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Thread: Ten Hymns We Should Stop Singing

  1. #1
    Administrator Admin's Avatar
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    Jun 2003

    Ten Hymns We Should Stop Singing

    Came across this article today entitled Ten Hymns We Should Stop Singing

    I suggest that you read the article and the reasons given, but here are those on the list:

    • He Lives
    • Patriotic Hymns
    • Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
    • How Great Thou Art
    • I'll Fly Away
    • Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
    • Onward Christian Soldiers
    • The Old Rugged Cross
    • Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
    • In The Garden

    What do you think? What hymns do you think belong on the list?
    Last edited by Admin; 06-17-2017 at 02:02 PM. Reason: fixed spelling error

  2. #2
    p Piano jepsound's Avatar
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    These hymns are, for the most part, the very ones I grew up with as a child and young adult. They still resonate with me today at age 73. I play these often, along with many other "old" hymns. I don't play at church anymore, just at home for my own enjoyment. As I play these old favorites, the words go through my mind and I feel blessed by the experience. Can that be bad?

    Keep all these hymns.
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  3. #3
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    What a jaded article/topic! Granted one or two of them have questionable merit, or have been used in questionable ways, but all of them? Why not include Amazing Grace or similar? It seems when many die, no matter how they lived, everyone gets drunk and they all drawl out their version of Amazing Grace. I suppose they're trying to stay in keeping with John Newton (a drunken sailor) who wrote the words.

    It almost feels like the article has an anti-Christian agenda. Of course, everyone has a right to his/her opinion.

    One song I would probably like to see go by the wayside, though, would be the song Hallelujah (used as a theme song for a TV show--major lift, minor 4th, lift the 6th, etc.). It's been over-used and altered so it's almost unrecognizable in all its forms.

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  4. #4
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Three of those were favourites of my Grandmother, and I can recall her singing and playing those when I was a young boy. So Rugged Cross, Onward and How Great Thou Art are staying on my playlist!

    Amazing Grace I can live without, even though I do get called upon to play it for weddings. Last time was on an electronic Viscount and I even put the leslie on fast and got a bit of 'gospel' style out of the choir, as I knew that would please the bride! Obviously didn't go that well as they divorced a year or two later and I didn't get the repeat booking for her second wedding! And I hate Hallelujah - not a great piece of music in the first place, IMHO and over done to the point of being painful to listen to at times.

    As Michael said, everyone has a right to their opinion. Others may disagree with my feelings on the matter.....
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  5. #5
    pp Pianissimo tbeck's Avatar
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    Puerto Rico

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    Up From the Grave He Arose
    What a Friend We Have in Jesus
    At Calvary
    Blessed Assurance
    In other words, about 90% of the Southern Baptist Hymnal

    Honestly, I shouldn't tell people what hymns to sing or not sing. I gave up being a Southern Baptist many decades ago, However, a great deal of that hymnal is just so much Victorian parlor music, in my opinion. In it's day, I think it appealed to people in the same way that praise music appeals now. It was a form of popular music in it's time.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post
    What a jaded article/topic! Granted one or two of them have questionable merit, or have been used in questionable ways, but all of them? Why not include Amazing Grace or similar? It seems when many die, no matter how they lived, everyone gets drunk and they all drawl out their version of Amazing Grace.
    Well, I don't know why it's fair game to criticize "praise music" as vapid, but criticizing hymns is "jaded" or "anti-Christian".

    The author lays out these criteria for getting on his list:

    • Theologically vapid
    • Theologically problematic
    • Poor poetry
    • It's become an idol

    He goes on to say
    This list is not intended to be authoritative or exhaustive. The point is that these judgments should be made on the basis of meaning, not preference. If someone disagrees, fine, but our reasoning must extend beyond sentimentality [“This hymn makes me think of my dearly departed grandmother,” or “It’s so fun to sing.
    He's arguing for theological relevancy, and correct or not, I don't see how that could be considered as "anti-Christian."

    As for Amazing Grace, I'd have to include it on my list based on his last criterion, especially when accompanied by bagpipes.

  7. #7
    pp Pianissimo tbeck's Avatar
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    The blog from which the original post came also has an article tiled It's Time to Boycott the Worship Industry.

    It expounds on a topic that is frequently bemoaned by many posters here: the disappearing of traditional worship.


  8. #8
    f Forte regeron's Avatar
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    I tried to read the article, but it doesn't agree with my computer - everything freezes. I try to scroll down - nothing happens, and then (all of a sudden) it skips down too far.

    That said, there are lots of hymns that qualify for this kind of cull.

    One more reason for me is overuse to the extent that I just never want to hear it again. The first one that earned that title for me was "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God."

    While not enjoying a lot of these hymns, I used to, and I have to admit that they helped bring me to where I am today. Somehow they gave me a strength and encouragement that put me in a better position to have an open mind and be critical of what I was learning and doing spiritually.

    So, loving them in the past prepared me to discard them in the future. I'm not sure if others have had that experience. They might express it differently.

    Example - I was deep into the feeling of guilt for having personally driven nails into Jesus' hands every time I told a little white lie, or did something that I believed to be sinful. Any song that could make me feel even MORE guilty was wonderful. Then I realized that that is not what is was all about.

    Example - I used to believe in Jesus' blood sacrifice until I realized that if we had been non-christians, we would not have offered an animal (or human) blood sacrifice to erase any wrongdoings. I no long personally accept that the shedding of blood will do me any spiritual good. Hymns that speak of that hold ne meaning for me anymore. In fact, they seem a bit twisted.

    Example - "What a Friend we have in Jesus": ".... When my friends despise, forsake me ..." Those aren't friends and they never were.

    Perhaps it's the idolization of "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound" that has led to the singing and playing of it that is in NO WAY amazing nor sweet. The way it is often performed, the words need to be changed to "I was could see but now am blind, was found but now am lost."

    I'll keep trying to access the original article. Good point made that hymns have been filtered over time, so many of the really bad ones are gone, whereas worship music is just going through the filtering process as we live and breathe.

  9. #9
    pp Pianissimo Piperdane's Avatar
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    Sadly, the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers was eliminated from the new ELCA Hymnal (ELW). That hymn has nothing whatsoever to do with anything related to human war ... rather our fight against sin and other wrongs.

    The other hymns are old standards - ones that people like to sing out on during worship. Isn't that what worship is about? Congregational participation? When an unfamiliar hymn or tune is done the people in the pews just sit there like bumps on a pickle.

    I use most of that list for my funeral medley when I do improvs on those tunes changing keys and registration.

  10. #10
    p Piano steverose's Avatar
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    I actually followed this blog a while back out of interest in his traditional worship stance. I have found it to be quite the cheeky little read. I can't imagine what church, if any the writer actually attends, which he or she must truly not enjoy. I also can't imagine what perfection this shattered soul seeks that he or she simply can not find.

    With amusement I imagined that "Joyful, Joyful" made the list many years ago when Frederick Swann and Robert Schuller would open every service of the Hour of Power from the Crystal Cathedral with just the first verse played with all the pomp and majesty necessary for television, followed by the bellowing voice from the pulpit "This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad, and rejoice in it!"

    Surely not even the Pontiff himself at the altar of Saint Peter would be a fitting tribute to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Dearest Jonathan, please I implore you, do not come to my church. You will certainly be disappointed. Our stained glass is surely not biblical enough. Our message not clear enough. Our song not devout enough. Our altar not holy enough. And I have played half the songs on your list so far, with many more to come.
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