Hated Hymns... the Countdown
Following on from my blog yesterday, I should also have said that there is a whole category of Christmas Carols that cause me to twitch uncontrollably... But I will return to them in due course:
But now praise-pickers here's my top ten hated hymns and praise songs (amazed that I kept it to 10):
10) One More Step along the World I Go: One more time I have to sing this song... I just don't like it because it has been sung to death.
9) Come ye thankful people come: Actually a superb harvest hymn, that actually does justice to the Biblical use of the harvest metaphor in the context of divine judgement... just have problems with us joyfully singing of the angels being given charge (at last) "in the fire the tares (i.e. sinful fellow human beings) to cast..."
8) I am the bread of life: Writers who can't be bothered getting their work to scan should not be encouraged!
7) Wind, Wind Blow on Me!: A mindless, trite little chorus with a jaunty tune that doesn't really go with the idea of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
6) God sent his Son (Because he lives...): Its the cloying sentimentality that gets me...
5) And Did these Feet in ancient Times (Jerusalem): No they didn't! Once had this at a wedding in Northern Ireland... I could barely contain myself...
4) Onward Christian Soldiers/Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus: I count these as one hymn because they are indestinguishable in my mind, betraying a militaristic Christianity that sat uneasily with the British Empire, and portrays a picture of victorious Christian living that is alien to many people... I hate them even more because they are so great to sing!
3) Jesus, We Celebrate your Victory: The tune is great... but the line "and in his presence our problems disappear" is patent nonsense. They may sometimes fade into the background for a short time, and one day WILL disappear completely, but not yet...
2) Moses I know you're the man: Not only does the first line sound like some tacky "Boyz in the Hood" parody, but the chorus is nonense... We are encouraged to sing joyfully about being a "travelling, wandering race..." Travelling - Good! I spend my life trying to encourage my fellow Christians to travel with God... But wandering... I don't want to celebrate the fact that we are a wandering people, that God has to keep seeking out...
1) Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild: Lets not leave Charles Wesley out of this... The greatest hymnwriter in history gets top spot in this list as well as many others that are slightly more complimentary. This particular gem by Chuck paints a picture in this one line of a fey, ineffectual fop, who bears no similarity to the Jesus I read of in the new Testament. Meek yes... Mild... Never! Thankfully in our hymnbook "Hymns and Psalms" the offending verse is omitted an it is billed under the first line "Loving Jesus, Gentle Lamb."
I've omitted many of the contemporary pieces that set my teeth on edge, largely because time will probably sort most of them out... I've only listed those that I fear we are stuck with.
Actually I sometimes pick some of the hymns on this list, even though they drive me to distraction, not because of some sort of musical masochism but because I appreciate that other people have radically different tastes to me (not everyone is perfect). However, where I have theological quibbles I will generally air them and change the offending lyrics if possible.
So, I am sorry if I have offended some people with any of the hymns on my list today, or my sweeping generalisations yesterday, but that is the joy of human variation. Just hope that none of the above are in heaven's hymnbook, or eternity could seem even longer!!
Any hymns you would add to the list?