I’m what you call eclectic… When I say eclectic, what I mean is, I like lots of different types of music. Opera. Rock and roll. Rap. I like it all… And what I love when I think about music is how you can take this type of music and that type of music and fuse it together.Sister Mary Clarence, Sister Act 2
Growing up, our family listened to a variety of music. My mum played more classical, movie soundtracks and musicals. My Dad played rock n’ roll cds and my older sister listened to the Top 40 on a Saturday morning. But we also listened to every type of worship music: sacred music, traditional hymns, music from the Jesus Movement, 80’s worship and then everything that was current in the 90’s, early 2000’s. The piano seat was stuffed full of hymn books and beside the piano were giant folders of alphabetised sheet music, as my mum and sister were in the church band.
So today I’m a little like Sister Mary Clarence, who I quoted above. Especially the bit about fusing different types of music together! In a previous article I encouraged people to challenge themselves by listening to a broad range of Christian worship music. I quoted Tim Watson, Anglican Priest and Chemin Neuf member, who noted ‘if you look at people’s iPods, people are often very happy to have a range of aesthetic references but when they get into church it’s suddenly one or the other!’
I would love to see churches broaden their music on a Sunday to include the full spectrum. And it would be great for believers to be familiar (grow to love?) different styles of worship, so whatever church they walk into they can join in glorifying God. To aid this endeavour, I started a Spotify playlist. I will be asking people I interview to contribute, so it won’t only be based on my musical tastes. There are five main categories as well as a bonus one.
A traditional hymn sung in a traditional tune
70’s, 80’s, 90’s
Millennium and Beyond
Ancient Future Fusion
Medley of Old/New, Hymn with a new tune or altered lyrics
Behold Something New
In the last few years
Bonus Song: Monastic Life
To begin the playlist I have chosen…
Hymnal: Holy God We Praise Thy Name – Jon Niven (Ignaz Franz)
Golden Oldie: King of Kings, Majesty – Drakensberg Boys Choir (Jarrod Cooper)
Millennium and Beyond: God is Able – Hillsong Worship (Fielding/Morgan)
Ancient Future Fusion: To God be the Glory – Selah (Fanny Crosby)
Behold Something New: Build my Life – Pat Barrett (Younker, Redman, Martin, Kaple & Barnett)
A side note:
I’ve been following Happy Hymnody and Holy God We Praise Thy Name is their hymn for August! Here’s a little about them: “On the first of every month, we post a new hymn that we learn together as a community. We provide links to YouTube for fresh versions that honor the original tune and lyrics and we provide free printables that get the words in front of you. On our Instagram page we’ll explore the truths behind the hymn, the life of the writer and what hymn time and other traditions look like for families within the Happy Hymnody community” I love this concept! I did listen through many versions of this hymn on Spotify before I chose this one. You can read about the hymns amazing history on this Happy Hymnody blogpost.
Stay tuned because next week, I’ll be posting an interview with Ryan Flanigan from Liturgical Folk and he has chosen five songs to add to the playlist!
What’s your favourite song from this week’s playlist?