How to Write a Truly Awful Worship Song

July 17th, 2012
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

 

Brought to you by Pastor Riley’s blog, written by Stephen Altrogge, I present a quick “How To” on writing an awful worship song. HT: MZH for tweeting this.

So you finally learned to play the guitar and now you’re wondering,“How do I write a truly awful worship song?” You’ve come to the right place my friend. Here are some sure fire ways to write a truly horrible worship song.

Recycle A Love Song. Write a song for your girlfriend. When she breaks up with you, convert it into a worship song. Be sure to change all uses of “girl” or “baby”.

Use Time Tested Rhymes. Make sure that you rhyme “love” and “above” at least twice. The song becomes doubly awful if you can also incorporate the word “dove”. Example: “You sent your love from above, makes my heart feel like a pure white dove.” You get the point.

Be Vague About Your Theology. Make sure to avoid any theology at all costs. Don’t talk about atonement, wrath, or any other biblical concepts. You want your song to be all about feeling. Don’t let the mind get in the way. Repeat after me: “Worship is a warm feeling, sort of like heartburn, only better.”

Make the Song All About You.  The main point of your song should be your experiences and how God makes you feel. Don’t bother with objective truth about God. I would suggest that you use the words “I” or “me” at least 12-15 times. For example, “I feel like singing, yes I feel like spinning, because You make me feel so good inside. Like it’s my birthday, but more awesome.”

Be Incredibly Poetic. If you can, muddy the waters with poetic phrases that don’t make much sense. Example: “Your love is like a warm summer’s breeze, washing over my heart like a crystal river.”

Use Well-Worn Musical Progressions. If you can, keep your music and melody boring. I would suggest that you use no more than four distinct notes in a song, so that by the time someone is done listening to it they want to scream. A worship scream, but a scream nonetheless. It also helps if you use the chords G, C, and D over and over.

Defend Your Song Like It’s Your Firstborn Child. Do not, I repeat, do not, let anyone make suggestions for improvement. Tell people that God laid the song on your heart. Tell people that you really want to preserve the artistic integrity of the song. Tell people that you already did the song at your campus ministry and that a revival broke out. Don’t take advice from anyone.

There you have it. Seven ways to write a terrible worship song. You can thank me later.

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  1. Bernard J. Schey
    July 17th, 2012 at 10:44 | #1

    Intriguing paraphrase of Psalm 150 there, but on Point #2 (rhyme) I would suggest: “And you fit me like a glove after life gave me a big shove.” Note who fits who and what did what…

  2. Jonathan Trost
    July 17th, 2012 at 11:37 | #2

    Those criteria bring to mind this chorus part of a decades old “gum drop” with a real “me and Thee” ring to it:

    “Heavenly sunshine, heavenly sunshine,

    “Filling my soul with glory divine.

    “Heavenly sunshine, heavenly sunshine,

    “Hallelujah! Jesus is mine!”

  3. July 17th, 2012 at 17:37 | #3

    Ha! That guy is great!

  4. July 18th, 2012 at 00:05 | #4

    This pretty much describes every single CCM song out there.

    If you REALLY want to write a good song, go out and slug someone in the face. Then write a song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdiZSoeV2pI

  5. July 18th, 2012 at 00:15 | #5

    Here’s something I did a while back that I’m still working on. The ?????? mean I don’t know what should go there.

    Show me your ways, Oh, Lord.
    teach me your paths ?????????
    Guide me in truth and teach me
    Remember Me! Oh Lord, Remember Me.

    Remember not the sin of my youth.
    Remember not the sin of today,
    According to your love, Remember Me.
    FOr you are good, Oh Lord, Remember Me!

    The troubles of my heart have multiplied.
    Free me from my anguish and my sin
    May integrity protect me.
    Let me not be put to shame, Remember Me!

  6. July 18th, 2012 at 00:23 | #6
  7. Rev. Allen Bergstrazer
    July 19th, 2012 at 08:26 | #7

    @Jesse Harmon
    You’re trying to write the 25th Psalm?

  8. July 19th, 2012 at 11:20 | #8

    @Rev. Allen Bergstrazer

    That’s EXACTLY what I was doing.

  9. Natalie
    July 20th, 2012 at 07:17 | #9

    I know a handful of people that write contemporary worship songs. While they don’t (intentionally) follow the first six steps, that last step is the one that they each hold for sure. We have enthusiasm to thank for giving us the last step…we aren’t allowed to question anything they come up with when they drop the “the Lord laid it on my heart” line on us.

    • July 20th, 2012 at 08:23 | #10

      Ah, yes, the old “The Lord told me….” gambit.

      Of course, you could say, “Well, the Lord told me he didn’t.”

      : )

  10. David Ernst
    July 20th, 2012 at 16:49 | #11

    Actually the chorus is:

    On the wings of a snow-white dove,
    He sends his pure sweet love.
    A sign from above, on the wings of a dove.

    I do not know who wrote, but Ferlin Husky sang it back in the early 1960s. And the lyrics have more content than most current praise songs:

    When troubles surround us, when evils come.
    The body grows weak, the spirit grows numb.
    When these things beset us, He doesn’t forget us,
    He sends down his love, on the wings of a dove.

    When Noah had drifted on the flood many days, he searched for land in various ways.
    Troubles, he had some, but he wasn’t forgotten,
    He sent him his love, on the wings of a dove.

    When Jesus went down to, the river that day,
    He was baptised in the usual way,
    and when it was done, God blessed His son,
    He sent him his love, on the wings of a dove.

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