymn, you see. And in it, it said that little children had to suffer to go to Jesus- "Suffer little children to come unto me..."
Of course, "suffer" in this sense, means "cause" or "encourage". But I was an adult a long while before I knew that. I thought I must be being blessed with all this suffering... and prayed for more.
photo's taken last summer at Fountains Abbey