Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn)

This is a beautiful hymn written for use with Communion by the Getty/Townend hymn-writing team (“In Christ Alone”).  I am very thankful for this wonderful song and hope it finds much use in the Church of Christ.

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away,
Slain for us – and we remember
The promise made that all who come in faith
Find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of peace
Around the table of the King.
The body of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
Torn for you – eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life
Paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of love
Around the table of the King.
The blood that cleanses every stain of sin,
Shed for you – drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in
To receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of grace
Around the table of the King.
And so with thankfulness and faith we rise
To respond, – and to remember
Our call to follow in the steps of Christ
As His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering
We proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven
Around the table of the King

From the Gettymusic.com

The Communion Hymn is exactly what it says it is -a hymn to be used during the communion part of a service – the opening verse sets the context, preparing us for communion with verse 2 focussing on the bread and verse 3 the wine while verse 4 being the response as we leave.

We took several key themes – we wanted to explain simply what each part of communion is about and so use it as a teaching song, explaining the meaning of the elements. We also wanted to write in a way which appealed to the senses ‘ the visual image of the table of the King, ‘drained deaths cup’ . It also brings in the eternal dimension which we try to do in all of our hymns – where we tei the cup to the theme of judgement and the fact that it is part of our communion experience is to remember his return.”

Remember Me

A song that I have been listening to on a regular basis is Remember Me by Matthew Smith (of Indelible Grace fame).  This song appears on Smith’s solo recond Love Shall Never Die: The Road Sessions Vol. 2.  I could not find the lyrics to this song, but I did find the hymn on which the lyrics (with a few changes) are based.  The hymn is written by Thomas Haweis and STEM Publishing has a biography on him here and his hymn titled Remember Me on the same page.  Here is the hymn:

Remember Me by Thomas Haweis.

O Thou from whom all goodness flows,
I lift my heart to Thee;
In all my sorrows, conflicts, woes,
Dear Lord remember me.

When groaning on my burdened heart
My sins lie heavily,
My pardon speak, new peace impart,
In love ‘Remember me’.

Temptations sore obstruct my way,
To shake my faith in Thee;
O give me strength, Lord, as my day;
For good ‘Remember me’.

Distrest with pain, disease and grief,
This feeble body see;
Grant patience, rest and kind relief,
Hear! and ‘Remember me’.

If on my face for Thy dear Name,
Shame and reproaches be,
All hail, Reproach! and welcome
Shame! If Thou ‘Remember me’.

The hour is near, consigned to death
I own the just decree;
Saviour, with my last parting breath,
I’ll cry, ‘Remember me’.

This is a simple, but profoundly Biblical cry for the Christian.  I used  the theme of remembering in a funeral meditation for a believer who had suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s during her remaining years.  Her memory and ability to cry out in these last days was greatly diminished, but I focused on our gracious Lord who remembers us (Psalm 103, Luke 23:42-43).  In fact, our salvation does not lie so much in the strength of our ability to make this confession, but in the Lord who remembers us, even in our weakness and frailty.

The text of the homily based on the above texts is on the next pages.  I have changed the name of the deceased.

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New Music: The Autumn Film

I discovered The Autumn Film after poking around the Backstage site after I downloaded the Page XVI hymns that I blogged about last week (just a few posts down).  After listening to the free four song EP, I also downloaded their “Safe & Sound” album from emusic.  This really good piano-driven female-fronted rock music with a good dose of violin as the fabric of most songs.  I know very little about this band and am still taking in the lyrics, there may be a  biblical worldview within the lyrics.  Have a listen to their song “Enough”:

More Hymn Goodness

Here’s another entry into the older hymns, new tunes camp – (a camp I absolutely love and found incredibly valuable to the church). You can download this album for free for a limited time (another thing I absolutely love).  A brief first listen is very positive – the songs have a little bit of an (electric) edge to them – this would be in contrast to Indelible Grace/Red Mountain Church style.

From the website:

Page CXVI is a project started with the idea of making hymns accessible and known again.They are some of the richest, most meaningful, and moving pieces of music ever written.

Here are the hymns included on this album:

Come Thou Fount
In Christ Alone (actually a new hymn and one of my favorites; new hymns are also needed in the church)
My Jesus I Love Thee
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
Nothing But the Blood
Solid Rock
Joy

(HT: Between Two Worlds)

Worth a Listen: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

There are some “Chrsitmas” songs that I don’t mind listening too/singing throughout the year  – though we may celebrate once a year, the reality of Christmas is with us everyday.  So, with that in mind, do yourself a favor and listen to this version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”  by Josh Garrels & Trace Bundy.  Especially listen (or start around 2:45) – great stuff!

My favorite part of the Inauguration

This was my favorite part of the Presidential Inauguration:

  • I missed Warren’s invocation and watched later – I thought he did a good job and made clear that he was praying in the name of Jesus.
  • Didn’t understand the poem, nor found it particularly poetic.
  • The President’s speech was rhetorically good, but not great, by my estimation.
  • The Benediction was odd.
  • I liked watching the spectacle of it all and understand (to a degree) why so many people made the journey to Washington.  It is and should be meaningful to African-Americans, but many have made an idol of President Obama (thus my concern…aside from political concerns).

The Big Picture also has their collection of photos from the Inauguration, including an awesome overhead shot of the entire mall.

Amazon mp3 Sale

Amazon has the Top Albums of 2008 (50 mp3 albums) for sale for $5…a very good deal methinks.  I downloaded Fleet Foxes – an album I have been wanting to get a hold of and almost downloaded through itunes for $10.  I don’t know how long this sale lasts.

(HT:  Steve Mckoy/Reformissionary)

Free + Good + Music = more goodness

Phil Wickham has a live album called Singalong for free here (as long as you are okay with signing up for his newsletter).  I am not tremendously familiar with Wickham, though I had heard his song “Divine Romance” somewhere and I like it (see the Youtube video below).  I have not given an extended listen to Singalong yet, but there is something captured from this show that I really like.  Sonically, it many not have the best quality, but I love that the crowd that is present is belting out every song with Wickham.  I particularly like this on the hymns that Wickham includes in this set and it reminds of what it is like to sing in the midst of a full church (and maybe even a glimpse of what heaven might sound like).  Anyway, I love the opportunity to get a hold of a new artist at a great price (can’t beat free).

Now Listening: David Berkeley

Seriously, I am listening to David Berkeley just about everyday.  I have really been captured by his sensitive and “real” writing coupled with varied, but mostly acoustic instrumentation/”stylings” that really matches the song-writing.  This is what good music should be.   I first heard David Berkeley on this episode of This American Life (a great episode, by the way).

I bought his first album on emusic (let me know if you want to give emusic a try) and I have been streaming the cross-section of songs available on the website.  My favorite songs are “Hurricane”, “Oh Lord, Come Down”, and “The Only Broken Man”.  The latter two songs create quite a juxtaposition as they come right after another on the website.  The first recognizes our brokenness and cries out to the Lord, whereas the second seems to express some disappointment that God has not responded or that He has not met expectation (false though they may be).  I do not know what Berkeley’s thought are towards Christianity, but there is certainly thoughtful interactions with concepts most larger than pop music is inclined to address.  Thus, part of the goodness here.

Here’s a live performance of “Miss Maybe”

itunes Music Fun

While I think the new Genius mode in itunes is cool, particularly because I am often in the mood for particular styles of music, rather than just for a particular artist or album, I have been creating a mix using keyword in the search box.  For instance, recently I have been listening to a mix of songs that have the word “light” in the song title (I did “rain” last Friday after we had so much rain at the end of the week).  Here is what I have been listening to from this mix (excluding albums that have “light” in the title):

  • Salt & Light by Ashley Cleveland (Roaring Lambs Compilation)
  • Where Does the Light Fall by Bill Mallonee (Dear Life)
  • Hold the Light by Caedmon’s Call (Overdressed)
  • Fill Me With Your Light by Clem Snide (This is Americana 2)
  • When I Light Your Darkened Door by Damien Jurado (Live performance)
  • Marvelous Light by Derek Webb (City on a Hill compilation)
  • I’m Standing in the Light by Dr. Dog (Paste Magazine Music Sampler 39)
  • When the Lights Go Out by Derek Webb & Sandra McCraken (Ampersand EP)
  • Sometimes a Light Surprises by Indelible Grace (Pilgrim Days)
  • Is the Light Burning by Jan Krist (Decapitated Society)
  • Real Light by The Jayhawks (Tomorrow the Green Grass)
  • Miles from the Lightning by Jeffrey Foucault (Miles from the Lightning)
  • Daylight by Jeremy Casella (Recovery)
  • Waiting on the Light to Change by Matthew Perryman Jones (Throwing Punches in the Dark)
  • In the Morning Light by Mo Leverett (For the Benefit of Desire)
  • In the Light of Common Day by Phil Keaggy (Beyond Nature)
  • Vacant Light by Romantica (It’s Your Weakness the I Want)
  • Reinventing Light by Southeast Engine (A Wheel Within A Wheel)
  • City of Blinding Lights by U2 (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb)
  • Red Light by U2 (War)
  • Certain Slant of Light by Vigilantes of Love (Blister Soul)
  • When You’re Blinded by the Light by Vigilantes of Love (Across the Big Pond)
  • Bar Lights by Whiskeytown (Pneumonia)

Pop Music: Where bad poetry & bad theology collide

Case #1:  Natasha Bedingfield’s lastest hit single:  “A Pocket Full of Sunshine” – You don’t really have to watch the video, but here it is:

Here are some lyrics:

I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine
I got a love and I know that it’s all mine, oh, oh oh oh
Wish that you could but you ain’t gonna own me
Do anything you can to control me, oh, oh no

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away to better days
Take me away, a hiding place

There’s a place that I go that nobody knows
Where the rivers flow and I call it home
And there’s no more lies in the darkness there’s light

Sound a little like a humanistic view of heaven, right?  And it’s certainly understandable to long for another place, given the falleness of this world.  I am reminded of this quotation from C.S. Lewis:  “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” (Mere Christianity).  But here’s where the lyrics are just bad poetry and bad theology (beyond what is already bad):

And nobody cries, there’s only butterflies

Only butterflies!    Wow, that’s just bad on all levels.  This is the problem with art that has the end of consumerism in mind, as opposed to making good art.  The songwriters needed a word that rhymed with cries and apparently butterflies was all they could come up with.  Thus, giving us a picture of some distant place away from the world where we can be taken to where there are only butterflies.  Look, I like butterflies as much as the next guy, but that’s not what I want to see in heaven or anywhere else.  And by the way, who takes you to this place?  Who takes you away to this “sweet escape.”  If we can’t get there ourselves, then Who?

Mondegreen: misheard song lyrics

Mondegreen is a new entry in Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.   Below is a description of mondegreen from an AP article.  You can read the whole thing here (the article describes a number of the 100 or so new words from our American lexicon that have been added to the dictionary).

And then there’s “mondegreen.” In a category of its own, it describes words mistaken for other words. A mondegreen most often comes from misunderstood phrases or lyrics.

It comes from an old Scottish ballad in which the lyric “laid him on the green” has been confused over time with “Lady Mondegreen.”

Among the best-known modern examples: “There’s a bathroom on the right” in place of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “There’s a bad moon on the rise” and “‘Scuse me, while I kiss this guy” in place of “kiss the sky” in the 1967 Jimi Hendrix classic “Purple Haze.”

Even Sokolowski, a word expert by trade, has a favorite mondegreen: “Lucy in the sky with diamonds,” as sung by the Beatles in 1967, made obvious sense to the preteen Peanuts comic fan as “Lucy in the sky with Linus.”

Merriam-Webster’s editors were so amused by the mondegreen concept that they plan to ask people to submit their favorites on the publishing company’s Web site.”

In honor of this word being officially recognized, I share with you my mondegreens (not quite sure of the plural of mondegreen).

  • From the Flashdance theme song “What a Feeling”:  I heard “take your pants off and make it happen” Actual lyrics:  “take your passion and make it happen”.
  • From Steve Winwood’s song “Higher Love”:  I heard “bake me a pie of love” –  Actual lyrics:  “bring me a higher love.”  Apparently I was completely unaware of the song title or was unmoved by it.

Anybody like to share a mondegreen?

Let Free(Music)dom Ring

In keeping with the theme of Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, I share with you a new discovery:  NoiseTrade

Here’s how it works:  you download (for free) music from artists by telling three friends about the artist/band.  You can also receive the music by paying what you want (starting at $1).  So far, I have downloaded a 3-song EP by Joy Whitlock and a 7-song collection of songs by Alli Rogers (from several different albums).  And just in a couple of days they have already added more albums (including Waterdeep) – 17 in all.  Here are some of the other artists I was familiar with already and already have some of their music:  Derek Webb, Matthew Perryman Jones (he has done some stuff with Indelible Grace), Sandra McCracken (also of IG), and Katie Herzig.

Thoughts:

  • I think this is a great way to get exposure for independent artists by using the connections that their existing or new fans have. Good music should be shared.
  • You can listen and see what you would be downloading before you choose to do so.  I am always looking for new music to try and will buy other albums once I become a fan.
  • I think this is a very good way of bridging the gap between what music lovers have become accustomed too (free, cheap, easy access to music, digital options, etc…) and support for the artist themselves (either by larger exposure or direct support through payment).
  • Of the artists/bands that I am already familiar with, I know them to have Christian convictions/faith (as much as one can know these things from listening to their music), but they are not a part of a Christian sub-culture (e.g. CCM).  They are Christians who make good music or even great music. I do not know if this true of all of the artists on NoiseTrade and all of them should be judged on their art first.

This is from the website:

Artists want to know, connect with, and be supported by music fans. Music fans want high-quality, free (or variably priced) music and to be rewarded, not punished, for sharing the music they love with their friends. We believe that if artists and fans work together, everyone can get what they want.

“A great record is its own best marketing tool,” says Derek Webb, singer/songwriter and Co-Founder of NoiseTrade. “All the marketing dollars in the world can’t accomplish what one great record can, especially if it’s set free to roam around and connect with the right people.” In 2006 Webb gave away his ‘Mockingbird’ record for free online, asking in return for a little information (name, email address, and postal code), and as part of the process, for fans to invite their friends to download as well.

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