Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Modern Hymn Post

I began thinking about the early Methodists and their attempts to use music to help convert people to Christianity. It was a smart maneuver, especially considering they used tunes people already knew and added a Christian message into the lyrics so others could sing along. It produced some amazing results, not the least of which is my favorite Christmas hymn, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, which I spoke about at length last year. The second verse really sums up the entire Christian spirit in its lyrics and makes me proud to be one.

I got to thinking, this morning, what if modern Christians did something akin to this. What if they took modern tunes and changed the lyrics to have Christian overtones. So, to ruin everyone's favorite tunes...I started doing that. Here are some examples --
To the tune of "Baby One More Time..."
Oh I must confess
That my sinfulness
Is killing me now
But you know I will believe
That with my Lord here
He gave us His life
To take away all of man's strife

My Jesus Christ is saving me
His sacrifice has set us free
Through Him salvation is guaranteed
He gave us His life
To take away all of man's strife
To the tune of "Girlfriend"
Hey, hey, you, you
I really like your Savior
Yea man, I feel
That I need to convert
Hey, hey, you, you
I want to be a Christian

I can't pretend
Because I know
Salvation is precious
And yeah
He's the ever loving Prince of Peace
I can tell you He loves us
Again and again
(And again, and again)

Old gods, cast them whereever
Through Christ I can do much better
I need His everlasting love
And that is what I'm praying for
I know, they're ridiculous -- but maybe that's the thing. Our music stylings have changed so much that much of our popular modern music is not quite as timeless as it was in the past. Much of it sounds dated and won't transcend into the next few decades very well. Yet, when I hear Hark! The Herald Angels Sing every Christmas, I am still moved and still love the music. I wonder if that will happen some hundred years from now -- where our music is still loved and cherished. If not, we need to begin truly working on more timelessness in our tunes because without that bit of timelessness, our music will disappear and that incredibly important piece of us will just slip away...

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