Hymn for Today

Idon’t dislike all modern hymns – or ‘worship songs’ as they are called by the people who sing them – but I dislike most of them. The words are generally as unmemorable and as undistinguished as the latest teenage lament being belted out over the PA system in my local Co-Op. ‘Love’ and ‘Jesus’ are treated the same as though Jesus was the boyfriendof  a lovelorn adolescent. Sometimes, my duties as Director of Music of St Mary’s means I have to learn / play these wretched things for weddings. Of course nobody joins in because nobody else except the happy couple know them. So in protest at having to endure these pop hymns, I wrote this. It can be sung – with a few modifications – to ‘Thornbury’ (the tune of ‘O Jesus I have promised’) or ‘Aurelia’ (‘The Church’s one foundation’).

O Jesus, how I love you!

To you my love I send!

I hope that you will love me too

And be my Facebook friend.

I worship and adore you

Nearly more than words can say.

I got that from a greetings card

I bought the other day.

 

I must admit theology

Is not my strongest card.

These words I write could never be

Mistaken for the Bard.

It simply doesn’t matter though!

I know he doesn’t mind

Because he died to save me

And he’s merciful and kind.

 

I’ll now compose a tune for this

And as I wash your feet

I’ll think of something catchy

With a poppy kind of beat.

It won’t be very difficult

Or challenging to sing –

A kindergarten, clappy

Eurovision kind of thing.

 

Those oldie hymns my parents sing

I do not understand.

An organ’s too old-fashioned

So my friends have formed a band.

We pretend we’re all on telly

Which we know we’ll never be,

But Lord Jesus is our rock star

So that’s good enough for me.

 

So get out your recorders

Your guitars and tambourines!

Pretend you’re back in Sunday School

And not yet in your teens.

Then sing this song to Jesus –

Yes, just sing and dance and clap! –

And you’ll be one of several thousand

Singing pseudo-Christian crap.

 

Jeremy Nicholas / May 2016

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