Just wondering what people's views are on changing lyrics of popular worship songs such as 'How He Loves' (by John Mark McMillan) and 'Blessed be Your Name' (by Matt Redman).
The original version of How He Loves had the line:
'Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss'
but some of the covers of the song changed the line to:
'Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss'
Similarly I've heard that some people change the line in Matt Redman's song 'Blessed be Your name' from:
'You give and take away' to 'You give and bless the day'.
Presumably this is legal and the artist's permission was sought before making these changes to the song lyrics - but why do people feel the need to change them? Why not just use a different song?
How He Loves: I noticed they do that at lots of youth events... Maybe because the exact wording could be seen as inappropriate? I mean, "sloppy wet" kiss isn't exactly something I've seen in Biblical reference to anything, seems more like something the "world" would do / talk about.
Blessed Be Your Name: No idea why they change that, it's completely Biblical as it is? Maybe some people don't like that God takes stuff away as well as gives?
"Sloppy wet" is my strong preference -- more poetic and emotive. OK, I get that people are worried about inappropriate Eros, but I think that's a gross over-reaction. *I* actually think of that big Ummmmwah! smacker grandma used to lay on me or even the totally unabashed, uninhibited, loving greeting from my dog. You might feel offended by references to grandma and my dog if you mistakenly equate them with the LORD Almighty, but that's *not* the comparison made. Besides, "unforseen kiss" is unclear and, viewed a certain way, *more* creepy. Rethink.
Meanwhile, while the first discussion centered around poetry and personal preference, the substitution for "give and take away" is a LOT more troubling, theologically. The Scripture says: "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.'" [Job 1:20-21, NIV]
Matt Redman, as usual, keeps the spirit and intent of the Scripture in the song. The two times I've visited churches with the "give and bless the day" or similar substitution, it became clear from the focus in music, preaching, prayer concerns and offertory, that their prosperity theology cannot recognize the truly sovereign, Holy (i.e. "Other", "Set apart") God, who decrees in Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"
One of the most profound statements: You give and You take away. And "sloppy wet kiss" was written to express a significant passon between God and His people. My son fellowships at Vineyard in Gainesville FL, where I first heard the original lyrics to How He Loves. Thanks, Vineyard, for keeping the lyric.
I say leave the lyrics be....
I noticed a number of people stop worshipping and get a strange look on their face when I sang sloppy wet kiss, so I changed it to infinite kiss.
Then I changed it again to heaven meets earth and I cannot resist.
I can't imagine why anyone would change the words in Blessed Be.
How He Loves: Sloppy wet kiss is more than just romantic, (and lets face it, Song of Solomon is FULL of such lyrics that Hebrew boys could not read it until after their Bar Mitzphah. (Sp?) Sloppy wet kiss reminds me of the faithfulness of a puppy running to see his master and express the excitement of reuniting. In theory, unforeseen doesn't really even make sense-it was just a lyric that seemed to fit.
Blessed Be Your Name: feel good, band aid Christians who are afraid to get real and admit that sometimes God takes things away as well.
My opinion, and I realize it is just that, is that rather than change the lyrics, TEACH on the lyrics and how they really are relevant and don't have to be sensual and ungodly. There's a depth and intimacy and passion expressed in worship that should be unmatched.
I'd thought this was going to be a spoof lyrics thread, about singing 'I'm a gibbon' instead of 'I'm forgiven'.
I expect the lyrics touched nerves, and the changers want to use the rest of the song with that bit made palatable. I remember times in the past when songs were modded because of weak/poor lyrics (can't remember which - we're talking a long time ago) and we certainly wouldn't have even thought to ask the writer. Those were the days when worship songs were seen as given to build the body, rather than as part of a record deal.
A slightly tangental question - if we change the tune and feel of a song, should we consult the author for that?
The guy who did the music for the Doxology (Praise God for whom all blessings flow) had previously done jail time for changing the melodies to tunes. Yet there's a certain leeway, especially when genius is involved. Bach, who was ultra-conservative in regards to how melodies were sung by the congregation, took the same melodies all over the place in his chorale preludes.
There may be a difference between changing the feel and changing the meaning of a song. A good melody has thousands of melodies within itself -- it gives birth to invention and variation and experimenting with feel. That's my five centavos.
Jail time? Really?
Sheesh, it's only music, unless you're plagiarising to make money.
Louis Bourgeois (quite a name, when you think about it) was one of the three main composers of the Geneva Psalter; but he had a habit of altering some of the well-known psalm tunes, which got him in trouble with the authorities, who threw him into jail Dec. 3, 1551. Likely it was John Calvin who intervened and sprung him. (main Wikipedia article on Louis Bourgeois). Gives you something to think about on separation-of-church-and-state issues!
One of our worship leaders changes the lyrics to songs quite a lot, its not cool and is of course Illegal. As for your examples, i prefer unforeseen kiss, i think this was changed just so everyone (including the hard looking men) can sing it without feeling to uneasy. as for you give and bless the day....that has a total different meaning to you give and take away so i don't agree with that one.