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Old hymns... made new?

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  • Old hymns... made new?

    Hey guys. I'm trying to set the songlist for my team this year and I want to incorporate some older hymns that we could "spice up", a bit like Chris Tomlin's version of Amazing Grace. Anyone got any suggestions on hymns that we could use for this purpose? I'm also looking for songs that have a bit of "meat" to it.

  • #2
    The Wonderful Cross (Chris Tomlin)
    Come Thou Fount (Crowder)

    There is also the WOW Hymns album that has two disks worth of contemporary artists doing familiar hymns. I hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Crowder has a new version of "O For A Thousand Tongues" on the new Passion CD. I'd invest in the Passion:Hymns CD. We do their version of "Joyful, Joyful", "How Great Thou Art" and "Take My Life".
      We also do "Jesus Paid It All" - Kristian Stanfill, "I Stand Amazed" - Tomlin...I think.

      Also, I wouldn't be opposed to using some of the older hymns and with the older melodies. We do "It Is Well" pretty traditionally. Also, I'd check out the Indelibe Grace website...igracemusic.net...I think, the go to the RUF hymnbook. We do "Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right" and "Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted" both of which I got from their site. They do Stricken in 3/4, but we do it in 4/4, which I like better.

      Those are just a couple of thoughts.

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      • #4
        I love the old song Great is Thy Faithfulness, not sure if it's actually a hymn or not, the arrangement I have is from the late 80s or early 90s (hosanna) and it's a pretty good keyboard arrangement.

        You'd probably need to re-work it to modernize it for a guitar driven environment.
        Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.

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        • #5
          Yeah, we do Great is Thy Faithfulness with the original melody and chords. Great song. Don't be afraid to play some of the hymns as written. They'll sound somewhat contemporary just by the fact that you're doing them with a full band. Some of the older melodies are great...it would a be a shame to lose them.

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          • #6
            A couple of my faves are "Be Thou My Vision" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", although you have to deal with the word "ebenezer" in the latter. I heard a version once that replaced it with "commemoration", which was okay, but not great. We used to just have an instrumental solo (flute) for the first half of the second verse and avoided it altogether!

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            • #7
              RE: Great is Thy Faithfulness.

              Two words: Lincoln Brewster

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              • #8
                Hey wow that's great! Thanks guys, I appreciate your suggestions.

                There's another reason for me wanting to play the hymns a little differently. The team we have this year is still a little inexperienced and I think it would be just great if we could come together and work on arranging a song together.

                Just a quick question: is "fount" like short for "fountain"? Oh while we're on that note, do you think it's better to use the original old English like "thy" and "thou" or switch to "You". I'm accomodating for an International audience here where English isn't necessarily the first language.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by garyhodges View Post
                  A couple of my faves are "Be Thou My Vision" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", although you have to deal with the word "ebenezer" in the latter. I heard a version once that replaced it with "commemoration", which was okay, but not great. We used to just have an instrumental solo (flute) for the first half of the second verse and avoided it altogether!
                  Yeah I understand this. We used to leave out verses with words like "Seraphim" and "cherubim" or other words that were a bit hard to sing/for the congregation to understand.

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                  • #10
                    Marc,

                    Fount is short for fountain. As far as changing Thee's and Thy's I don't do it because sometimes it makes the songs not rhyme.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by marconkeys View Post
                      There's another reason for me wanting to play the hymns a little differently. The team we have this year is still a little inexperienced and I think it would be just great if we could come together and work on arranging a song together.
                      I think almost any hymn can be translated into the guitar domain. For me, I tend to find it easier with ones that can be slowed down and done more reflectively (Abide With Me, Jesus With Thy Church Abide) and ones in a minor key (O Come, O Come Immanuel; Ah, Holy Jesus, How Have You Offended). If you have people that are a little inexperienced, but have a lot of familiarity with traditional harmonizations, they may have to really wrestle with it if you change the harmonies too much.

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                      • #12
                        Todd Agnew's Grace Like Rain CD has several. One is hidden. We do it and it is very powerful - and simple to boot.

                        It's about 10 minutes into the final track 'Wait For Your Rain', and it is a surprisingly traditional Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us. Substitute distorted guitar for organ.

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                        • #13
                          I'd like to submit yet another vote for "Jesus Paid it All" ... it's an incredible arrangement.

                          This is the iTunes Link.
                          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                          www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                          www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

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                          • #14
                            We use this version. It's great because the melody is that same as what our older folks grew up with so they love it, and the musical portion is certainly contemporary. Also, great lyrics.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, Jesus Paid it All is a great one. The only bad thing is when you get to "washed it white as snow" and the band all comes in with the distortion and stuff...it can catch some people off guard! We actually had this poor fellow who wasn't paying attention and that part came in from just the acoustic and vocal and he almost jumped out of his seat! Anyways though, I also do I Stand Amazed, Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus...and I'll try to think of more... We do a Come Thou Fount with a new chorus in it called Come Thou Fount Come Thou King... It's very good too. I'll see if I can think of some more and post em later. Gotta head off to church!

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