LOW FIVE 10/29/17
96. At Your Name (Phil Wickham) - Our first repeat song! This song won last week's Christian Radio Gold award. This week I decided to take a different approach. I found this acoustic video of Phil performing the song, and discussing the writing process with Tim Hughes, and other people who probably aren't important enough to mention. One thing Phil said in the video really stood out to me. He says, "We knew we wanted to write a song that people could sing. That was a song that people could hopefully latch on to the chorus and sing to." I've had some trouble with the idea of simple songs. The trouble being that I really like them, but my direct peers would say otherwise and fight to the death of why they're a waste of time. But the more I'm involved in worship ministry, the more I realize how important it is that people connect to the song. Of course there's a place for theologically dense songs, and musically challenging songs that are just fun to play, but there also needs to be space for simple songs that in Phil's words, people can "latch onto". Great, now I wish I hadn't already made next week's set-list, so I could add this to the line up.
97. Always (Kristian Stanfill) - Our second repeat song from last week. In the video for this week, Kristian talks about the co-writing process between Jason Ingram and himself. He said neither of them like to "linger" in writing a song. Once you have something, and it feels good, stick with it. I think that's one of the hardest things for me with songwriting. I always think it can be better, or that in one way or another it's just not good enough. Waiting so long to really try to finish an idea, that I eventually just give up and move onto the next. But it's a totally different story with cowriting. I recently brought an idea to a friend, that was sort of half done. Leff than a half hour later, we came out with a full song. Was it perfect? No, probably not. But it was finished and the sense of accomplishment from that one song felt greater than all of the half done ideas I've recorded into my phone. I don't think I could be more off track. This has nothing to do with the song, now I'm just talking about some of the benefits of co-writing songs. But hey, you can read about the song on last week's post too.
98. Holy Is The Lord (Chris Tomlin) - I want to say this song was the first song I ever played at church. It was the summer of 2004. I was going into the seventh grade, and could finally join the Jr. High worship band at church! I would get all of the perks of being in the band, hanging out with the cool worship pastor, playing guitar to make girls finally notice me(which didn't really work), getting snacks before anyone else got to youth group on Wednesday nights. Ah, the good life. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes the song. Great song. I haven't played it since probably my freshman year of high school, but it's a great song that brings back great memories of when I started playing guitar at church.
99. Here's My Heart (Passion, David Crowder) - I think this song has about 30 words total. Which is pretty impressive for a seven minute song. At about the 1:43 mark in the video, you can hear someone cough because it's so quiet. Which isn't a bad thing, it's a good listening song. For me, this is one I can really get into just sitting and listening, but actually playing it is a little bit of a different story. Obviously this could change from church to church, but when we tried this song at ACF, every service it seemed like we could get maybe four minutes into the song before people kind of check out. And I get that, just repeating the same thing over and over can get pretty old pretty quick. This song and performance in the video is a perfect fit. It's a huge night, people are into it, and excited to be there. There's so many highs and lows in the set, that I'm sure they loved such a contemplative song. But at a church, early on a Sunday morning when you probably only have a few songs you'll be playing, personally I would find a way to cut down this track and find a way to fit it more into a four to five minute version.
100. Worthy Of Your Name (Passion, Sean Curran) - This is probably my favorite song of the year. My contract working at ACF was up by the time it was out, so I never got a chance to play it. That is until they needed someone to fill in for a random weekend during the summer. They sent me a list of songs to choose from and there it was "Worthy Of Your Name". Hooray! When the weekend came, it went fine, but wasn't anything crazy. I found myself criticising every part of what I did. "I lowered the key too much", "There was no response from the congregation", "The band wasn't into it enough". Basically, it just kind of fell flat. I think I let my personal love for the song get in the way of what I was actually supposed to be doing. I was there to lead worship, and instead felt like a kid at a talent show trying to cover his new favorite song. I am surprised it's all the way down in the 100 spot. For such a new song, I figured it would be way higher than this. But maybe it's still new enough that it hasn't caught on quite enough yet? Expect this song to start showing up as the "new song" for your church...eventually.