Monday, December 12, 2005


At church on Sunday morning the musicians continued in their long-running campaign to drive me mad with bad worship songs. We had to sing a song called 'Open The Eyes Of My Heart, Lord', which I can never hear without mentally adding, "And if it's not too much trouble, Lord, could you please unblock the ears of my lungs while you're at it?"

It's an awful, incompetent song, quite possibly worse than the aural spackle churned out by Hillsong. It certainly comes from the same "Whine to Show How Earnest You Are" school of ecclesiastical music.

And note to Paul Baloche, who is responsible for this travesty: the word 'Holy' repeated eight times does not constitute a chorus. Reginald Heber got away with repeating it twice*, but that was only because he was quoting Isaiah 6. If Reggie and God can show restraint, so can you.

It was especially offensive as I'd spent the morning at home listening to traditional Christmas carols, which demonstrate Christian music at its finest. "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" does not stand up well against "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." The former is like being batted with a beach umbrella uprooted by the wind. The latter is like having a gothic cathedral fall on you. It's potent enough when simply sung by a large group of people, but if you add a choir singing the descant, which swoops and dives around the melody like a flock of exuberant birds, it enters the realm of the sublime.

*warning - loud midi on link


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, thats one thing i'll say for my church- they do not allow the use of guitars or other badness in the Sacrament meeting. It doesn't totally remove all bad taste from the congregation, but it helps minimise the expression. And our Hymnbook has a selection of only good carols- Joy to the world, O come all ye faithful, Angels we have heard on high, Silent night (not always performed beautifully in a congregation, but a good carol none the less), Hark the herald angels sing, and that kind of thing.

I have made a decision to listen to nothing but Christmas carols all December- and only the best!

8:21 PM  

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