Odd Hymns

sankeyhymns1According to unnoficial fundamentalist dogma, the height of perfection in hymn writing was reached somewhere around 1947 and any music written after that point is automatically suspect. Fundies view CCM artists as tools of Satan to tempt young people to turn the fellowship hall into a dance hall. CCM artists view fundamentalists as the musical equivilant of Elmer Fudd.

As the official collection of approved hymns has been canonized, however, there have crept in some strangeร‚ย  selections that can only be described as “absolutely awful.” These would include songs about honey coming out of rocks, boys wandering around, little brown churches in the valley, and holding a fort.

It can only assumed that these hymns were included because they were written by the General Editor’s brother-in-law or perhaps someone to whom he owed great sums of money.

20 thoughts on “Odd Hymns”

  1. Nothing was more fun than Sunday evening song request night when your Dad was the song leader and your mom played piano. I always picked the Amens at the back to stump them.

  2. My mom would be fighting with me before church and then tell me to pick out music for the service. Anything with 5 flats and 6/8 timing would do fine.

  3. My mom would be fighting with me before church and then tell me to pick out music for the service. Anything with 5 flats and 6/8 timing would do fine.

  4. Hold the Fort is a wonderful song, written during the Civil War, and from then it receives it’s meaning-when the army was surrounded and thought all was lost, the enemy at the doors, the signal comes from afar, that reinforcements are on their way, and salvation is at hand. This kind of meaning and imagery can’t be found anywhere in the weak, watery CCM junk today, and it’s just as applicable today as it was then.

    That being said, there are a lot of ‘approved’ hymns that I faithfully ignore, as there is no good theology in them, and often little real meaning.

  5. Dude, you neglected to mention songs about coming to the garden alone while dew is still on the roses. Oh, and I believe there’s walking involved. Walking and talking.

  6. Those are good. How did I manage to not hear “Honey in the Rock”? This topic brings up repressed memories of joybells that happen to be [or are supposed to be] ringing in my heart… Oh, and the joy of the Lord, which is my strength. : )

  7. Hey man, don’t knock ‘Hold the Fort’! It’s one of the most inspiring tracks of all time!

  8. My personal favorite is out of an old hymnal that my church in Greenville, the Mecca of Fundyism, used. The hymn was called “God of Earth and Outer Space.” Here are some of the winning lines:

    Bless the astronauts who fly
    Guide their rockets through the sky …

    This was written in 1957. Hmmm….

    1. Sounds like it’s to the tune of the old Navy Hymn (one of my personal favorites). I hear it has actually been used at some astronauts’ funerals and memorials.

      1. That boy’s name wasn’t “Chip” Parker by chance was it? Oh, forget it, his mother didn’t die before he got back. my bad… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  9. I think the problem isn’t necessarily with the hymns in and of themselves. Like any genre of music, there is the good, the bad, the ugly, and downright incorrect! The problem with hymns arise when people start elevating them to near the level of scripture. The only thing hymns have over modern music is that they were written first…so they have the advantage of a sort of “psychological precedence,” if you will. Hymn writing is an artform that is dying at the hand of the 4 chord “relevant” praise music. The Gettys are doing a good job of trying to keep it alive. Personally, I think there is room for both kinds of music in the same church.

  10. Ever looked at the Bob Jones University hymn? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I always gagged when the phrase “hallowed halls” came up….beautiful tune, and some of the stanzas are good, but then it starts talking about the school….how is that ok?

  11. Confession time: when my church had its old hymnals I always looked up “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross”, just so I could write underneath, (in pencil, don’t want to permanently mar a book in church) that this was the hymn in “Tom Sawyer”, and it is, too. :mrgreen:
    “The minister gave out the hymn, and read it through with a relish, in a peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country. His voice began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board:

    Shall I be carried to the skies, on flow’ry beds — of ease,
    Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro’ blood — y seas? ๐Ÿ˜€
    Okay, I have to have my fun.

  12. We are now attending a chapel that uses only the good ol’ hymns. For some reason, this stuff is bone dry and void of life. I don’t think it’s so much the hymns themselves, but rather the mindless adherence to the singing of the same.


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