Saturday, November 7, 2009

#51 The Thou/You Transition Project

As much as white Christian churches have embraced the knowledge that new = good (see "New Testament"), the thrifty white Christian hates the idea of losing centuries of traditional hymns. But the language of many hymns prevents these classics of the Christian faith from being played in most of today's praise-team driven worship experiences.  "Thou Art Worthy" just doesn't sound right being rocked to the rafters by electric guitar.

Currently, teams of white Christian contemporary and historical lyricists are painstakingly combing through the millions of hymn lyrics to remedy this problem.  With all of the detailed dedication and
fervor of the Human Genome Project, each hymn is painstakingly documented, analyzed, and- where necessary- altered to ensure contemporary worship compliance. This is the lyrical equivalent of the Y2K switch.

Interestingly enough, in the 1980's (the early stages of praise music), lyricists were still comfortable using the older terminology. Maranatha! Music cornered this market with powerhouse ballads like "As the deer,":
 "As the deer panteth for the water/
So my soul longeth after Thee."
Had this song been written just 10 years later, it would have read:

    "Just like deer really need their water/
    So I really really love you, Lord 
    (female back-up singers chime in: "God I feel you")"

There are some exceptions to this rule, particularly if the songs are known by their old english title.  Be Thou My Vision and How Great Thou Art just simply wouldn't work with "Be You My Vision" or "How Great You Are." In this case, most of these hymns are either force-fed with guitar back-up, or they are simply put into the queued list until a funeral rolls around.


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

5 comments:

Luther Zwingli said...

author's note: there seems to be one exception to this rule: "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" somehow remains "relevant" enough to have made it into the play list of contemp. services.

TaiPod said...

Love those new lyrics to "As the deer!" I think we need to make that switch at our church.

Angela said...

They can keep the words to "As The Deer." Just please change the cheesy melody.

Anonymous said...

hi this is ok but a dosnot understand at 100%
see u bye

Anonymous said...

We're all still trying to figure out what 'thou font of every blessing' is really about. even googling 'Ebenezer' doesn't help.