All posts in "Songwriting"

Simple Living (A Rich Young Man)


Keith Getty leads you through a new song he’s written about the incident with Jesus and the rich young man (below or click here). Great idea for a mercy-themed service. ~~~ Simple Living (A Rich Young Man) Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend © 2011 Thankyou Music and Gettymusic A rich young man came to ask of Christ “Good teacher, will you tell me What must I do for eternal life? I’ve kept your laws completely.” “Sell all you have, give to the poor, Then heaven’s treasure will be yours.” How hard for those who are rich on earth To gain the wealth of heaven. Now Jesus sat by the off’ring gate As people brought their money: The rich they filled the collection plate; The widow gave a penny. “Now she’s outgiven all the rest – Her gift was all that she possessed.” Not what you give but what you keep Is what the King is counting. O teach me Lord to walk this road, The road of simple living; To be content with what I own And generous in giving. And when I cling to what I have Please wrest it quickly from my grasp I’d rather lose all the things of earth To gain the things of heaven  


Read More

Psalms Project


From our friends @ Soli Deo Gloria: What can happen when talented composers from around the world are gripped by the words of the Hebrew Psalter? How might the worship life of the Church be stirred by a fresh influx of artistic creativity? * * * Soli Deo Gloria is pleased to announce an exciting expansion of the Psalms Project, made possible by lead support from Lilly Endowment, Inc. Over the next three years, we will introduce 15 new choral compositions inspired by the Psalms. We are assembling an international roster of prominent composers to illumine the Hebrew Psalter in new ways, accompanied by on-site workshops, lectures and discussion groups to explore the depths of the texts. SDG will tap a variety of churches, synagogues, universities, seminaries, community choruses and professional ensembles to lead this movement, and our goal is to enrich not only worshiping communities, performers and concert audiences, but also the lives of all for whom the Psalter is a timeless source of inspiration and strength. We invite you to browse the Psalms Project page at SDGmusic.org and enjoy: Radio interview with Psalms Project Program Director, Peter Bannister Full recording of the first Psalm in the series: Daniel Kellogg’s setting of Psalm 16, Preserve Me, O God Audio interview with commission dedicatee, Elsbeth Shannon Go here for the project page.


Read More

Why recording & publishing music is better than ever


It feels like the veil between songwriter and listener has been rent from top to bottom, and that corporate structure that used to be in between the singer and the listener has been greatly diminished. Making a connection directly with an audience has never been easier, so we decided to go directly to our audience, tell them about this new project, and invite them to come in at whatever level they were comfortable with and fund this project. The response has been incredibly inspiring and humbling. Karin Bergquist and Linford Detwiler a.k.a Over the Rhine, interviewed by CT Magazine. Linford was interviewed by this blog last year and talks about motivation to write, what makes a song work, and opening for Bob Dylan.


Read More

Looking for worship songs that help prepare for an encounter with death


Mike Cosper of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville has a good post over at the Gospel Coalition on the importance of lament and mourning in worship. It includes this story: Kevin Twit, founder of Indelible Grace Music and a pastor with Reformed University Fellowship, once told me about a forum he attended. A collection of publishers from Christian contemporary music were on a panel, including Kevin, and each was asked to share what they looked for in a song. The answers were largely what you often hear in songwriting forums—“melodies that stick with you,” “good hooks,” and “catchy choruses.” But Kevin’s answer was different. “I look for songs that help my students prepare for their encounter with death.” He closes with this: The news streams with tragedy, and it will continue to do so. As our congregation gathers on Sunday, they come from tragedy. They hear a bad prognosis, or receive terrible late night phone calls. Places at the dinner table or bedroom are suddenly unoccupied, and the hardship of daily life is now a little colder, darker, and weightier. What are we asking them to sing? What words are we putting in their mouths? How do they pray in a dry and weary land, where there seems to be no water?


Read More

Songwriting, Music Licensing and the Gospel


Good post by Tim Smith @ Mars Hill Seattle which in part says: Do you really want to put your music out in a way that gives the church no legal way to record a demo for its band or even a rough recording to help the congregation learn your song? Do you really need someone to pay you off every time they display the lyrics of your song or play it at something besides an official worship service? Worth careful consideration of all church music leaders, especially as an introduction to Creative Commons Licensing.


Read More

Song of the Year – 2010


Press release (November 2010) (Pompano Beach, FL) – Cross International is pleased to announce the winner of the 2010 Song of the Year Award to “Keep Changing the World,” written by Mike Grayson, Seth Jones, and Jason Ingram and performed by MikesChair and LeCrae, from the self-titled release MikesChair (Curb Records) “Keep On Changing the World” won over some stiff competition in a year that many relief efforts were focused on Haiti from the January earthquake.  The runners-up are: Come Together Now (Music City Unites for Haiti) – written by Cindy Morgan, performed by Music City Unites for Haiti – a group of Nashville-area artists including Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Toby Mac, and others – and featured on the release Healing 4 Haiti (Integrity/Columbia) The Generous Mr. Lovewell – written by Jim Bryson, Mike Schuechzer, Barry Graul, Robby Shaffer, Bart Millard & Nathan Cochran and performed by MercyMe on their release The Generous Mr. Lovewell (Reunion Records). Fans weighed in on the award by casting ballots on-line at www.crossinternational.org/songoftheyear. “Keep Changing the World” placed first with on-line ballots, garnering 61% of the votes, with “Come Together for Haiti” and “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” placing 2nd and 3rd (26% and 11%) respectively. Chuck Burge, Director of the Music Outreach for Cross International, said the ministry is delighted to present the award to the band.  “With this energetic, upbeat song MikesChair is encouraging the church to look beyond itself in the U-S to serve ‘the least of these’ in the name of Christ.  We are thrilled to encourage the guys with this award.” Burge says the objective is not just to benefit the poor overseas but also the church in the U-S.  “Jesus Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Something happens inside of you when you give to someone who has no hope of giving in return.  You understand first-hand just a bit of what it meant for Christ to make Himself poor so that we could become rich.” The annual Harmony of Hearts Award goes to the creative forces responsible for the song which best represents God’s concern for the poor and call to serve them.  It is designed to spur songwriters and musicians towards creating songs that illustrate God’s compassion to the poor and the church’s obligation to serve them in Jesus’ name. HARMONY OF HEARTS Harmony of Hearts is the music outreach program of Cross International, which delivers food, shelter and hope to the poorest of the poor in Jesus’ name.  The goal is to incite mercy through music and that God would be pleased to spiritually revive and renew His people through worship and serving the poor. Harmony of Hearts provides music and worship material free of charge to local churches for a worship service as special music or an offertory.  Materials include music charts, song suggestions, DVD accompaniment, and audio Scripture readings by James Earl Jones that reinforce serving the poor.  While there is no cost for materials, we request credit given to Cross International by distributing a brochure, saying a word with the presentation, or printing our website in the bulletin. For information and interviews, contact: Chuck Burge / Cross International Phone:    (800) 391-8545 ext. 174 Email:    click here Web:      www.HarmonyofHearts.org Blog:     www.HarmonyBlog.org


Read More

Joyful creativity


Below is a promo video from an upcoming release of old material by Bruce Springsteen. The compelling part of the clip for me was the sheer exhuberance displayed by Bruce and band member Steve Van Zandt playing an unfinished song together on the piano. This is a glimpse into a joyful, creative process that I wonder if worship leaders and musicians don’t long for on a regular basis.  It reminds me of the reason I loved music – it was fun! Bruce Springsteen – “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town'” Sneak Peek HT:  Mark Moring


Read More

The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe


Here’s a candidate for our Song of the Year. Here singer Bart Millard explains the story behind the song by saying:  “It’s not just helping your neighbor, but (also) going the extra step:  If I truly love you well, then I can’t NOT tell you what’s changed my life.” Here are the lyrics & song stream from YouTube: Lyrics: He wakes up every day the same Believin’ he’s gonna make a change Never wonders “if” but “when” I guarantee he can find a way To reach out and make somebody’s day ‘Cause someone took the time with him He believes it’s the little things That make a great big change Hey, Mr. Lovewell, doin’ today What you do every day No matter how small Believin’ that it’s all the same Come on, Mr. Lovewell, oh we could use A few more just like you Who care enough to give this life away ‘Cause you’ve been changed The generous Mr. Lovewell loves today! It may be a simple “how do you do” The kind of thing that could pull them through A minute or two can mean so much Or maybe it’s the one across the street He’s asking if there’s anything they need ‘Cause they will know what’s by our love It may not be that much to him But it’s the world to them We all need more Mr. Lovewell… Resources: MercyMe homepage MercyMe MySpace


Read More