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​Why I Don't Like "King of My Heart"

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  • ​Why I Don't Like "King of My Heart"

    I generally think that John Mark McMillan as a brilliant songwriter and poet. However, I am quite unnerved by this latest, fast rising worship song from his repertoire. I do not doubt that many here use this, and have been blessed by it. And if you have, please take my comments with a grain of salt.

    But the chorus is written in such a way that I can't help but think that the song is a celebration of the letter O.

    I mean, we have many songs and choruses where "O" is used to accompany the final words, and to provide emphasis. "O How He Loves You And Me." "O Give Thanks To The Lord" (Ps 105). "O Come O Come Emmanuel." Each of these, the central focus is not on "O," but what comes after it.

    There are thousands upon thousands of hymns and choruses written over all these years. Never once (or perhaps I don't remember) any song that builds up and musically climaxes on the word "Ooooooo."

    It is as if the letter "O" is "good, good." Not God, not the Lord, not Christ, not the Holy Spirit, but "O." Only "O" is good.

    Perhaps some will admire its refreshing intimacy, almost like a divine wordless encounter of which our tongue is unable to express in any particular language. If such is the case, why have any words at all, and make this an instrumental work?

    Perhaps some will say that "O" could be replaced, internally, with any word I want, such as "Lord" (which seems to fit best). But the problem is that because no exact word is there, no name, one can put any single-syllable'd name in that same spot where "O" is. Leading to confusion.

    Anyway, I can think of many other letters of the alphabet that are worthy of thanksgiving and praise. Like "Z" or "Q". These do wonders for me on the Scrabble board.
    Nick Alexander
    Host, The Prayer Meeting Podcast
    Worship that is Contemporary, Traditional, Charismatic, Contemplative, Spontaneous, based on the Church calendar, play it whenever you want.
    Find out what Nick Alexander can do for your conference, retreat or workshop.

  • #2
    First thing to note, JMM isn't the primary writer of this one, & it shows - it's "Say-ruh"'s (Sarah's) song, & he just helped to wrap it up. That said, I think the complexity & depth of the verses earns a simple, repetitive chorus - in fact, I think the song would fail with anything more, & that's a primary reason that it's taken off... the verses are hymn-like, & the chorus is a simple, 80's-style, charismatic response. The verses & the chorus balance one another well, especially within their more "spirit-filled" circles. I understand the song isn't for everyone, or for every church, but MAN... sure wish I had written it!

    Comment


    • NickAlexander
      NickAlexander commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't know... some of the lyrics are contradictory. The wind inside my sails, The anchor in the waves. Which is it? The wind has me go forward, the anchor has me stop. Which is it? Also, "the mountain when I run." Are we praising "O" for arduous running paths?

      I know I'm being difficult here, and I'm sorry. Happy you like it; Happy it's worked for your congregation. But I suspect that too much repetition of this song will lead to extreme mockery.

  • #3
    I think of it like a Psalm - the lines are about a number of different characteristics of God... He makes us better than we are, yet He is our foundation & security... it's BOTH. As the song currently stands, it's sorta fading from most setlists, I'd imagine - most of the folks that I know led this like crazy last year & early this year. Not sure it'll ever get to the level of "How He Loves"...

    Comment


    • NickAlexander
      NickAlexander commented
      Editing a comment
      According to the last CCLI list, it shot up to #39 within four survey periods. How He Loves peaked at #13, and is currently at #33. We'll see...

  • #4
    We've used this song a few times, it may com up again.

    Nick, I get where you are coming from- I have my own 'pet peeves' for lack of a better term with certain P&W songs. One example I experienced recently is "Fierce". I really like the verses but had some heartburn with the chorus. Comparing God's love to hurricanes and tidal waves (that kill people, destroy entire regions and cost billions to recover from) do not set good with me, especially after the weather events in Houston and Puerto Rico. So I can appreciate when a line or two rubs someone the wrong way.

    I take the "Oh"'s as more vocalizing. Didn't really see it as a point of emphasis. I hear 'You are good', not "O is good'. But we each interpret things differently.

    For example, the wind does indeed make me go forward, but the boat also needs an anchor in rough seas to secure the boat and keeping it from crashing and running aground. God does give us the wind in our sails and we rely on Him to keep us anchored in our faith when life gets rough.

    By all means, if it doesn't sit will with you, don't use it. That's why we have choices
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

    Comment


    • #5
      Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
      I have my own 'pet peeves' for lack of a better term with certain P&W songs. One example I experienced recently is "Fierce". I really like the verses but had some heartburn with the chorus. Comparing God's love to hurricanes and tidal waves (that kill people, destroy entire regions and cost billions to recover from) do not set good with me, especially after the weather events in Houston and Puerto Rico. So I can appreciate when a line or two rubs someone the wrong way.
      I agree with you about "Fierce." It applies also to "Like an Avalanche."
      Nick Alexander
      Host, The Prayer Meeting Podcast
      Worship that is Contemporary, Traditional, Charismatic, Contemplative, Spontaneous, based on the Church calendar, play it whenever you want.
      Find out what Nick Alexander can do for your conference, retreat or workshop.

      Comment

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