Saturday, October 9, 2010

#99 Knowing the Motions to Praise Songs, but Not Doing Them

White Christian music has a strong tradition of visual imagery and many praise songs have motions. When the hands-free PowerPointed lyrics replaced the cumbersome hymnals white Christians were now able to do something with their hands. Some white Christians settled on a designated worship stance, while others took to synchronizing motions with praise songs.

From Sunday School's "Father Abraham" to Audio Adrenaline's "Big House," motions during praise songs remind white Christians to move various appendages while singing, and to pantomime the throwing of a ball in "A big, big yard where we can play football."

And yet... praise song motions seem relegated to Sunday School or summer-time Bible camp. Occasionally, a worship leader will awkwardly attempt to force-feed motions to a full congregation, but this is ill-received and oft-ignored.

If a white Christian doesn't know the motions to a song-there's no worry as the vast majority of praise songs are so repetitive that they'll be well aware of the intended motions by the fifth time the chorus rolls around. Once they know the expected motions, the white Christian is free to ignore them like the rest of the white Christians sitting next to them. For instance, there are very distinct motions to the popular praise song "Days of Elijah," (motions here) that white Christians have learned along the way. However, just because they know the motions to "Behold he comes, riding on a cloud, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call, lift your voice," doesn't mean that they will actually act them out.

For white Christians desperate to learn the latest praise song motions, they can always learn motions from online video tutorials like this:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing back big big house. You could do a whole post on "clever" christian band names or songs

Library Lady said...

Reminded me of growing up and of VBS days at my hometown Baptist church singing "I'm in the Lord's Army" while doing those motions.
What's funny is I grew up near Fort Hood, TX, so we actually had the Infantry AND Cavalry divisions in the area.

"I may never march in the Infantry (mimic marching),
ride in the Cavalry
(mimic riding a horse, bouncing up and down)),
shoot the artilliery
(hands slapped together in a sliding motion).
I may never fly o're the enemy
(arms out waving around like you're flying),
But I'm in the Lord's Army.
(perform a good-looking salute!)"

Not very PC these days...but fun as a kid!!! Praise songs today aren't nearly that fun!!!

Thanks for bringing back some good memories.

Library Lady

Natalie said...

"Deep and Wide" is a classic that we should bring back. That is not too charismatic, is it?