Thinking Out Loud

March 26, 2010

Modern Worship Issues: Too Repetitive

Anytime someone tells you today’s modern worship choruses are too repetitive, take another look at the gospel music of the mid twentieth century, like this classic.

Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved;
In His love and favor, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
In my Christ abiding, I shall not be moved;
In His love I’m hiding, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
Trusting him forever, I shall not be moved;
He will fail me never, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree  planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
On His word I’m feeding, I shall not be moved;
He’s the One that’s leading, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

Video link (closest to what I remember)
Video link (Unitarian choral rendition)
Video link (early Motown feel)
Video link (instrumental family group*)
Video link (country gospel – different lyrics)

*If you think it’s repetitive with the vocals this instrumental is worse; but sadly this is the state of much of the North American church music I grew up with.   [UK/Aust/NZ readers please skip this one, okay?]

Historical note:  While what I say about mid-20th century hymns is true, this one has its roots in a Negro Spiritual probably from the 19th century.

Scriptural basis for this song:  Psalm 1: 3-4 (I went with King James here to not break the mood) and a variety of  “shall not be moved” texts like Proverbs 12 and Psalm 62.
And now for today’s bonus item:

Coming Soon to a DVD Player Near You
Praise Band – The Movie

Tradition and new ideas clash when Community Crossroads Church hires energetic Matt Young as the new worship leader. He assembles a talented group of young musicians who really rock as they praise God! But some in the congregation cling to their roots and resist change. Can the band unite the dwindling flock before it’s too late? Approx. 105 minutes.  Includes deleted scenes.  (Publisher marketing)

About these ads

3 Comments »

  1. Nah …
    Grew up in NZ now live in Oz – samo, samo.

    Going to purchase me a copy of that MOVIE!!!

    Comment by Mark R — March 26, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  2. And don’t forget the Hallelujah Chorus…

    Comment by verticalresonator — March 27, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    • Didn’t see that one coming! Yeah, the chorus of the Hallelujah Chorus is definitely repetitive, but the rest of the lyrics — straight out of scripture — at least form a progressive narrative.

      There are two additional problems with dissin’ the HC. One is a sort of general reverence for that particular work. It’s kinda in a class by itself. The other is that the piece is somewhat apocalyptic, and that reminds me of the angels around the throne singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” which is itself repetitive, but is so by design; the whole thrice-repeated poetic form loaded with spiritual significance.

      On the other hand, these days when a lot of people think about the HC, they’re thinking about something like this:

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — March 27, 2010 @ 10:36 pm


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