Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hymns are timeless

I recently bought a Sandra McCracken CD, "Live Under Lights and Wires". I LOVE this album. Sandra is such a talented artist. A lot of her songs are hymns that have been reworked, much like many of the Shelley Moore Band songs. She did a really cool rendition of "Thy Mercy My God" that sounds like a completely different song, but the words are exactly the same as the original hymn by John Stocker. In hearing the same powerful words sung in a different tune, I was reminded of the strength of hymns to this day. Even though the tune and rhythm may change, the words always remain the same. There have been countless artists that have changed the rhythm and tune of a hymn, but the importance of the message behind the song, both spiritual and historical, lingers behind. This lead me to the realization that while Sandra is an amazing singer and artist, the words she sings are not hers. They are the Lord's, and will forever be the Lord's. As a dabbling artist myself, I tend to lose this train of thought easily. Instead of thinking, "what can I write?", I should be thinking "what will you have me write, Lord?" This is a challenge, but it is worth the toil.

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

You make some very good points, Diane! I love it when artists reinvent the musical content of existing hymns! It almost always feels like you've discovered a new song when hearing a reinvented hymn. Hmmm, sing to Him a "new song", hehe! Nice to see you've joined me on the lyrics blogging. :)