Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Church Hymns

"Anybody who complains about a situation volunteered to help fix it."

That was my Mom's motto while we grew up.  As a result, I am loath to criticize unless I have a plan to make things better.

Many church hymns are "lame"


The Wesley brothers  knew that God speaks through music.  Martin Luther sparked an explosion in music, almost as if he knew that eliminating statues and stained glass created a void that needed to be filled.

Hymn writers appropriated popular secular (folk) melodies and wrote lyrics that were reinforced religious messages.  They were spectacularly successful.

Five hundred years of use leave some of those hymns sounding just a little bit tired.

Proposal


Take popular songs with simple melodies and change a few words.  This is easier than it sounds because most church hymns are love songs. It does not take much tweaking.

Because I am lazy, I propose that we "crowd source" the tweaking..  The picture in my head is that somebody pick a song, post a video and the lyrics and then change as much, or as little, as they are inspired.  Then, if anybody else can add to it or edit it, and they post the updated lyrics.  The effort continues until it dies of neglect or until it stabilizes with appropriate lyrics.

Most of these efforts are likely to not make it off the run-way or to fizzle shortly after take off.  But what the heck.  I complained;  that means I must contribute to a solution.

Example:



I will take the first swing at the pinata.

The song Girl Crush by Little Big Town has a  pensive, haunting melody and creepy lyrics.  The melody is very simple and the range is well within the range of most congregations.  The instrumental support is simple and sparse.  It is a reasonable candidate for mutating into a church hymn.

Actual Lyrics


I got a girl crush, hate to admit it but
I got a heart rush, ain’t slowin’ down
I got it real bad, want everything she has
That smile and the midnight laugh she’s givin’ you now

I wanna taste her lips, yeah, ‘cause they taste like you
I wanna drown myself in a bottle of her perfume
I want her long blonde hair, I want her magic touch
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then you’d want me just as much
I got a girl crush, I got a girl crush

I don’t get no sleep, I don’t get no peace
Thinkin’ about her under your bed sheets
The way that she’s whisperin’, the way that she’s pullin’ you in
Lord knows I’ve tried, I can’t get her off my mind

I wanna taste her lips, yeah, ‘cause they taste like you
I wanna drown myself in a bottle of her perfume
I want her long blonde hair, I want her magic touch
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then you’d want me just as much

I got a girl crush
I got a girl crush, hate to admit it but
I got a heart rush, it ain’t slowin’ down

 

Churchified lyrics:


Changed text highlighted in light green.

I found Jesus, hate to admit it but
I got a heart rush, ain’t slowin’ down
I got it real bad, want everything He has
That smile and the midnight calm he's givin’ out now

I wanna taste that wine, want to eat that bread
I wanna drown myself in the love of God
I want to take His name, I want His healing touch
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then He’d want me just as much
I found Jesus, I found Jesus

I didn’t get any sleep, I didn’t have any peace
Thinkin’ about Him on that cross
The way he's calling my name, the way that He’s pullin’ me in
Lord knows I’ve tried, I can’t get Him off my mind

I wanna taste  that wine, want to eat that bread
I wanna drown myself in the love of God
I want to take His name, I want His healing touch
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then He'd want me just as much

I found Jesus
I found Jesus, hate to admit it but
I got a heart rush, it ain’t slowin’ down

Anybody else want to take a whack at the pinata?

3 comments:

  1. Nicely done sir! And I seem to remember that refrain from my childhood also!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The refrain from the first or the second version? (smirk font employed)

      Delete
  2. Nicely done sir! And I seem to remember that refrain from my childhood also!

    ReplyDelete