4 Song EP!: Rise Up!

So, I wrote 4 songs for this project I had to do at school...

It is this class where I could do a project, literally almost anything, where I synthesized the material that I was learning. I decided to write and play some songs. These are not finished. I have my favorites. The next four blog posts will be about these four songs.

Here is a playlist with all 4 on youtube. You can easily listen to any of them. I am going to blog about what I was attempting to do and say in each song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3udEpVy92w4&list=PL3A3C391AEE5B22F5&feature=plpp_play_all

The first song is my LEAST favorite but it has been knocking around in my head. It is called "Rise Up!"

“Rise Up!”

With your left hand you clear my path, With your right you hold me close
Your Holy fire all around me will be my light home, it will be my light home

Rise up our God the Lord above, You are the great and Mighty One
You stay our enemies away, you pour out all you grace

You, O Lord our God, are a warrior as the sacrificial lamb
Lion of the tribe of Judah, You are the Great ‘I AM’, You are the Great ‘I AM’

Rise up our God the Lord above, You are the great and Mighty One
You stay our enemies away, you pour out all you grace

Pour out your grace. Lend us your peace.
Lord, make your face to shine within us deep
Please move your hand to keep us

Rise up our God the Lord above, You are the great and Mighty One
You stay our enemies away, you pour out all your grace

            This song serves as the invocation of the album. The terms are more general. The song is a song of praise for who God is. Some of God’s names and titles are mentioned here to draw our attention to the God of the Trinity revealed in Christian and Hebrew Scripture. The bold texts are the choruses or “the hooks.” These are invitations for the Lord to rise up both in our lives and in our worship. Singing the song in the manner gives permission to God to work God’s will in our lives as it is in heaven. The bridge is an allusion to the Aaronic Blessing found in Numbers 6.
            One of the most interesting things about this song is my attempt to incorporate and synthesize God’s specific gender attributes. There seems to be two movements in the church today. One is to make the God-head gender neutral. This is done (1) to keep the portrayal of God from being hijacked by the privileged and (2) because God is not a man/human and does not fit into our gender construction (Habakkuk 11, et al.). Another movement in the conservative evangelical church is to make the church more masculine. Often in the second movement, the critique is that church is geared too much towards women and a major part of this critique is worship music. Though I am not so much in favor of making the church manlier, this song does seek to embrace both sides initially and on the surface. But then, the song, shows that the God we worship and follow as example defies many of our masculine archetypes and rises above all gender construction created by modern society. This is achieved by using metaphor, scripture and contrast. An example of this is in the second verse where God is called a warrior but only as the sacrificial lamb. The chorus refrains that yes, not only is God mighty and fights our enemies but also pours out grace. Some other gender juxtapositions are Left hand and adventurous path/ right hand to hold close, Fire/Light and home. The bridge holds the place of synthesis in the tension of gender attributes between God and humans. The Aaronic blessing displays our complete reliance on God for all things, peace, blessing, safety, grace. Gender cannot save us or make our quality of life better or worse. It is a social construction that will toss and turn with the generations. The Lord alone is the righteous example, being both caregiver and protector.

In layperson's terms:
  • I have had this song in my head a long time. 
  • I love the intro, banjo thing, but 
  • the rest of the song falls flat for me, but maybe it will bless someone else.
  • I wrote it to try and write a more manlier worship song but my goal was not to make church more manlier
  • Instead, I tried to emphasize attributes of God in a juxtaposed and mysterious way, the way the scripture does, with God as both feminine and masculine according to our current gender constructions. 
    • Yes God is masculine but God's power resides in dying on the cross of shame, suffering, and death.
    • Yes, God is feminine, but God's femininity expresses itself by creating us sons and daughters who conquer sin, death and the grave in the spreading of the Kingdom.


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