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Thread: Ten Hymns We Should Stop Singing

  1. #21
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Organfella View Post
    Take a look at this precious piece of poetic wisdom and truth I found. I knew I had it somewhere and the content of this thread inspired me to look for it - took me two days but here it is:
    Nico,

    May I borrow this?

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  2. #22
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Hi Michael.
    Sure thing. Post it in enlarged form anywhere in the church where everyone can see it.....

    I would suggest though that you add at the bottom: "Author unknown" so as not to offend anyone - especially the elderly churchgoer who wrote it - if he or she is still alive....

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  3. #23
    mf Mezzo-Forte musikfan's Avatar
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    Everyone has made very good comments, so I don't have much to add, except that when I see articles like this, I think there is an underlying attitude or angle that is skewed. The author may have had good intentions, but he/she had to know that they would stir up the pot when they published it. IMHO, if a hymn draws you closer to Jesus and increases the quality of your walk with the Lord, keep singing it. Everyone has different tastes, and yes there are some hymns with some faulty theology which you should be aware of, but in general, the hymns on this list are all good ones that I grew up singing and never once did any of them "lead me astray" or cause me to wane in my walk with Christ. As I am older now, I look back at the lyrics and realize even more so how profound some of them are, and they have more meaning to me now than when I was a child.
    If I had to do away with one hymn, it would be "Saved" (by His power divine). The words are tolerable, but the tune is absolutely hokey and sounds like a carousel piece that you'd hear at an amusement park on one of those old calliopies or orchestrions. I can't stand it, and we had an organist in my home church who played like she was at a skating rink. When we sang this hymn, I felt like getting out my roller skates.
    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760
    Allen MOS 300-C

  4. #24
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    I missed this thread when it started, so I've just now read through it. As always, our personal biases, experiences, opinions, and age all enter into our reaction. Thus the great variety of reactions, and each of us having our own list of hymns or songs we've like to do away with.

    Since I have the task of selecting all the hymns we sing each Sunday, I do take my responsibility very seriously. I make a real effort to use only hymns that are worthy, that I am proud to play and sing, that I hope the people of my church will take to heart, and will be humming or whistling as they go home and throughout the week. Since we only sing four hymns each Sunday, I only have about 200 slots to fill for the year. I drew up a list of about 100 hymns a couple years ago form which I now populate the service each week. These hymns all (or mostly all) meet the requirements I've set -- theologically sound, poetically and grammatically beautiful, mated to tunes that are both singable and pleasant, with appropriate "style", which of course is a subjective thing, but by which I mean it "sounds" like a hymn and not like a pop tune or country song or saloon ditty.

    And there are a few hymns that I do my best to avoid using, though I'll hold my nose and use one now and then that I know some dear soul in the congregation happens to love.

    "In the Garden" falls into that category. I don't really dislike it, though stylistically it is rather peculiar, more like the "Victorian parlor music" that someone mentioned above than a real hymn. But it's the favorite "hymn" of a very sweet lady in our church, and it brings back good memories for a lot of people, and is, in fact, tangentially related to the Easter event, so we sing it now and then. "The Old Rugged Cross" ranks similarly in my thinking -- not really a "hymn" and somewhat maudlin and sentimental, but apparently loved by some of our people, so we sing it once or twice a year.

    "I'll Fly Away" is an oldie, of course, and not even in either of the hymnals we have in the pews. To me, it's deeply associated with a type of southern gospel singing (the Stamps-Baxter genre) that I don't care for. To be honest though, I have actually made copies and passed them out so we could sing it once or twice in my life.

    The other one in the list that does grind my gears pretty seriously is "How Great Thou Art." Makes me a heretic, I know, but my cynical mind looks upon that song as pretentious and faux-retro or something. Using King James language in a modern song just sort of speaks of a type of forced spirituality that doesn't do anything for me. Call me a heretic. I use it once a year because I know a few people do like it, and I don't see any real theological problems with the words.

    Patriotic hymns in general don't ring my chimes, and my church doesn't particularly recognize the "patriotic" holidays that some churches go all out for -- July 4, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc. So we just don't sing them. Not that I wouldn't do it if asked, but it just never comes up. "My Country, Tis of Thee" is a beautiful hymn, both lyrically and poetically, as is "America the Beautiful." But what do they really have to do with Christian worship, if you think about it? Just having the word "God" in there somewhere doesn't make it a Christian hymn.

    I'm certainly not a purist when it comes to hymns, and I don't shy away from the ones with personal pronouns. I dearly love a great many Fanny Crosby songs/hymns, and we use them quite a bit. Truth is, we probably sing more songs written in the 1800's than from any other historical period, and that is the era of the great revivals and the Sunday School movement and other phenomena that produced very personal and testimonial-style hymns.

    But my FAVORITE hymns continue to the very oldest ones in our hymnal. "All Creatures of Our God and King" (1225) and "Be Thou My Vision" (c. 700) and "Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation" (7th century) -- probably my three favorites, and probably the oldest ones in our hymnals. Many of my other favorites are the "grand" hymns of the 18th and 19th centuries ("The Church's One Foundation", "Holy, Holy, Holy", "O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee.")

    It's not that there are no good hymns or songs being written today, but there is such a flood of real dross it is hard to sort out anything of value in the midst of it. Perhaps a hundred years from now there will be a handful of songs written in our lifetimes that will have found general acceptance in the church around the world.

    As I said, I have my "100" list, and we mostly sing those, though I throw in something now and then that's not quite kosher to me, and even have "special music" by soloists and choir that are quite contemporary at times. I just do my best to make it all worthy. Never sing anything that is a waste of time. Time is too precious too waste, mine or that of the congregation.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Rodgers 580 "Cheetah" organ with custom 6-channel speaker system
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
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  5. #25
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    You have 4 Hymns?! We are lucky to have 2, and seldom more than 3 verses. When the minister occupies half the service time by talking (5 minutes at the beginning for announcements and 25 for the Sermon) it doesn't leave much time for the rest of the service. We might get the Doxology once a quarter and the Gloria Patri maybe once a year. There is only one Scripture lesson. We do have a Pastoral Prayer, but only the Lord's Prayer on Communion Sundays (once a month). The Choir typically sings an Anthem, and sometimes even 2--mostly modern with piano accompaniment. The Organist does usually play both a Prelude and Postlude, and they are great!

    David

  6. #26
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    We do use four hymns per service, and I suppose we are fortunate in that. i noticed that the Anglican services we attended only included three hymns each. I've heard that this church once sang five, but when they went to two services some years before my time, a one-hour limit had to be imposed, and the present order of service was developed.

    Even with four hymns each week, there isn't any need to veer off the path into unworthy music. I'd rather sing just a handful of truly excellent hymns all the time than to waste our time with any that do not glorify God and refresh our spirits!

    Here is our standard Sunday morning order, from which we rarely vary:

    Prelude (at my discretion, often just an improv on one of the hymns)
    Welcome/Announcements (by the day's lay leader)
    Gathering Hymn -- a grand one to set the tone for worship
    Responsive Call to Worship -- the lay leader leads and people respond
    Prayer Hymn -- a quiet hymn of reflection
    Pastoral Prayer followed by the Lord's Prayer
    Anthem or Solo
    Scripture -- normally one or more passages from the Lectionary, as chosen by the pastor, read by the lay leader
    Sermon
    Invitation/Communion Hymn -- pastor and elders come to the table
    Communion -- Walk-up Intinction on first Sunday, pass-around on other Sundays
    Offering Received, ushers wait at the rear until I begin the Doxology
    Doxology, presentation of the offering, and Offertory Prayer
    Hymn of Joy -- A joyful "going out" hymn. We sing two stanzas, then wait for the ...
    Pastor's benediction -- from the back of the nave
    Response -- the final stanza of the Hymn of Joy (organ cranked!)
    Postlude -- also at my discretion, usually improvisation on the final hymn

    With four per service, I could theoretically rotate through my "100" list every six months, though of course it doesn't work out that way. Some hymns get sung several times a year, some only once or possibly not at all in some years.

    Advent and Christmas call for a different repertoire during those weeks, Lent takes on a little different tone, Easter has its own hymns. Pentecost, Trinity, and other special days call for certain hymns. So we don't necessarily repeat a lot of hymns throughout the year. But I do make a point of using some of the very best ones three or four times a year, and I will use their tunes for communion and offertory music to keep them in the minds of the people.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Rodgers 580 "Cheetah" organ with custom 6-channel speaker system
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  7. #27
    ff Fortissimo Suhndog's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Heh.. I fall into a different 'category' in that I'm a Hebrew-Christian.

    Never having grown up in a Gentile church, and frankly, not so keen on the songs they played in synagogue as a kid, I accepted Yeshua [Jesus] back in 1974.

    The church I attended was a [don't cringe!] Charismatic one.
    No, we didn't foam at the mouth and pass out. LOL

    We had a balanced church based on the Bible - even though sadly, the moniker 'Charismatic' usually evokes the moniker 'Charis-maniac' ..

    Anyway, I do love many Hymns as well as many of the songs I sang at my church years ago [I sorely miss many of them!].

    I have some organs, and the first the Lord brought my way, was a nice Conn 650.
    A dear friend of mine requested that I record [I have a youtube channel - 'suhndog'] a favorite of his: 'Be Thou My Vision' - which I had never heard of.

    My first encounter with that hymn was not a favorable one in that whoever sang it, had a voice you could classify as being 'a joyful Noise' heh

    Still, I did find some videos of the Hymn that really Blessed me!

    I then commenced to learn it [I play only by ear]..

    The Conn was new to me, as well as the Hymn.

    After I recorded it, I really didn't think much of the hymn - at first...

    It turned out that it had more views on youtube than the others I made!

    As I divorced myself from my initial poor experience with it, I have now embraced it as a favorite! [I have many].

    Here's a link for the video I mad back then:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc3auQ3_NWs


    I know we all have favorites and otherwise, so I won't labor too much on that.

    One day I discovered a hymn that REALLY moved me to tears - in a good way.

    It is 'Beautiful Isle of Somewhere' ..

    For those who do not know the story behind it, it is an interesting and enlightening read.

    Sadly, after some years in the Baptist hymnal, it was removed due to the outspoken ranting of some Catholic priest who referred to it as [in so many words] 'sentimental rubbish'.. he was so adamant, that he not only refused for it to be played and sung, but said he would toss out any member who did!

    Sadly also, some Baptist pastors followed suit, and eventually it was removed from the Hymnals. - very sad IMHO.

    There should be allowances for poetic and lyrical music. After all, it SHOULD come from the heart, and of course, not violate Biblical Truth.

    I could easily identify the imagery in the Hymn. 'Somewhere' is Heaven of course.. etc..!

    Well, I was so moved with the marriage of both the lyrics and music.. I decided to play it at our church's 'Singspiration' before Christmas.
    The Lord also told me to sing it as well.
    I've never been gifted with the ability to sing and play at the same time. This was indeed a step of faith.

    The Lord did honor it! However, being a sensitive sort, I couldn't stop stopping while I played it.. and kept crying.

    Most everyone was both Blessed and moved. That is what always thrills my heart! - That folks lives will be Blessed and helped.

    I'm not trying to toot my own 'Tibia' here.. but I just wanted to share a story..

    I've moved to an area where the only decent church here is a Baptist church. Sadly, the pastor dislikes organs. Well, he told me he never grew up with them.. only pianos, and that's what he prefers. He is not mean-spirited in any way, and even has let me shlep an organ to church once or twice to play a Hymn, etc.

    The church has a mix of both old and new selections.. and I'm not that keen on most contemporary stuff.. although some are nice.
    We have a piano player, drums and a few guitars.. but they have arranged the newer songs to be 'mellow-ized' to fit our mostly aged member body.

    I still do miss the lively and joyful songs of my early Born Again days... and yes, I love slow and Worshipful hymns and songs.

    My belief is that we are here to please God.. and not ourselves so much. Worship is to the Lord. It is good though for folks to feel like family [we are!], and some hymns are a bit more 'I' and 'we', etc.. but pastor has been good at weeding out the ones that just are bad theology, etc.

    Anyway, I was enjoying all of your posts here, and wanted to share a little. I have 8 organs and no one ever comes to visit me. Long story. It's mostly that folks out my way [out in the AZ desert], tend to stick to themselves.. and don't fully understand the concept of fellowship.. I'm not being mean-spirited.. it's just the way folks are out here.. and much to my distress at times. I'm a firm believer in having home-groups where folks can really get to know each other and really share their hearts better, etc..

    Ok.. I'll stop for now.. I tend to get carried away typing.. and strangely enough, I dislike typing! I am a talker by nature.. and I am frustrated not being able to do more! heh [and my cat takes after her 'daddy' LOLOL]..


    marc
    Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
    Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
    Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
    Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
    Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
    Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
    Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
    Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
    Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
    MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin
    Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer

  8. #28
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Wow! That's an amazing rendition of "Be Thou My Vision" and that has to be the best-sounding Conn I've ever heard. No hint of the erratic keying and audio popping usually heard on the direct-keyed voices.

    Your story is quite interesting and a different perspective on this topic. Thanks for posting, suhndog.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Rodgers 580 "Cheetah" organ with custom 6-channel speaker system
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  9. #29
    ff Fortissimo Suhndog's Avatar
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    Thanks, John!

    The Conn 650 does have a nice ensemble sound.. with 72 oscillators, Conn developed that nice sound.

    After finding out that that Hymn was Irish in origin, I was tempted to play it at a bit more moderate tempo - but not quite a jig! I like to experiment at times.
    I may record it again on a different organ and see if I can give it some Irish 'flair'..

    Another and probably my favorite Hymn is 'The Wonderful Grace of Jesus' ...


    marc
    Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
    Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
    Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
    Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
    Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
    Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
    Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
    Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
    Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
    MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin
    Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer

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