The Daily Mail, not my journal of choice I hasten to add, had an interesting article the other day. You’ll find it here. The general gist is that men want ‘macho’ hymns and not the emotional psuedo tear jerkers that have become ‘de rigeur’!
It was music to my ears. I hate the ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ power ballads that we’re sometimes expected to sing. Jesus is not my boyfriend; he’s my Lord! The ‘research’, if asking 400 subscribers can be called that, was carried out by Christian Men’s Magazine [think sanctified Nuts] Sorted. The orginal article can be found here. For my money, this is the key quote,
Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they enjoyed singing, but were more motivated by “proclamational” hymns than sentimental-type songs.
Absolutely right on the money! I’m not alone. There are others like me. I’ve always been a fan of hymns; ancient and modern. Do you see what I’ve done there? No worries. What I mean is that both Wesley and Townend know how to write so that blokes can get onboard. Solid theology and an uncomplicated melody with none of this bridging nonsense and the awkward pauses for the lead guitar solo and we’re with you.
And so, it was no surprise to discover that the following were in the top ten.
- Onward Christian Soldiers; perhaps a little militaristic for some tastes, but not mine!
- And Can It Be; painful, dirgeful interminably long hymn also known as ‘and will it end’ – I’ve yet to hear a ‘worship’ leader say, ‘and we’ll sing this through twice’
- Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer; too welsh, brings to mind bad memories of the Six Nations
- All People That On Earth Do Dwell; terrific
- Be Thou My Vision; best with the new tune
- How Great Thou Art; never sure where to pitch the last note, and I’m not alone in that
- Amazing Grace; genius
- Eternal Father, Strong To Save (For Those On Peril On The Sea); takes me back to my Naval days running chapel onboard HMS Chatham
- Our God Reigns; alright
- Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind Forgive Our Foolish Ways; worth considering having let it slip out of our song book
I’d want to throw in ‘Tell Out my Soul’, most things by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty and some of the Bob Kauflin stuff from Sovereign Grace. But it’s not a bad list. The other key ingredient is ‘a sprightly pace’. Not sure what the musical term is. In short, we want the passion but we just want a song we can get hold of. Anthemic; think Oasis with more helpful lyrics.