overcoming average(?)

because it’s something the world just needs less of

on hymms and hippies

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oh the hippy songwriters. they’re just too good at what they do. i know the whole folk explosion happened in the 60’s, and that as far as music critics are concerned that’s when the only good music happened, but there’s a lot to be said for some of the artists out there today. it really irks me when i hear music critics say how nobody’s saying anything with their music these days. it’s probably only those old critics anyway.
when i was in fourth grade, i was in a private school and we had bible classes with the obligatory bible class book. in the back of this book was a selection of hymms that i don’t remember if we had to learn all of them or not, but i remember learning one. it was “holy, holy, holy,” and i remember that it was the only hymm in there with words that i, as a 9 year old, could almost understand. almost. for whatever reason that song stayed with me. i could almost understand the words and i liked the melody as much as a nine year old can. it was funny though. because of how i grew up in the church and school that i did, i never got to hear that song outside of the “big grand orchestral” realm. while i love orchestral music, i guess that as i got older i kept wanting to hear this hymm differently than all the other hymms that bookended this song in those 20 minutes before the pastor went to speak. i knew it would never happen though. there’s something about hymms that makes it hard to put outside the box. there’s always the exact same piano part and exact same melody/harmony parts. maybe a different string part, but that’s about it.
sujan stevens is a hippie songwriter. brilliant and maybe less of a hippie than i’m categorizing him as now, but i think he still fits the description. he recently released a set of christmas cd’s that he’s recorded over the past few years. there’s some original material, but it’s mostly traditional christmas songs. there’s only two songs that don’t fit that description though: “amazing grace” and, much to my surprise, “holy, holy, holy.” at first, i wondered at the inclusion of these songs, but while listening it became very clear why these songs are more appropriate than they seem. christmas is the story of the incarnation of God, and “holy x3” is nothing but the acknowledgement and worship of the Trinity.
i was alone in my car tonight when i heard this version for the first time. i can honestly say that it moved me to tears. i don’t really do that. it was like i was hearing the song for the first time, and for the first time i was feeling the depth and gravity of what i’m sure the original writer intended. if that had song had struck a chord with me at the ignorant age of nine, then hearing this tonight was hearing the fullness of that chord along with the clamor of every instrument created.

if you want to hear this version, click here.

here are the lyrics:

” Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!”

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Written by matt

December 12, 2006 at 10:19 pm

Posted in God

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