Setting Amos’ Hymn Fragments to Music

As I’m gearing up to teach a course about the Bible and music for the first time next semester, one thing that I’ve been giving much thought to is the fact that students are expected to participate in the creation of a creative work in these core curriculum courses. I don’t like to ask students [Read More…]

Hymn to Coffee

Do you recognize the original hymn this is based on, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”? I take my coffee without sugar, but I can still sing of the sweetness – metaphorically speaking – of drinking it. [Read more…]

Ode to Coffee

Coffee, coffee, we adore thee! Java glory, java love. Brains awake like flowers before thee. Raise our mugs to God above. These new hymn lyrics come from Unvirtuous Abbey on Facebook, and I thought it worth turning into a meme image. One commenter on Facebook added a second verse: Melt the fog of sleepy stumbling; drive [Read More…]

Inappropriate Hymn Choice

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Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom

The Seeds of Doom is an episode which explores yet another widespread sci-fi trope, namely spores which fall to Earth from space and have the potential to take over humans and overrun the planet. The episode also has elements of the typical spy thriller, including the Doctor getting into more fist fights than usual. The [Read More…]

Amazing Grace (to the tune of Open Arms)

When I went to see the musical “Amazing Grace” recently, I found myself thinking about the multiple tunes to which the words have been sung (the most usual tune associated with the lyrics isn’t the ‘original’ tune). We’ve sung it in church to the tune of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles, with an added [Read More…]

Amazing Grace (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)

The blog Political Jesus shared this version of the modernized hymn “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” as an illustration of how widespread this particular meter – known for that very reason as “common meter” – is. While I think there may be some on the list given there that do not work, many do. [Read More…]

A Little Contemporary Christian Music

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The Last Mile

I’ve previously shared some of the Hymns of the God’s Gardeners from Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Year of the Flood. Today in my class on religion and science fiction, we finished talking about the novel, and focused on the theology of the God’s Gardeners, and I learned that in the audiobook the hymns are actually included [Read More…]

Let Me Not Be Proud

Here’s another hymn from Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Year of the Flood: Oh let me not be proud, dear Lord, Nor rank myself above The other Primates, through whose genes We grew into your Love. A million million years, Your Days, Your methods pass discerning, Yet through your blend of DNAs Came passion, mind, and learning. [Read More…]