Songs that changed my life… (part 3)

October 12, 2007

Here we go with part 3 (look here for one and two), and I’m finally getting around to discussing some ‘Christian’ songwriters:

I can’t Remember (cd info/lyrics) – Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love
Strange WatersBruce Cockburn
JacksieOver the Rhine

Long before I had ever ‘worked’ for Vigilantes of Love or Bill Mallonee (he would for a time be an elder at my church, and I occasionally ran the merch table and did some guitar teching for his band), I heard their incredible c.d. KILLING FLOOR at a friend’s going-away party in Ohio.  I was blown away by Bill’s raw lyrical imagery, which moved my emotions even when I didn’t exactly understand what the song was about: I could FEEL what it was about.  Bill, then, introduced me to Bruce Cockburn (his music, and him personally) some time later, and I could see the influence.  Though both were Christians, they were rarely explicit about their faith, or about much of anything else for that matter.  They have a way of moving the emotions, even when you may not understand the full content they are conveying – some of these songs seem so deeply personal, that the codes are hard to crack. Likewise, Over the Rhine – members, last I checked, of a Vineyard church in Cincinnati – like in the above song based loosely on the death of both C.S. Lewis’ and Sheldon Vanauken’s wives – often paint their imagery with the heart more than the head.  As one who writes songs for corporate worship, I don’t necessarily think that’s always the best way to write, however, we should at least compose our lyrics from – if not the content – the emotions of your personal experience, as it does someone very little to move only the mind, but not the also the heart. “Spirit & Truth” are both a part of genuine worship, and any good song, secular or religious, should be, in some sense, a worship song in this way.

Next, a few songwriters who write specifically for the purpose of the corporate worship of God…

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2 Responses to “Songs that changed my life… (part 3)”

  1. klampert said

    VOL…changed my life…

    Mad at the world…also

    and the Choir

  2. Love your blog and VOL, Bill M & Muriah Rose, OTR, Cockburn & Innocence Mission.

    Check out my post on Bill et. al. . .

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