Monday, March 23, 2015

Songs That Make Me Weep...

...because I never want to hear them again. With apologies to those of you who like these songs. We can still be friends.  :)

In my agitation over the musical situation at my parish, I ran across this piece which offers the sage advice that if you can't sing the music you want to hear at your parish, you are not yet part of the solution. The first step is to teach yourself first. That's advice I can actually use and fit into my current life's schedule.

So in the meantime, here are church pieces that if I never hear them again, it might be too soon. I am only including songs heard at my current parish. There are more from my childhood parish, but I'd rather not be reminded.

1. On Eagle's Wings.  The melody starts on the tritone, the devil's own interval, for crying out loud.
2. Hosea.  Fresh from Mass this weekend
3. Gather Us In.  What is this song about?
4. City of God.  I can't help but think of Starship every time.
5. Lord of the Dance. This one horrifies me.
6. Here I Am, Lord.  The changing viewpoints where we totally put words in God's mouth.
7. Be Not Afraid.  I just don't like it.
8. All Are Welcome. Again, what is this song about?
9. Eye Has Not Seen.  Flashbacks from childhood.
10. Hail Mary, Gentle Woman.  It just goes on and on.
11. Let There Be Peace On Earth.  What are we, a bunch of hippies?
12. Sing A New Song Unto the Lord.  I just don't like it.
13. They Will Know We Are Christians.  Because we are the greatest ever.
14. One Bread, One Body.  Not because it is so terrible, but because it is so overused.
15. Mass of Creation. Also so, so overused.

That's my top 15. I am sure I have forgotten some. Tell me where I am wrong or add to it, if you like.


Anonymous said...

This list pretty much describes my childhood church music, played lovingly on guitar right next to the altar. When I was in college we had a new priest come in, move the tabernacle back under the crucifix and the choir back to the choir loft. The music remained the same. Those were good people, though. Who can really criticize the same people who are volunteering to teach religious ed, cook food for funerals, and guiding you through marriage prep?


Anonymous said...

***I mean, I can't criticize them since my family pretty much never volunteered to do anything.

Literacy-chic said...

Ah. A catalog of my "I'm happy that I'm finally Catholic" songs. This is exactly why I can't talk about liturgical music. I'm just not Old School Catholic-y Catholic enough. Somebody mentioned "The Servant Song" the other day. That one makes me weep for wholly different reasons. Some of these are not great, admittedly. I do hate when we put words in God's mouth, and the changing perspectives are terrible. Problem is, there is a worse musical problem than these coming to a parish near you. Lemme see if I can dredge some up...

Literacy-chic said...

"Your Love Is Extravagant" - Because EEEEWWWWW:

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend

Capture my heart again
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate

Literacy-chic said...

And pretty much anything by Matt Maher or on the Time Life "Now is the Time to Worship" collection.

Jenny said...

Oh that's a whole different kind of bad.

Jesus is my boyfriend music just doesn't do it for me.

Jenny said...


The problem I have is not with the people doing the music, necessarily, although in some cases, yes. My issues are with the people who are supposed to encourage/enforce certain standards and don't.

Anonymous said...

This is why I'm all about completely abandoning personal taste in liturgical music in favor of resuming the sung propers. We have two entire liturgical books dedicated to the music for each individual Mass (the Roman Gradual and the Simple Gradual), and we ought to use them.

Elizabeth said...

Tree of Life (I think by Marty Haugen). "Tree of life and awesome mystery/ in your death we are reborn/ though you die in all of hist'ry/ still you rise with every morn/ still you rise with every morn" And no more All are Welcome--I heartily agree with you there.

I meant to comment on your other post (and maybe I will if I get a minute). I've been a choir member at my parish for almost nine years, though I've taken a few months off here and there when I've had my babies. I am the only person under the age of 50. I almost quit when the new translation of the mass came out, because the complaints of the other choir members and our organist were so constant (and often, so ignorant).

Jenny said...

Elizabeth, I don't think I have heard that one and am extremely grateful I have not. "Still you rise with every morn." Are they kidding? Sigh.

Jenny said...

I have a general rule of thumb where if the composer's last name begins with H, I am probably not going to like it. :)

Katherine said...

I’m sure there is a level of hell where Lord of the Dance just plays on repeat.

Now Thank We All Our God reminds me of Dirty Dancing every single time. Sigh.

And yes, the Mass of Creation just needs to stop. I know the Gloria. I even know most of it in Latin. But when I visited a church where they sang it to Haugen’s MoC, it was so all over the place I couldn’t even guess how to sing the next line. It was a mess.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, even this very traditional priest, despite all the changes he made, was unsuccessful in shifting the music selection. So I am empathizing with you! It must be harder than it looks!


Joy said...

Unlike the list of previous songs, I don't know most of these.