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Source: (consider it) Thread: Yet more crappy choruses, wonky worship-songs and horrible hymns
Mark Betts

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Yay! Here we go...

Let me start with that all time Christmas classic everyone knows. Most Christmas carols, such as "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" are, let's say optional, but this one song is sacrosanct for Christmas morning "family" worship.

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Of course! [Yipee]
quote:

Come and join the celebration,
It's a very special day,
Come and share our jubilation
There's a new King born today...

...and we wonder church congregations are diminishing! I remember hearing Pam Rhodes interviewing the writer, Graham Kendrick, on "Songs of Praise."
She commented that Graham "seemed to write a new hymn every five minutes."
I thought, "Yeah, that sounds about right!"

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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la vie en rouge
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I don't agree with you about much, but I hate that song too. My parents' church sings it every year on Christmas day and insists on calling it "modern".

I don't believe anyone wouldn't prefer to be singing Hark the Herald Angels, but it's some kind of weird enforced tradition.

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Mark Betts

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The children cower and cringe with embarrassment, while the oldies (in a bid to appear "trendy") do this "wiggle" which looks somewhat strained to say the least... but it's a change from waving their hands about!

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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ken
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Almost as bad as "Come on and celebrate". Which I already ranted over in the dead thread.

There is something about that word that makes it a generator of bad songs.

(Quite possibly there is - "celebration" has a specific liturgical meaning for the "new" charismatic churches in the 1970s and 1980s, and that's where most of our slightly-out-of-date songs come from, and slightly-out-of-date is nearly always the worst)

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Ken

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Have you guessed what it is yet?

Is this a Rolf Harris music thread?

PS Re. "Come on and celebrate" - presumably the stricter Reformed churches would wish to make this "cerebrate" instead. (They are interlectuals, after all).

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Albertus
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I'd be happy with 'come and cerebrate'. But there's not a lot of cerebration around in that kind of music, is there?

But in all seriousness, given everything else that you might possibly be wanting to sing at Christmas, why on earth would you sing 'come and join the celebration' (at Christmas or at any other time)?

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Baptist Trainfan
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Point taken. But "Come and join the celebration" does go down well at our pretty serious-minded church, especially on Christmas morning. And why shouldn't it?
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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Point taken. But "Come and join the celebration" does go down well at our pretty serious-minded church, especially on Christmas morning. And why shouldn't it?

No-one says you're not allowed to like it. The thing which irritates me is the way the words seem to be forced to fit the music with no poetic prose or depth whatsoever.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Barnabas62
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Just to make sure you know that Graham Kendrick did not write the song in the OP. I think it is a bit twee.

[Graham did write "Candle Song" which is lovely and has been used very often in my nonco congo at Christmas time. Definitely non-crappy]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Gill H

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IIRC that song is from a 1980s Christmas musical written for churches, and not written for congregational use?

Doesn't make it any better, perhaps. I'm sure I remember my friend's church doing the show, along with an even worse one which went 'It's the very best time of the year' and sonething about cookies made of gingerbread.

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Just to make sure you know that Graham Kendrick did not write the song in the OP. I think it is a bit twee.

I didn't know that - I just checked and you are right, you could have knocked me down with a feather! It seems to have his clumsy "it's biblical, so I don't care what it sounds like" trademark stamped all over it.

...but, I stand corrected.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
IIRC that song is from a 1980s Christmas musical written for churches, and not written for congregational use?

Which song? "Come and Join the Celebration" or "Candle Song"?

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Barnabas62
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Mark Betts

Ah well, some good done. Had you ever heard "Candle Song" before?

BTW I bet I've heard (and sung) a lot more crappy choruses and horrible hymns than you have. At almost 70, that seems a reasonably safe bet.

My local congo is big on contemporary Chriatian worship, some of which (but by no means all) strikes me as very crappy. But I don't diss the genre. There seem to me to be some gems there.

I grew up singing trad hymns in an Anglican church choir. Some pretty horrible hymns as well, but by no means all of them. I don't diss that genre either. I found some gems there, and many of them also get sung in my local congo.

Crappy and horrible are really not genre-specific. There's a huge subjective element in that. By all means, folks are free to develop their own aesthetic preferences and go on here about stuff that gets up their noses for lyrical triviality, or musical banality, or whatever.

But have a care. You may be throwing stones at other people's windows. And, as you've just found out, they may be wrongly aimed.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Mark Betts

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I have heard the candle song before - but (as far as I know) only on the telly. I do still sometimes go to Anglican churches, for example with my father, the only thing I can't partake in is anything sacramental, like Communion.

In evangelical churches, of course, that's rarely a problem, and I agree with you that not all of their songs are dire - some even stay in my head for days afterwards (such as "There is a redeemer" - but let's not go back there! [Eek!] )

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Gill H

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I meant 'Come and join the celebration'.

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Chorister

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It's easy to respect the choice of others when they are singing them at another church, or in a different service to the one you attend. But not so easy when the songs that you find meaningful are changed instead to ones you find crappy in the services that you do attend. The question is then 'Do I put up with it and feel really cringy, or bad' or 'Do I go somewhere else where I might be better suited to the type of worship?'

My crapometer is alerted when it goes into the red, ie. over 50% crappy at over 50% of the services. Fortunately, that has only happened once in my life.

[ 07. June 2012, 14:21: Message edited by: Chorister ]

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
It seems to have his clumsy "it's biblical, so I don't care what it sounds like" trademark stamped all over it.

Now I see what's going on! All the high-chuch moaning about Graham Kendrick songs is because the whingers blame him for all bad songs. Even though most of his are actually quite good. Just like "hoover" means any vacuum cleaner, so "kendrick" now means any song you don't like. Simples!

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Ken

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
It seems to have his clumsy "it's biblical, so I don't care what it sounds like" trademark stamped all over it.

Now I see what's going on! All the high-chuch moaning about Graham Kendrick songs is because the whingers blame him for all bad songs. Even though most of his are actually quite good. Just like "hoover" means any vacuum cleaner, so "kendrick" now means any song you don't like. Simples!
Yes. That does rather seem to be the case here. Mind you, a Catholic friend of mine told me a few years ago that "The Servant King" went down very well in his congo. "Pretty good theology" he observed, approvingly. "Same with 'Meekness and Majesty'".

[I think it had a "Vatican 2" priest.]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Baptist Trainfan
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There is a whole older seam of crapness yet to be mined in books such as "Redemption Hymnal" and the like - not to mention the R&B-type songs which were popular (not with me!) in the 70s.

[ 07. June 2012, 17:13: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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No, not true. I'm pretty high church and quite polite about Graham Kendrick - I've sung Like a candle flame in church too, along with quite a few others Darkness like a shroud at Advent, The Servant King and Meekness and Majesty, for starters. Such love gets sung at the Walk of Witness. The person who is seriously rude about Graham Kendrick is Alex Cockell, and he's not high church.

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
There is a whole older seam of crapness yet to be mined in books such as "Redemption Hymnal" and the like - not to mention the R&B-type songs which were popular (not with me!) in the 70s.

The 1970s were the height of crap. Mind you, it went with the territory - the 1970s were hardly the height of good taste by any measurement, not just in the churches.

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
There is a whole older seam of crapness yet to be mined in books such as "Redemption Hymnal" and the like - not to mention the R&B-type songs which were popular (not with me!) in the 70s.

The 1970s were the height of crap. Mind you, it went with the territory - the 1970s were hardly the height of good taste by any measurement, not just in the churches.
What concerns me is that, in typical Anglican behind-the-times fashion, many of the 1970s choruses are just being introduced into churches now, by people who really believe that they are 'modern'. [Eek!]

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
It seems to have his clumsy "it's biblical, so I don't care what it sounds like" trademark stamped all over it.

Now I see what's going on! All the high-church moaning about Graham Kendrick songs is because the whingers blame him for all bad songs. Even though most of his are actually quite good. Just like "hoover" means any vacuum cleaner, so "kendrick" now means any song you don't like. Simples!
Yes, I'll enter my plea - guilty as charged, your honour! But that doesn't mean I think that he writes good songs - theologically sound, I don't doubt, but good? I don't think so! Incidentally, isn't Graham himself high church charismatic?

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Incidentally, isn't Graham himself high church charismatic?

Before anyone sounds off, I've just wiki'd him, and it appears not.

However, here's a quote from the wiki page:
quote:
Kendrick also has his critics, among them the right wing journalist Quentin Letts, who has described him as "king of the happy-clappy banalities" and "the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge"


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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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anne
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
quote:


However, here's a quote from the wiki page:
Kendrick also has his critics, among them the right wing journalist Quentin Letts, who has described him as "king of the happy-clappy banalities" and "the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge"


Quentin Letts is your authority? Quentin Letts?? When did Quentin Letts become an arbiter of Church Music?

If it helps and for future reference, I don't care what Jeremy Clarkson thinks about liturgical vestments or whether Piers Morgan is a fan of Taize either.

anne

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‘I would have given the Church my head, my hand, my heart. She would not have them. She did not know what to do with them. She told me to go back and do crochet' Florence Nightingale

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by anne:
Quentin Letts is your authority? Quentin Letts?? When did Quentin Letts become an arbiter of Church Music?

For what it's worth, I hadn't even heard of the guy. But he's a journalist and art critic, with the necessary wit to go with it, and that counts for alot when speaking for how the nation really feels.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Jonah the Whale

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
But he's a journalist and art critic, with the necessary wit to go with it, and that counts for alot when speaking for how the nation really feels.

No it doesn't. All it means is that they seem witty if you agree with them. If you disagree they just come across as arrogant tossers who, not being talented individuals themselves, try to score cheap points by flinging mud at others.
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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Incidentally, isn't Graham himself high church charismatic?

Before anyone sounds off, I've just wiki'd him, and it appears not.

However, here's a quote from the wiki page:
quote:
Kendrick also has his critics, among them the right wing journalist Quentin Letts, who has described him as "king of the happy-clappy banalities" and "the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge"

Wikipedia citing a Daily Wail journalist. Wow, you really do know how to pick your sources!

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Barnabas62
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Here's a line which is not, so far as I know, in any crappy chorus or horrible hymn, but may get there one of these days. Especially for you, Mark

When in a hole, stop digging

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Mark Betts

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OK, point taken.. let's move onto another..

"In Christ Alone"
quote:
"..Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied"
I'm sure this isn't the first time this has been brought up, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

I actually quite like this, despite the fact that the quoted line smacks of "Penal Substitution".

I tend more towards "Christus Victor" these days, but I still sing this as it was intended - I don't see hymns as a pick 'n' mix affair where individuals can change the words to suit their own preferences.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
Wikipedia citing a Daily Wail journalist. Wow, you really do know how to pick your sources!

Sorry (again!) but what better source is there for the layman than Wikipedia?

...and what better newspaper than the Daily Mail for interesting, engaging and amusing articles? No-one ever said you had to agree with everything they write.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
Wikipedia citing a Daily Wail journalist. Wow, you really do know how to pick your sources!

Sorry (again!) but what better source is there for the layman than Wikipedia?

Here's some advice for you:

quote:
Originally said by someone wise:
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt

In other words, if you don't know what you're talking about then don't comment.

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally said by someone wise:
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt

In other words, if you don't know what you're talking about then don't comment.
It's an opinion - do I have to ask your permission before I can have opinions?

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Dinghy Sailor

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You don't, just don't share them if they're worthlessly ill-founded.

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
You don't, just don't share them if they're worthlessly ill-founded.

That doesn't even deserve a response.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Louise
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hosting

quote:
4. If you must get personal, take it to Hell

If you get into a personality conflict with other shipmates, you have two simple choices: end the argument or take it to Hell.

Mark Betts and Dinghy Sailor - this kind of personal bickering belongs on the Hell Board. Please stop it here, thanks.

A reminder to all those who forget - if you object to someone's style of posting and their posting habits then instead of seeing how close you can get to the line here- go and open a thread on the Hell board.

thanks,
Louise
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hosting off

[ 08. June 2012, 22:30: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Posts: 6891 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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# 17074

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More happy-clappy banalities from the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge:
quote:
Graham Kendrick: The Feast is Ready
The trumpets sound, the angels sing
The feast is ready to begin...


It fails on the very first line. It is just, well, not childlike, but childish!
Is this really what we need to inspire a penitential heart and reverence before we partake in the Most Holy Sacrament?

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Stejjie
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# 13941

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
More happy-clappy banalities from the nation's pre-eminent churner-outer of evangelical bilge:
quote:
Graham Kendrick: The Feast is Ready
The trumpets sound, the angels sing
The feast is ready to begin...


It fails on the very first line. It is just, well, not childlike, but childish!

[Confused]
What's childish about it? It wouldn't be particularly hard to find Biblical references to these things happening (Revelation, for instance?) - are they childish? If not, why is this childish?
quote:
Is this really what we need to inspire a penitential heart and reverence before we partake in the Most Holy Sacrament?
Who knows? Perhaps for some people it is.

Thing is, from his perspective, I don't know if Kendrick would've thought he was writing for the "Most Holy Sacrament", because I don't suppose that's how he sees Communion. As it is, for traditions that see Communion primarily as a memorial meal (like mine), this song acts as a way of opening us up to other ways of understanding it. It gives us a "heavenly" dimension to work with, to incorporate into our view. It's not perfect but, who knows, it may help us see it as the "Most Holy Sacrament" [Razz] .

I just sometimes think a lot of the criticism of Kendrick is based on the sort of songs people think he writes, rather than the ones he does write. As mentioned above, "Meekness and Majesty" and "The Servant King" are, for this genre, quite different and thoughtful - a mile away from the "Jesus is my boyfriend" stuff. And while even he got fed up with "Shine Jesus Shine" for a while, it didn't become such a millstone round his neck for no reason.

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
[Confused]
What's childish about it? It wouldn't be particularly hard to find Biblical references to these things happening (Revelation, for instance?) - are they childish? If not, why is this childish?

Again, the problem is not so much the content, but the way words are just hurriedly hashed together, with the "it's biblical, so I don't care what it sounds like" attitude, which has become prevailent with this type of hymn/chorus.

Even a child will take some care how they arrange words in a song or poem, but Kendrick seems to think it's not worth bothering about.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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I think you're running into a bit of a problem here, Mark. Curiosity Killed is no lover of contemporary worship songs and choruses in their entirety, although she does think that some of them are ok and useful. I only know that because we've discussed this issue before, both on the Boards and in the Cafe.

I think you need to ask yourself why you've received a Hell Call over it and others here who have discussed the self-same issue with her in the past, haven't.

Just because you've moved from one tradition to another, doesn't mean that you have to piss out of the window back onto the one you've left behind.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I think you're running into a bit of a problem here, Mark. Curiosity Killed is no lover of contemporary worship songs and choruses in their entirety, although she does think that some of them are ok and useful. I only know that because we've discussed this issue before, both on the Boards and in the Cafe.

I think you need to ask yourself why you've received a Hell Call over it and others here who have discussed the self-same issue with her in the past, haven't.

Just because you've moved from one tradition to another, doesn't mean that you have to piss out of the window back onto the one you've left behind.

I never liked this style of music, even as an Anglican. To me:

Childlike = humble, respectful and knowing one's place
Childish = annoying, repetitive and not acting one's age

OK? Now I'm off to Hell! [Devil]

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Kitten
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:


Childlike = humble, respectful and knowing one's place


Childish = annoying, repetitive and not acting one's age


Re your definition of childlike, I take it you've not met many children

Re your definition of childish, now where have I encountered this trait recently?

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Maius intra qua extra

Never accept a ride from a stranger, unless they are in a big blue box

Posts: 2293 | From: Carmarthenshire | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:


Childlike = humble, respectful and knowing one's place


Childish = annoying, repetitive and not acting one's age


Re your definition of childlike, I take it you've not met many children

Re your definition of childish, now where have I encountered this trait recently?

Aaaaah, I think you need to join my newly awarded Hell thread if you want to continue this... Look forward to seeing you there! [Smile]

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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Anyway, to illustrate my point consider this - childlike or childish?
quote:

Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
And he holds us in His hands.

He's higher than a Sky Scraper,
And deeper than a submarine,
He's wider than the universe
and beyond my wildest dreams



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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Niteowl

Hopeless Insomniac
# 15841

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Anyway, to illustrate my point consider this - childlike or childish?
quote:

Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
And he holds us in His hands.

He's higher than a Sky Scraper,
And deeper than a submarine,
He's wider than the universe
and beyond my wildest dreams


I'm not thrilled with that chorus, but I'd consider it a great one for small children. That makes it child like, not childish. Childish is when one makes up lyrics that mock.

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"The Puritan's idea of hell is a place where everybody has to mind his own business." ~ Wendell Phillips, attributed

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Alex Cockell

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Anyway, to illustrate my point consider this - childlike or childish?
quote:

Our God is a great big God,
...


OK- that last one is one geared towards kids. Kings Kids as an age range is primary school age.

May I pull you up on The Feast? This does not allude to Communion, but to the Wedding Supper Of The Lamb - the wedding reception we'll all be guests at in Heaven after Jesus has come back etc. Refers to the events in Revelation.

CCHH is here more for where we need to rant about a surfeit of cheese in the composition... for the record, something might be theologically sound - but the delivery causes the listener to wince. Or cringe with overuse of certain musical or lyrical ideas...

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl2:
I'm not thrilled with that chorus, but I'd consider it a great one for small children. That makes it child like, not childish. Childish is when one makes up lyrics that mock.

I don't think that's what we mean in this context. A chorus that deliberately mocks wouldn't be allowed in church at all. What I find most annoying is a very simple statement repeated over and over again - most children wouldn't appreciate it either I don't think.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

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You can have "Our God is a great big God" it's crap, even for small children. But it's not by Graham Kendrick, it's possibly by Nigel Hemming, but that's not who I used to put on the copyright returns.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13479 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
You can have "Our God is a great big God" it's crap, even for small children. But it's not by Graham Kendrick, it's possibly by Nigel Hemming, but that's not who I used to put on the copyright returns.

I was purposely trying to get away from Graham Kendrick - we can discuss him in Hell!

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
What I find most annoying is a very simple statement repeated over and over again - most children wouldn't appreciate it either I don't think.

Well that's you disappointed...

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Get your arse to Mars

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