responsible song writing 101

As a worship leader, I pay pretty close attention to what the words of our songs are actually saying. Songs are interesting things. With the possible exception of annoying restaurant birthday songs, they generally have the potential to be extremely meaningful - or to drive us crazy. Ever turned off the radio just because that song came on again? Or turned it up because "oh, i love this song!!"

It is no different on Sundays - or Monday nights. And part of my job (which is really difficult) is helping our community to create a song culture that reflects good theology, is incredibly singable, culturally relevant, and... well - a lot of things, really, but right there - "culturally relevant..." Put two people in a room and you already have two cultures. Try it with ninety and see how far you get finding a song that they'll all love. :)

So we do our best.

One of the issues that came up early on in my worship leading career was the fact that I'm a woman. (um, surprise?) No, actually, it wasn't the women-in-ministry debate - it was simply that I'm naturally a first soprano, but guys can't sing in those keys. So over time I've become an alto, and I sing everything way lower than is comfy at times, but it's helped our guys to connect a little better, so losing my upper register was worth it. But I think it's because I'm so in the habit of thinking about how to help the guys in our group encounter the Lord through music (tricky as many of them claim to be joyful noise-makers), this video really caught my attention. What do you think about this?


6 comments:

Sara said...

it reminded me of this post:

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/jesus-im-not-in-love-with-you/

freak said...

good thoughts from a beautiful songwriter


(pun intended)

stephy said...

This was interesting, thanks.

Tara said...

Happy I am a natural alto. It's a stretch for me sometime to hit that high sometimes required. No biggie for me...or for Jesus. I have a daughter who couldn't carry a tune if she had a wheel barrel or handles! LOL. But I know that when she sings it is sweet sweet music on the ears of our Father. I guess I never thought of the relevance of the content...but that is why YOU are the worship leader and I am NOT. Any way you put it girl...you are right where you are supposed to be and gifted to be there. Sing on girl!!

Happy said...

Sara - thanks for the link. He's got an interesting point... not sure I agree with him, but it's food for thought anyway.

Chris - thanks for the pun - you totally made me smile. :) I read your comment on Monday just about the time you would have been rolling in to Torch. We miss you, my friend. Congratulations on the acquisition of your chair... :)

Stephy - welcome! Glad you found it interesting. :)

Tara - thank you. Every time I start to question it, something happens to remind me, "oh yes, this is why i'm here..." :)

I am Stephie, Ninja Warrior. said...

hmm... interesting.

i think there are some really helpful insights in this, but i'm not so fond of the way that we feel, as Christians, that we have to avoid the sometimes awkward tension of using euphemisms that are common in our language to relate to the Lord.

why not use them, and then help renew the world's understanding of what they mean in light of the love of Jesus?

word verification: gusllnc = "guzzle ink"