Archive for January, 2012
A quieter, contemplative one this week. Chords are a variation on the over-used VI-IV-I-V, with the last chord changed to II(#).
In spite of my earlier ‘rules’, this one is not particularly based on any one Bible passage, but rather is inspired by seeing the current state of the world, of my country and of many towns and cities. If everyone followed Jesus (or even just lived by his teachings), the world would be a peaceful place.
This country needs Jesus
The homeless and the needy
This town needs Jesus
The drunken and the violent
Now there are so many blog posts in this category, I’ve decided to index them for you, to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. Here you go:
(1) Eating out
(2) Days out (in the city)
(3) Days out (near the city)
Oh My God!
Yes, that’s the title of my third song of the year. The aim is to reinstate the phrase to its original meaning of awe and wonder at our mighty, omnipotent creator. As you know, the phrase has become misused as an expletive in recent times, so this song aims to redress the balance once again.
This one has a bit of a funky Latin beat with hints of acid jazz; not something you often hear in church! Also, the repeated chord sequence of I, II, V in a minor key has never (to my knowledge) been used in Christian worship music before (but please correct me if you know otherwise!)
Here you go:
Every step that I take He guides me
This whole church is the Lord’s own body
* If you want it to sound ‘posh’ then play A7b9 instead of A7 if you know it (C#dim would work too).
Here’s the second of my ‘fifty songs in 2012’. I hope you like it!
The words are inspired by Psalm 42, Romans 8:28, Rudyard Kipling and other Biblical themes. The melody only uses an octave of the C major scale (no accidentals), but the harmonies are more adventurous. It’s got a slightly 80s or even Elton John/Disney feel to it in places. Here you go:
Still I will Praise Him
In sickness and in health
In life and in death
So, here’s Song Number One:
I’ve gone for a pseudo-celtic, neo-hymn (which partly breaks my rule no.5 already). But, hey, the Townend/Getty ones have gone down well and it’s still different from most other worship songs today! Hope you like it – I’ve gone for a very ‘safe’ song first time round, but shall endeavour for something more radical next time! (PS Sorry, I’m recovering from a cold, so my voice is not that great).
It’s hard to love your enemies
Take away all bitterness
Yes, my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 is to compose – and post on this blog – a new worship song every week!
Ambitious? Yes! A bit crazy? Probably! Well, I’m pledging to do fifty songs, so that I get a week or two off at least. The thing is, I’ve been composing for over two decades and I get tunes and ideas in my head all the time. So, all I have to do is note them down and share them with you.
(i) No Christian jargon!
(ii) No more clichés, please!
(iii) Make use of vocabulary currently in the media
(iv) Use new or different harmonies
(v) Draw musical inspiration from the secular world
There is no ‘church music’, there is just music used (or not) in church. Any style can – and should – be used. So, if you’re writing a new song, try not to get your influences from other worship song writers; this will only perpetuate the ‘inbred-ness’ of these. Why not listen to some current pop, rock, reggae, jazz, latin, R & B music and use those styles? These needn’t be overly complicated, but at least we will have a balanced musical diet in church.
(vi) Tied to Scripture
Now, I know I will fail at the above, but I can at least try (and you should too!) If you could make it your New Year’s resolution to try out at least one of the fifty songs in your church at some point this year, that would be wonderful (and when you do, let me know how it goes!) Some of the songs will be quite good, others less so. This is a kind of experiment. I figure that even if one person reads one song and is touched by it, I will have served a purpose. I’m also happy for you to send your opinions or suggestions about the songs.