Soul-Rattling Music

The audience at the Jersey Boys’ off-broadway production sighed with “oooohs” and “aaaaahs.”

It wasn’t from any pyrotechnics popping on-stage.  It came from the beginning beats of the music (Kind of like: I can name that song in 3 notes).  And when a familiar Frankie Valli tune rolled out…folks sighed, swayed, and let the music travel somewhere deep within them.

That brings me to one of the biggest complaints I hear about CHURCH (or rather REASONS NOT TO GO TO CHURCH. Often people say….

“The music sucks.”

Yes, I know that’ll offend some folks, but if you haven’t heard it before, then you should know…some people….church people, non-church, borderline church goers, young, old…have mentioned this.


When a song that people really like shows up in the liturgy…you can tell immediately.  Voices swell on Beautiful Savior. Everyone knows the words…at least to the first verse. There’s no mumbling like the buzz of the drive-up intercom at a Taco Bell. Nope. Those verses are belted out loud and clear.  Harmony blooms.


What’s a great tune for one person…drives another person to gnash their teeth.  One summer we experimented with blue grass music. Banjos, pickers, juice harps. The whole service. Every service.  Every song. For me…a little went a long way.


And while it’s dandy to explain to the MusicSucksPerson why we sing, I’ve found it does little to change attitude.  They either choose not to sing or they go to the bathroom during a song or simply don’t come.


Get it off your chest. Take the poll.

What is it about church music you don’t like?  If you looooove everything, that’s wonderful, but you’ve probably heard someone complain about church music. What’d they say? Click the poll button.  You can even enter “other” and tell me about it.  Go ahead. Vote. Then come back and vote again.

The results will be posted on the August 30.

Perhaps, together, we can find the musical way to rattle a few souls out of apathy.

Photos: altrocker_99


18 thoughts on “Soul-Rattling Music

  1. Pingback: Dinner for the Exhausted | Lutheran Ladies Circle

  2. Well–if singing ability was the qualifier for Heaven, I’d be sunk to the “below”. The good news is, I go to “living room church” (online)–I love the music at Gateway Church (TX) and I can sing along, as happily but un-gifted as I am!! God bless you Big–love, sis Caddo

  3. Pingback: White People Trying to Clap | Lutheran Ladies Circle

  4. We have a pipe organ, and yes, they are hard to come by and harder to find a tuner. Every once in a while, I enjoy a bit of “Contemporary” music with guitars and drums and all that jazz, but mostly I prefer the old standards. I think the only hymn that absolutely drives me screaming from the pew is “Hail Thee, Festival Day” and if it’s not in the Lutheran hymnal, consider yourself lucky. (And now I’ll have the blasted tune stuck in my head all night.)

    • Lucky us! I looked and found that song in Lutheran hymnal—version 17l.385836303. We keep updating the hymnals and changing the color of the covers so we can be hip with the times. I’m expecting phosphorous hymnals next.
      Maybe you and I can learn that song, wonk up the beat and make a You Tube video of us singing it. Would that help overcome your dislike of it?

      • Um, have you caught the video of me singing at the Pentecost service? You might want to re-think your suggestion. As for up-dating hymnals – well, let’s just say Episcopalians move slowly on these things. The hymnal published 1982 is still refered to as “the new book”. The “real” hymnal was printed in 1940.

  5. I like music that will keep me awake and lift my heart. A little rockin’ beat won’t hurt a thing!
    In fact, the youth might be drawn in!!

  6. The music is perhaps the only thing I like about churches/places of worship. At its best it is soul stirring, and even bad church music is less offensive than say bad jazz.
    I hope you don’t mind a non-church goer popping in. I didn’t take the survey for fear of corrupting the data.

    • Honey bunny, you need to jump all over that survey. I’m so glad you’re here, commenting and jumping into the discussion. All are welcome…over and over again. You’re so right. Music in any situation helps open us up to the world around us and it can take us out of our It’s-All-About-Me moods. I worked for a large corporation that started its weekly meetings with a song. We’d all roll our eyes, but you know what? It helped us get over our snotty…I’d rather be at my desk attitude….at least for a few minutes. Bad jazz? Is there such a thing?

  7. The lack of any music at all due to budgets. Our church’s “organ” (it was a small one) went the way of all things, and our organist is now in a nursing home. We were left with either using recorded music or no music at all. That’s when The Spirit moves. Today we have a wonderful guitar choir that was formed by a few of our members.The music brings us together joyfully… can you ask for more?

    • Nope. You can’s ask for more. But maybe you’ve made the best point here. One that’s better than mine. Perhaps the folks who ARE asking for more (complaining about this or that) are the ones who have an abundance of instruments and artists? Perhaps when these items are spare…then we’re more thankful for what we’ve got? A humbling idea.

Add your 2cents to the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s