Youtube Find: Gospel Music in India

Youtube Find: Gospel Music in India July 4, 2014

Folks may not know that there is a thriving community of Indian Christians who sing many of the same old American praise choruses and gospel songs we do. I was first introduced to this phenomenon at the wedding of a friend who married a young Indian man after meeting him at Moody Bible College. His father serenaded the couple and chose a Maranatha praise chorus. At the reception, a family friend performed the Scott Wesley Brown wedding song “This is the Day” with his younger brother—another blast from the 70s past.
Recently, I was looking for a good cover of a John W. Peterson song and found not one, but two covers originating in India. That led me to find more videos of one particular family who recorded a family hymn sing. They could have stolen my hymnal! Songs they cover include “There is Power in the Blood,” “Heaven Came Down,” and “Because He Lives.” The young man has also uploaded some guitar/vocal videos with more gospel covers, including “This World is Not My Home” and “I Just Keep Trusting My Lord.” It’s very heart-warming to see several generations gathered around to belt out the old hymns. In the words of another hymn:

Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore.

Enjoy a few of my favorite clips!
“Heaven Came Down”: This is a big favorite at our family’s hymn sings as well. The young people seem to gravitate to the waltz time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdwMzcbbN3Q?rel=0&w=500&h=315 “There is Power in the Blood”: It takes a moment or two for them to lock on to the beat, but once they do they have themselves a good old-fashioned sing! I like the little boy drumming in the corner.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY8Z-XTPLqk?rel=0&start=30&w=500&h=315

“I Just Keep Trusting My Lord”: The young man likes that Jim Reeves cowboy rhythm and sings a sweet little duet here with his sister.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbsISkPE9Y?rel=0&w=500&h=315
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  • Lydia

    I can hear an accordion as clear as anything in “Heaven Came Down,” but no accordion is visible. Is that something the keyboardist is making the Yamaha electric keyboard do?
    I really like the guy with the blue guitar drumming on “Power in the Blood.” He’s got rhythm!

  • Yes, I believe the young man created an accordion arrangement on the Yamaha. I hadn’t noticed the guitar-guy drumming away, but you’re right, that’s very cool! Rhythm is a big part of Indian music.

  • Stella

    Oh wow . I’ve been following your blog for ages and I was at the same wedding ! It’s a small world!! South India in particular has a loooong history of Christian music.you should ask the groom for his father’s songs from the 80’s and 90’s.

  • Oh my, it is a small world. 🙂

  • Stella

    Many of the SG groups you review have huge fan followings in India and some do concerts there as well. Only, albums aren’t released at the same time so fans have a long wait. I wish you could hear versions of gospel songs by some of the professional christian bands in India, as well as their original music. Most CD releases are local so difficult to get overseas except among the diaspora.
    Anyway keep the blog posts coming:)

  • Thanks for the encouragement! Do you know whether any of these groups are on Youtube or have websites?

  • Stella

    Sure. Will send to you by email.

  • Marcia

    Interesting that they’re singing in English rather than having translated the words into their indigenous languages —
    In French-speaking West Africa, for example, all those gospel songs have French versions . . .

  • Well, India was colonized by the British and all. 🙂

  • Marcia

    Excellent point.
    As usual 🙂