Monday, May 14, 2007

What's on the MP3 Player...

I'm in kind of a contemporary worship mode, so that's the theme right now:

Audio Adrenaline - It is Well With My Soul
Audio Adrenaline - Gloria (cover of U2)
David Crowder Band - All Creatures of Our God and King
Five Blind Boys of Alabama - Amazing Grace (to the tune of House of the Rising Sun!)
Five Iron Frenzy - Every New Day
Five Iron Frenzy - A Flowery Song (arrangement of Doxology)
Five Iron Frenzy - Dandelions
Frontline Band - Open the Eyes of My Heart
Hillsong - You Said
Insyderz - We Will Glorify
Insyderz - You Are My All in All
Jars of Clay - Come Thou Fount
Matt Redman - Blessed Be Your Name
Michael W. Smith - You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)
Theophany - Holy Holy Holy
Third Day - Agnus Dei (cover of Michael W. Smith)
Todd Agnew - Grace Like Rain (arrangement of Amazing Grace)

If you somehow know all or even most of these songs the thing that will probably most jump out at you is that I like covers and unconventional arrangements. A Flowery Song and Grace Like Rain are magnificent covers of Doxology and Amazing Grace respectively, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama's version of Amazing Grace keeps the words but takes the surprising tack of using the tune to House of the Rising Sun. I've got a soft spot for older hymns put to new music, with Isaac Watts and St. Francis each making an appearance in the list. The one thing I don't like is the distressing tendency of some bands to skip a verse when covering.

I sometimes wonder if other Christian traditions are missing out. For all the grief I give the Christian music industry there have been some wonderful songs to come out of it. Do Catholics sing It Is Well With My Soul, Come Thou Fount, or Holy Holy Holy? I know Amazing Grace and A Mighty Fortress have made it across the divide. I'm sure the Orthodox have their own nigh-impenetrable set of songs varying by nationality, but what of Western traditions? Are a lot of these just the domain of Protestants and Evangelicals?

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