Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 5 Worst Worship Songs

Okay, I know, many of you want to string me up after merely reading the title of this post. Let me explain: I'm a jerk. I'm cynical and somewhat of a music snob. In no way have I or would I ever pretend to be able to write a worship song, or any song for that matter, but I have been subjected to numerous worship sets which made me feel like laughing or puking. (Neither option is preferable when singing to the Big Guy.) Additionally, I am the director of our church's Worship Planning Team, so every week I consciously choose to let these and other songs which annoy me to be played, for the good of everyone else. So I am capable of group thinking. I just reserve the right to my opinion. And so do you. (So please tell me your own worst worship song).

5. I Will Not Forget You
I love Waterdeep. I think they are original and fun and somehow still serious and they usually move me in worship like nothing else. Here's the thing--I can't stand when songwriters want to use a word or phrase, then realize that using said phrase would mess up the rhythm of the song, but instead of rethinking the phrase, they add a word. In this case, the word is 'huge'. (As in, "a huge bell I ring"). I usually remain silent on this line or risk bursting into an inappropriate display of worship laughter.

4. Trading My Sorrows

Please don't kill me. I know that a lot of people love this song, particularly the actions (oh my goodness, don't get me started on action songs). This might be a little picky, but what am I if not detail-oriented? The bridge of this song includes the line "Though the sorrow may last for the night" and the music hits on each word in 'last for the night' in such a way that makes me think of hip-shaking. As in: Though the sorrow may last (stick hip out to right) for (to left) the (to right) night (to left). Get it? Anecdote--I was in a worship setting with my friend Marty and we were singing this song. We get to this part of the song, and, I kid you not, Marty does the hip thing. Completely his idea. I almost crapped my pants.

3. Draw Me Close
Not a big fan of the emotional 'Jesus is sitting next to me' type songs. "I'd lay it all down again/ To hear you say that I'm your friend." Not so bad, I guess. Just wait. "You are my desire/ No one else will do/ Cause nothing else could take your place/ To feel the warmth of your embrace." What on earth does that mean? Grammatically speaking, we have a monster on our hands. To what does 'to feel the warmth of your embrace' refer? Peter, please back me up on this one.

2. Come, Now is the Time to Worship
This song is one of a few in a category I like to call "Ha, ha. You have to sing me first." For a Worship Planning Team director, this is maddening. Not to mention the weird chorus that doesn't seem to fit and the way we must all say 'come' at the end of the verse in an unnatural sing-whisper.

1. Your Love is Extravagant
I'm pulling out of the 'most recent' file on this one. My friend Hannah introduced me to this song, and when she sings it, it's great. She has a beautiful voice, and I can pretty much ignore whatever she is saying when she's singing. But when forced to sing as a participant, I found this song problematic. (Again, grammatically). "Spread wide in the arms of Christ/ Is the love that covers sin." No one told me we were moving back to Olde English on this one, and I spent an entire morning trying to figure out what I had just sung. I asked like 10 people what it meant, and understood even less when I was done. (I felt like a major idiot because it seemed like everyone else understood what we were saying. Maybe they just didn't care). Later, Danny explained that we were saying "The love that covers sin is spread wide in the arms of Christ." English majors.

Anything with the word 'river' in the title

This includes "Jesus Flow Like a River," "Let the River Flow," and "Dance in the River." My reasoning: no one can legitimately explain what the 'river' signifies. Seriously. Once, my friend Peter (whose list would be MUCH longer than mine) asked people why they liked a song with 'river' in the title. I believe he said, "What exactly is the river?" The answer? "Oh, you know, its Jesus and he's flowing through us. It's like the Spirit or something." Whatever.

Songs with lyrics that don't match the melody
Example: I Could Sing of Your Love Forever Here, we are singing a fun, happy verse, and then we move into the bridge with a depressing sound where we say, "Oh, I feel like dancing….." (Actually, this music makes me feel like crying.) "Like we're dancing now" (By the way, I have never seen anyone dance at this point. False advertising.)


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