Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Comparative Religious Exam Paper 1 - Modern Christian Songs

Answer one (1) question only from each section.  


1. "I'll become even more undignified than this.  Na, na, na, na, na, na!  Hey!"  Justify this lyric, writing only in green crayon for your own protection. 

2. "Broken I stand, mercy I need."  Consider the possibility that "Kindle the Flame" was written by Yoda. 

3. "More Lord.  I must have more Lord." Struggle to sort out the grammar in this.

4. Discuss the concept of psychological impossibility in the context of the phrase "Forget about yourself and concentrate on him".

5. "This is the Year when hearts go free."  Which year was he thinking of?


1. "Kumbaya O Lord, Kumbaya".  What are the chances?

2. EITHER (a) "I am the Lord of the Dance, said he" - appalling hippy nonsense or Hindu syncretism? OR (b) Why on earth did Kevin Prosch think it was worth updating?  You may accompany your answer with diagrams of people in loon pants.

3. "Morning has broken" - just what on earth is being worshipped here?


1. "I want to be out of my depth in your love".  How deep, in your opinion, would be sufficient?

2. "Celtic" worship - rediscovered tradition with deep spiritual significance or a bunch of blokes with beards singing earnest lyrics with poor poetry?

3. Discuss the dangers of mixing metaphors in the context of the phrase "come and fill your lambs".

4. Why do so few men come to church?  Discuss in the light of the lyrics "Come hide me in your arms and calm my restless heart" and "my lover's breath is sweetest wine, I am his prize and he is mine."

5.   "Let me have my way among you, do not strive"  - how uncomfortable should this make you feel?


  1. The only ones I recognised at all were the ones from the sixties. Shows my age, I suppose. And how could I forget Lord of the dance when I was fired by the Anglican Bishop of Natal for singing it, leading to a front-page headline in the Natal Mercury, "Church profaned, says bishop"?

    Nut right from the first time I heard it, "Lord of the dance" made me think of Charles Williams's novel, The Greater Trumps

  2. As if this was new. Need I remind you of Horatius Bonar's hymn 'Go labour on'? With the last verse ending 'Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom's voice, The midnight cry, 'Behold I come!' Now that's a verse to cause the worshippers to blush!

  3. I am deeply concerned about the song popular in many Sunday Schools "Mr Cow" - do they not know that should be a BULL!!
    And why, in "These of the days of Elijah" do we sing about David rebuilding the temple. I thought it was Solomon.
    And in these days of GPS can someone please update "Mount Zion on the sides of the North" -where is that exactly?

  4. Dear Archdruid,

    A further section might have been devoted to that remarkable cultural phenomenon that 'new church music' since the 70s is written in the first person singular. Once upon a time we used to have songs in the plural, but hey, as brother Brian taught us, 'you are all individuals!'

    By the way, surely section 3 should be augmented by that classic hymn, sorry, worship song, "Lord, You put a tongue in my mouth".

    For some reason that always brings to mind a bumper sticker I once had the misfortune of noticing: "Jesus loves me, but I still make him wear a condom."

    On this note,

  5. excellent and confusing selection here Archdruid, but I wonder if you made the most of the Jesus is my boyfriend section...

    also would you like to comment on the lyrics:

    "I am the apple of God's eye,
    his banana over me is love..." ????

    Like Holger I am rather concerned by Ishamels lyrics...

  6. a section on the more 'extreme' expressions of love might have been put in as an appendix, featuring such numbers as:
    Bind us together Lord...
    Jesus take me as I am...


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