What I meant to write…

Yesterday, I managed to write an entire post without mentioning the subject I’d intended to blog about. Actually, I vaguely touched upon it – it involved singing & church – but I mostly got distracted by my own narcissism. Again.

I have a love-hate relationship with worship music, you know, the songs (as opposed to hymns) that get sung in churches of a more evangelical bent. Mostly I love them, but at the same time, they’re not brilliant in a technical musical way and can be oh so slightly repetitive. Then there’s the fact that most worship leaders subscribe to the philosophy that Christian soft-rock rules…

And most worship leaders are male. This isn’t some feminist musical rant – honest – but the fact that most of the people who write and lead these songs do so in keys that are completely incompatible with female vocal ranges. (It’s how I end up singing harmony lines most of the time.) Take my current favourite Matt Redman song – at church singing the chorus’ tune involves a bit of soprano style screeching, thanks to the worship team’s transposition of it to a key that best suits them.

Plus (and this may be a massive generalisation) but guys in worship bands appear to have aspirations beyond the sanctuary. At my church at least, you can guarantee that at any one time there will be at least:
– one band member referred to only by their surname
– one, if not two questionable hats
– one, if not two questionable hairstyles/examples of facial hair
Not to mention the developing of worship styles that sound uncannily like major bands of the moment.

Take last Sunday for example. There was the Coldplay style worship song (You’re Beautiful) in which the lead guitar goes to town with the whammy bar and the backing vocalists sing very credible “oooohs”. My least favourite song of the moment – Jesus Saves – was turned into a veritable rock anthem (again only singable at male pitch), there may even have been head-banging. Finally, we segued from one track to another via Kings of Leon style “woahs” (specifically Use Somebody style). Don’t get me wrong, I loved it – I was up on stage with them after all – and I have massive respect for the bands’ musicality, but it amused me.

Before you think I’m being totally sexist, I’ve never noticed this kind of behaviour from female worship leaders. True, one of my friends might turn almost every song into a jazz standard, but I kind of like that. Otherwise they just seem to go with the mood and remain faintly inconspicuous (whilst also singing at a sane pitch).

Now, the moment the band decides to do a Take That (more likely than Boyzone, I figured) style worship set, I will be all over them like a rash…

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