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a list for friday—worship songs I have trouble singing, part 1

There are many, many fine “hymns, psalms and spiritual songs.”

But I’m a words person, and it’s difficult for me to sing a song with lyrics that are silly, untrue or confusing. Unfortunately our evangelical bubble is filled with them—and thus we begin a two-part series of my top ten least-singable choruses.


1. Draw Me Close

Objectionable lyric:

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else can take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace

Why: I think he’s saying, “Nothing can take the place of feeling your warm embrace.” Which is slightly creepy, but could be overlooked if it was anywhere in the general area of grammatical correctness. Which it ain’t.


2. Shout to the North

Objectionable lyric:

We’ve been through fire, we’ve been through rain
We’ve been refined by the power of Your name
We’ve fallen deeper in love with You
You’ve burned the truth on our lips

Why:  a) Why are we shouting in all four directions? b) “You’ve burned the truth on our lips.” Yes, I get the Isaiah reference. But how many people in your congregation do? c) The melody makes me want to punch someone.


3. Trading My Sorrows

Objectionable lyric:

Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord
Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord
Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord, Amen.

Why: Figure it out.


4. Ancient Words (and others)

Objectionable lyric:

Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you,
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart

Why: This song is just one representative of a entire genre using “impart” as the only rhyming word for heart. I am opposed to this in most examples (Watermark was a frequent offender) but this one is our scapegoat because it manages the hat trick of also being grammatically incorrect and confusing. Let the words impart what?


5. Come Thou Fount

Objectionable lyric:

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come.

Why: This is actually one of my very favorite hymns, but for the sake of all Christendom would somebody please rewrite this line? Even if the worship leader explains it before the song, “raising your Ebenezer” still sounds vaguely dirty.


Your turn. What songs do you have trouble singing?

July 22, 2011 Posted by | lists, opinions, the church, worship | , , , | 21 Comments

   

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