Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On Bad Hymns

When you become a professional at something many of your friends are amateurs at, your pet peeves change, big time. Most notably, the amateur's expression of their pet peeves, which are no longer yours, drive you nuts.

Today's iteration? Bad hymns.

Not bad music-related puns, bad hymns.
Sure, those in the the collection complained about here aren't our best: Gather Us In; City of God; Lord of the Dance; All Are Welcome; and Mary, Did You Know? But there are so many that are so much worse! I understand, pet peeve, sung too often, etc. But take a gander at a few choice verses here:

Sing we of the modern city,
Scene alike of joy and stress;
Sing we of its nameless people
In their urban wilderness.
Into endless rows of houses
Life is set a millionfold,
Life expressed in human beings
Daily born and growing old.
                  from Sing We of the Modern City
A nice try, but:
Lord, the demons are still thriving
In the grey cells of the mind:
Tyrant voices, shrill and driving,
Twisted thoughts that grip and bind,
Doubts that stir the heart to panic,
Fears distorting reason's sight,
Guilt that makes our loving frantic,
Dreams that cloud the soul with fright.
                     from Silence! Frenzied Unclean Spirit
Culturally offensive yet trying to be progressive:
Remember all the people
Who live in far off lands
In strange and lovely cities
Or roam the desert sands,
Or farm the mountain pastures
Or till the endless plains
Where children wade through rice fields
And watch the camel trains.
                     from Remember All the People
Merely inane/reductive:
With Jesus for hero, for teacher and friend,
The world to the purpose of God shall ascend:
Then learn we that gospel of love to obey,
Till sickness and want and disputes pass away.
                      from With Jesus for Hero
Yes, bringing our work up to God (rather than bringing him down to our work) is good, but...:
Lord of cable, Lord of rail,
Lord of motorway and mail,
Lord of rocket, Lord of flight,
Lord of soaring satellite,
Lord of lightning’s livid line,
All the world of speed is thine!
                     from God of Concrete, God of Steel
And, of course, the uncontested (in my opinion) winner: Giant Love Ball Song by Carey Landry (earworm warning!).

So, pardon me if I don't really care that you're sick of singing On Eagles' Wings. You know what? At least that one's based on Scripture.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, thanks for the warning. Couldn't bring myself to play the video...
    Lord of soaring satellite... ahhh. :)


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