I have made a rough recording of a worship-style song that I believe is complete, but I've learned that if I can put it in front of this helpful group of songwriters, that perhaps I can gain some insights to make it better.  So, I'm not just sharing here, I want some thoughts about what you do and don't like on this one, and any recommended changes.  

I'll post 1 links to the song.  This link shows the lyrics in the "Show More" area, but I'll post them at the bottom of this discussion area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6iqBuLW9fU

(ps - Charles, I know the video is bad - it's just my way of capturing the song as a rough demo ;-) )

Thanks in advance for giving it a listen and for any constructive thoughts you may offer.

We’ve carried here our sorrows
Shame, stress, concern and regret
But You, Lord, provide in our weakness
And You cancel all of our debt

Taker of all our burdens
Giver of all we need

To You Lord our King
With all we bring
Your praises we will sing
We bow down
Remove our crowns
For the Taker and the Giver of all

Taker of all our sin
Giver of salvation
Taker of all our sorrows
Giver of all we need

To You Lord our King
With all we bring
Your praises we will sing
We bow down
Remove our crowns
For the Taker and the Giver –

To You Lord our King
With all we bring
Your praises we will sing
We bow down
Remove our crowns
For the Taker and the Giver of all
Lord of all

[Isaiah 53: 4-6; Ephesians 1: 3-14; Ephesians 4: 7-13]

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(Note: for anybody who wants to see the lyrics, they are included on the soundcloud page, but note to Brian, it would still be nice to post them here, it makes it easier for people who want to comment on specific lines...)

Hey, Brian -

So "Taker and Giver" is a little bit of an oddball title, it makes me think of "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," though that's not where you went with it.  Point being that I kinda want the focus of the lyric to be explaining what that title means.  As in, I want "Taker of all our burdens / Giver of all we need..." to be the thing that sticks in my head when I'm done hearing the song.  Like, mash up "We bow down / remove our crowns / for the taker of our burdens / giver of all we need," make that the chorus and give it a catchy bit of music (that resolves to the I chord) and repeat that repeatedly.  Then build some focused verses by picking & choosing from the rest of the words you have - one verse about our sorrows, shame etc.; a second verse about salvation stuff, a third verse about (just) praises.


The song does do a bit more explaining of the taker/giver idea later on, but I guess I really want this thing to focus on explaining that title, not assuming that once the congregation has heard it once they'll "get it" for the rest of the song.


The vocal phrasing on "taker of OUR sin" is a little weird, would suggest figuring out how to sing that phrase so the emphasis is on SIN, not "OUR."

First line... how 'bout "We're carried here by our sorrows..." First verse observation, it starts out being about "sorrows, shame" etc. and "cancel all our debt" is really a different thought.  


When I'm working with a lyric like this, this is part of the process... even if the lyric is scripture-based, once I've got a basic lyric written out, then I put the Bible away and start looking at the ideas that are expressed and trying to group them so that v1 is focused on one, umm, "approach" to the central idea of the song.  Gather up the lines that really express that central idea into a chorus, then look for some more lines that express another "approach" to that idea... so forth and so on.  I try to do that before I do music or assign a title to the song 'cause once I do those things, I don't want to do anything to the lyric that would mean I have to change the music or title...


Anyway... to me, the lyric needs restructuring as described above, so that the song makes its point better, so that it walks the congregation (who will be singing it) through a thought process and they come away thinking, "oh, yeah, I never thought about it that way..."  I like "Taker and Giver" as the title, but it's just mysterious enough that the song needs to center on explaining what that phrase means.

Hope that's helpful... as it is, if I was wearing my WL shoes, I think my reaction would be, "nah, there are a lot of better songs out there, we'll pass on this one." 

To Charles:  Thank you for your review and feedback.  I'll take some time to examine what you wrote and see what I can do to improve the lyrics for clarity.  As I read them, I'm not sure where the congregation would be confused, but I'll think more about what you said and also wait to see what input others here may share.

I would like a little more feedback on this one if a couple more would add their thoughts. What do you like about it if anything? What do you dislike? What would make it better? If it is a complete dud, feel free to say so - it wouldn't be the first or last complete dud that I've ever written.

FWIW, listened again and I think my earlier comments still stand.  To you as writer, everything may hang together, but I got to the end of the song and just felt like it said a bunch of different things.  And if I was in the position of a person from whom "the Lord has takethed away," I don't think I'd come away with a feeling of, "ahh, now I understand..."  If you do a rewrite on the song, try to write it to/for that person.  Maybe try focusing it on "me" rather than on "we," make it a little more personal, even if a whole congregation of people would be singing the song at once.

C'mon some other people who disagree with me, tell Brian what you think :-)

Thanks again Charles.  Apparently not much interest in this one - perhaps I am asking for feedback too often. :-)  But I really do appreciate yours, and I am glad that it isn't often what I want to hear.

I think your points are valid.  If you feel that the song goes too many places then it is worth doing a rewrite on that issue alone to see what I can do to focus it a little better.  I felt all along that some adjustments may be in order regardless which is why I shared it as "not entirely set in concrete".

My own analysis of the song (combined with some of your initial comments) makes me think that this song might be a little to "hook-ish" for a worship song.  I tend to write more CCM/pop-ish sorts of songs, and there is naturally more "hook" involved.   Making hooks for worship songs, such as this one, might make it a little too gimmicky.  We are not typically inspired by "taker" as much as "giver", even though the point of the worship song is to reflect on the bad that Christ bears for us, and the good that Christ gives us - all of that adding up to one motivation for worship and praise.  However, good worship songs will follow a theme more so than present a hook-ish idea, and I think that may be a weak point for this as a worship song.  

I am personally ok with the melody (though not very unique), and perhaps the hook idea is ok for a CCM/pop song, but on your feedback combined with my own analysis, it isn't suitable as a worship/praise song as it stands.  If others have thoughts, feel free to share, but I think I know where to go with it from here.

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