Friday, February 8, 2013

new lyric

Songwriting season is upon us. This year we are writing songs on the atonement. I expect to write around 20 lyrics of which Philip will see something worth pursuing in 5-7. If we're lucky, one or two might make it onto a cd.

This is the second draft of attempt #2 (#1 was awful). It still needs a final verse which I won't write unless P likes what's there so far. I was going for a retro chorus. Not sure it will work.



What makes the guilt wrenched soul rejoice
What makes the fallen pray?
Five words that fill our hearts with joy - 
‘My sins are washed away!’

My sins are washed away
My sins are washed away
I’m cleansed, forgiven by his blood
My sins are washed away

There’s hope for when temptation’s near
and weight of sin bears down
There’s light for us in our despair
when dread and doubts abound.

There is a song that firms our will
and gives us strength to fight.
Five words that turn our hearts from wrong
and leads us to what’s right.

sar 2013


  1. Don't like "five words" - the fact that the phrase is repeated often makes it clear that this is The Phrase you are referring to so the use of "five" to distinguish isn't needed. It's the use of the number that doesn't sit well. I'd rather "these words" or "strong words" or "something-else words".

  2. Hmmmmmm, now I'm not so sure. Maybe it is okay. Oh! What do I know?!

  3. @Deb: it also means Simone can put a number in the song title if she wants, and that seems to be quite in at the moment.

    @Simone: I confess my heart sank when I saw the theme. Not that I'm not a fan of the atonement, but I believe there's been one or two songs written on the topic. Then I thought, well, that'll give us a chance to retire some of the older stuff I guess.

    Can I put in a plea/suggestion, given you've got plans to write so many? Think of as many areas of doctrine as you can, and write a song for each of them. 'The Atonement...and Creation', 'The Atonement...and the Christian Life', etc. The more obscure the area, the better- as it might generate something fresh. I guess I'm over 'vanilla' atonement songs.

    Or, the shorter version: Never Alone works because it's about the incarnation as much as it is the atonement. It's the juxtaposition that's so good. (Along with all the other bits, like good words and music...!)

    Hope that didn't come off as a whinge!

    As for "Title", I kind of like the way the different ideas keep pointing back to the chorus/theme. I'm not sure that 'what's right' would sound right when sung, but in an election year, you can hardly say 'the right'!

  4. Replies
    1. Not that I've got anything against singing Sankeys, so long as they're not all that we sing.

      This sort of song was very popular at my previous congregation, but every time I've suggested we could sing (a few) more of these at my current congregation, I get a look as if I can't really be serious. But I guess it would probably depend on the tune.

      And Anthony, I think that this one is about "the Atonement and the Christian Life", more so than some of the "vanilla" atonement songs.

    2. Oops. I wasn't meaning to imply anything about this particular song with my mini-rant - it was intended as a preemptive strike.

      Only my last paragraph was actually on topic with this song!

  5. Sorry, but if the third line in the chorus had only had 6 syllables it would be "The Farmer in the Dell" (for the chorus bit). Actually, come to think of it, I could sing your third line to the third line of the Farmer chorus.

    I'm also not sure that the five words make the fallen pray, the redeemed yes but the fallen? Are you meaning fallen = universal humanity or fallen = still down?

    Just thinking also that you probably have a tougher hide than I do to take criticisms of your 'babies' in such a public way.

  6. Deb - I don't know either

    Anthony - my heart sank too! But I'm going to take the theme in the broadest possible sense. Also I had 'the right' first, but couldn't handle it.

    Caroline - yeah, that's what I was kind of aiming at. But I think it could be done funky.

  7. If this has the 6/8 lilt I'm reading the chorus with, 'guilt wrenched' might be a bit of a mouthful... but I'm terrible at picking metre! :D

    You should join the 7in7 songrwriting challenge this week:

  8. The tune I gave it in my head was 99 bottles of beer. Maybe it was the numbers thing.

  9. I like the simple chorus, with basic but powerful truth. I like the last verse, the battle song thing. After the second read through, I thought maybe it would be good to feel more of a stronger expression of the realization of the sinfulness of sin, and/or the freedom and release that is experienced in forgiveness. Also, as I read and thought about your lyrics, these lines came to my mind: "I'm broken now, my heart is crushed. It's sin that weighs me down. My sin is taken! Cast away! As far as East from West!" Use them as you will, haha :P

  10. I really like this. I find the idea very uplifting.