Sneaking non-church music into the church band

bigjonbigjon Shipmate
A passing remark of mine in the 'Metal' thread has set off a tangent that apparently deserves its own thread, so here goes -

As an electric guitarist I enjoy putting elements of Hard Rock 80s-style into the arrangements of songs we play in church - here's a thread to share favourites.
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Comments

  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    I'll start with one that I was reminded of recently in the radio -

    Bring Me To Life by Evanescence happens to have the same chord sequence in its chorus as the first half of Father God I Wonder, so it's a simple matter to carry over the low-down gated killswitch-stuttering distorted guitar with pinch-harmonic squeal (slowed down a bit) from one to the other :-)
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I know of an organist who, visiting my parents' ultra-High parish, managed to sneak 'Smoke gets in your eyes' into the communion music ...
  • Mine are a bit out of date:

    The opening riff of "Pretty Woman" goes nicely in Paul Oakley's "All around the world" just after the line "lift the banner high, hear the lion roar".

    "Let there be Joy" by Bruce Napier pretty much is "Rockin' all over the world" by Status Quo with no further adjustment required.

    The opening riff of "Where the Streets have no name" goes well right before the chorus in "The Lord is my strength and my song" by Frank Gallian.

    And the intro to Hillsong's "My Redeemer Lives" is positively crying out to have the opening riff of "Spirit of Radio" plastered over it.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited October 27
    There have always been incidences of musicians "sneaking in" elements of pieces not written for worship. The simple reason is that back in the day before the electronic "church band" (yes, there really was a time!) you had a situation where good musicians split their time working between church and secular employers.

    The difference between then and now is that your modern "praise band" (call it what you will) is, for the most part, made up of musicians with less skill than those of the 18th century church orchestra and the people writing the music are less first rate (such as Bach) than fourth rate (such as Messrs Schu**e, Kend**ck, etc).

    And while the "sneaking in" bit can be fun (every organist worth his/her salt knows to work in Any Umbrellas?, Singing in the Rain, Pennies from heaven, etc in the preamble before a wedding in a downpour) that doesn't include the rampant plagiarism in some worship music: one of the worst and most flagrant examples is this, which was originally this chart-topper.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate

    And while the "sneaking in" bit can be fun (every organist worth his/her salt knows to work in Any Umbrellas?, Singing in the Rain, Pennies from heaven, etc in the preamble before a wedding in a downpour) that doesn't include the rampant plagiarism in some worship music: one of the worst and most flagrant examples is this, which was originally this chart-topper.

    Please can we type out titles rather than just provide anonymous YouTube links? It makes the conversation easier to follow. Thanks.

    Those two songs were Let There Be Love Shared Among Us by Graham Kendrick, and Les Bicyclettes De Belsize by Engelbert Humperdinck.

    A more recent example of wholesale plagiarism was Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart which takes the Pachelbel's canon chord sequence as its base. For arrangement / production ideas there are several pop singles which have already done the work for you - my preferred style is the Acid Indie of All Together Now by The Farm, but many would prefer the disco electronica of Go West by the Pet Shop Boys, which has a very similar melody on top.
  • Before either of those are deemed plagiarism, some justification would be in order.

    Record companies are pretty good at winning plagiarism lawsuits when there's sufficient evidence, and a quick google doesn't turn up any for either of these. "Inadvertent" plagiarism is a recognised phenomenon; this well-known case about Stairway to Heaven appears to be as yet unresolved, and I can think of several others, just not the actual details.
  • I knew an organist who, when the bride was late, would play an arrangement of "Why Are We Waiting". The congregation didn't notice but it made the choir giggle.
  • Our late organist, improvising before the service, would segue into "Why are we waiting" one minute after eleven o'clock if the clergy had not appeared.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Before either of those are deemed plagiarism, some justification would be in order.

    I am not looking up dates, but I think Give Thanks predates Go West, and nobody is suggesting that The Pet Shop Boys were listening to worship music at the time.

    The examples are, I suspect, accidental - potentially inspired by similar things, or even one by the other without realising. Pachabels cannon was a common piece at the time - played a lot, heard a lot. So quite possibly a join inspiration from a great piece of music.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    It's not rock (?science?), but "We three Kings" has similar chords to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, so when our son is home, Christmas carols get a piratical flavour....
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited October 27
    bigjon wrote: »

    And while the "sneaking in" bit can be fun (every organist worth his/her salt knows to work in Any Umbrellas?, Singing in the Rain, Pennies from heaven, etc in the preamble before a wedding in a downpour) that doesn't include the rampant plagiarism in some worship music: one of the worst and most flagrant examples is this, which was originally this chart-topper.

    Please can we type out titles rather than just provide anonymous YouTube links? It makes the conversation easier to follow. Thanks.

    Those two songs were Let There Be Love Shared Among Us by Graham Kendrick, and Les Bicyclettes De Belsize by Engelbert Humperdinck.

    Sorry.

    Let there be love words are by Dave Bilbrough and it was copyrighted through Kingsway Music in 1979, listing (as you say) GK as responsible for the music.

    Les Bicyclettes de Belsize was written for the eponymous short film (itself an hommage to Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) by Les Reed and Barry Mason in 1968. Englebert Humperdink only recorded the English version - others included Mireille Mathieu (French), Alfred (Spanish) and a multiplicity of instrumental versions, all of which achieved chart success and all released in the late 1960s.
    A more recent example of wholesale plagiarism was Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart which takes the Pachelbel's canon chord sequence as its base.
    GTWAGH has other problems, first of which is that while Don Moen claims to have written it, the words first appeared and were credited to Henry Smith, a blind man, in 1978.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I've often been struck by the similarity between the hymn 'Angel voices ever singing' and the chorus from Iolanthe that begins 'We are dainty little fairies ...'
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    edited October 27
    I am not looking up dates, but I think Give Thanks predates Go West, and nobody is suggesting that The Pet Shop Boys were listening to worship music at the time.
    Go West was done by Village People in the late 70s - the Pet Shop Boys version is a cover.
    The examples are, I suspect, accidental - potentially inspired by similar things, or even one by the other without realising. Pachabels cannon was a common piece at the time - played a lot, heard a lot. So quite possibly a join inspiration from a great piece of music.

    I have NO evidence but I strongly suspect that O Praise The Name (Anastasis) by Hillsong (first line is "I cast my mind to Calvary") was influenced by Disturbed's cover of Sound Of Silence from earlier that year, especially at the point where the melody goes up the octave in a later verse (2:08 in the Hillsong video, it's certainly fun, and lyrically appropriate, to try and add a metal high growl to the vocals for "The angels roar for Christ the King" in the style of "and my words like silent raindrops fell" at 2:55 in the Disturbed video)
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    I started playing Dire Straits’ “Why Worry” on the organ during communion one Sunday, to reflect the gospel reading we’d had about not worrying about tomorrow. Most people apparently didn’t notice. One man complimented me on the choice afterwards.
  • I recall an organist at a civic service playing the Red Flag on the pedal organ, whilst playing something else on the great and swell manuals. Not many noticed.
  • I love that! What political colour was the Council?
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    bigjon wrote: »
    I am not looking up dates, but I think Give Thanks predates Go West, and nobody is suggesting that The Pet Shop Boys were listening to worship music at the time.
    Go West was done by Village People in the late 70s - the Pet Shop Boys version is a cover.

    I knew one was a cover - I just got it the worng way around. I an not sure on the dates still. I remember singing Give Thanks to the Go West tune and mashing up the lyrics.
  • I love that! What political colour was the Council?

    The Mayor was a member of the Labour Party, so he should have appreciated it.
  • Not if he was a Blairite.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I knew an organist who, when the bride was late, would play an arrangement of "Why Are We Waiting". The congregation didn't notice but it made the choir giggle.
    That's the reason I was exactly a minute early for our wedding: I was fairly sure that D. would have primed the organist to play it if I'd been a pico-second late. As it was, I had to wait for him, as he was in the vestry telling jokes to the clergy ... :mrgreen:

    D. was a master of the not-very-carefully-disguised segue: he could work a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan into almost anything*, and we even had Run, rabbit, run after a children's address that featured a toy rabbit.

    * He made an arrangement of Joy to the world that incorporated bits of G&S, Handel's Messiah and Rule, Britannia! in between the verses.
  • Jonah the WhaleJonah the Whale Shipmate
    edited October 27
    Of course "Why are we waiting" is a shameless plagiarism of "O come all ye faithful".

    We had one the other way round a few years ago, when a song was written for King Willem Alexander's coronation. The chorus sounded uncannily like 10,000 reasons by Matt Redman. The writer got a lot of stick for it, and swore that he wrote the tune eight years earlier but in the end he withdrew it. The relevant bit is about 1:25 minutes into this video. And you can read about the controversy here. But this is a bit tangential I guess.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    edited October 27
    A more recent example of wholesale plagiarism was ...
    You also have psalm 46 when (paraphrased and) set to "Dambusters"
    "Glorious things of you" to the Austrian National Anthem
    Psalm 22 set to "Doe of the morning"
    (I am a New Croation [sic](83) sounds like Birdhouse in your sould (90)*)
    Also a range of very local things that I have mixed opinions on.

  • DormouseDormouse Shipmate
    I remember my father in law's funeral. We had joked how we should have the Match of the Day theme for the recessional. The vicar passed this on to the organist, and as we left the church I suddenly realised that he was playing a version of that very theme, but suitably disguised . I'm afraid I started giggling inappropriately....
  • Lovely!
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    I recall an organist at a civic service playing the Red Flag on the pedal organ, whilst playing something else on the great and swell manuals. Not many noticed.

    I feel an instrumental "O Christmas Tree" would greatly improve Tory Christmas parties.
  • The musician in one of my churches refused ever to have any carol that went to Tannenbaum as he thought that people couldn't disassociate it from its political links. I suspect that it may have had more to to with his own politics ...

  • We had one the other way round a few years ago, when a song was written for King Willem Alexander's coronation. The chorus sounded uncannily like 10,000 reasons by Matt Redman. The writer got a lot of stick for it, and swore that he wrote the tune eight years earlier but in the end he withdrew it. The relevant bit is about 1:25 minutes into this video. And you can read about the controversy here. But this is a bit tangential I guess.

    It really does sound rather a lot like 10,000 reasons, I think.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    I'll start with one that I was reminded of recently in the radio -

    Bring Me To Life by Evanescence happens to have the same chord sequence in its chorus as the first half of Father God I Wonder, so it's a simple matter to carry over the low-down gated killswitch-stuttering distorted guitar with pinch-harmonic squeal (slowed down a bit) from one to the other :-)

    Now, now. Everyone knows that the only way to commence Father God I Wonder is to pretend to be in the Rolling Stones doing Paint it Black

    My memory is failing me (always the way), but there is definitely a worship song which is the absolute spit of Into My Arms by Nick Cave - and in the intro to the link here, he does talk about writing the song in a churchyard, which is lovely. The song might be By Your Side by Noel Richards. Whichever it is, I always tried to sneak Into Your Arms type piano into it.

    Not working things into the service, as I’d count it just a little too naughty, but we had a visiting preacher who was / is, I would consider, anti-LGBT as well as not very nice. I delighted, delighted I tell you, in muddling my way through* Glad to be Gay by Tom Robinson after the service.

    *The Organist is absolutely right about the lack of talent of many music band members in my case. I’m a lousy pianist.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    jay_emm wrote: »
    A more recent example of wholesale plagiarism was ...

    You also have psalm 46 when (paraphrased and) set to "Dambusters"
    "Glorious things of you" to the Austrian National Anthem
    Psalm 22 set to "Doe of the morning"
    (I am a New Croation [sic](83) sounds like Birdhouse in your sould (90)*)
    Also a range of very local things that I have mixed opinions on.
    No. Sorry.

    It is only plagiarism if you pinch someone else's music and tries to pass it off as your own. Depending on how used, who wrote it and when they died, it may be a breach of copyright but it is no more plagiarism if you intentionally and admittedly set your words to a pre-existing tune, than if you compose a tune to go with someone else's words.

    And on that, even if you have decided you deprecate people plundering Pachelbel's chord sequences for their own use, and even if the use they make of it tips into plagiarism rather than respect, Pachelbel died in 1706. So unless you try to pass his influence off as wholly your own work, it's no different from quoting bits of Shakespeare or borrowing one of Jane Austen's plots as was done both in Bride and Prejudice and Clueless.
  • I sing in a choir that visits cathedrals when the regular choirs are on holiday. We used to have an organist who would have great fun during the procession after the gospel reading. Particularly memorable to me are Thomas the Tank Engine, the theme from Thunderbirds, Mud Mud Glorious Mud and the Nokia ringtone
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited October 28
    Love it! It's great fun watching as the other members of the choir twig to what's going on. :mrgreen:
  • On another site I saw someone had written a liturgy for "Baby Shark": Lamb of God do do do do do-do; takes our sin do do do do do-do; grant us peace do do do do do-do..." I'm seriously contemplating trying it for a children's sermon...
  • SpikeSpike Admin
    edited October 28
    Piglet wrote: »
    Love it! It's great fun watching as the other members of the choir twig to what's going on. :mrgreen:

    Very often, what he was playing had some connection with the conversation we’d had in the pub after the previous day’s Evensong
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    On another site I saw someone had written a liturgy for "Baby Shark": Lamb of God do do do do do-do; takes our sin do do do do do-do; grant us peace do do do do do-do..." I'm seriously contemplating trying it for a children's sermon...

    No. Do not go there. And there's me on another thread saying nothing deserves eternal punishment...
  • My son was singing it last night in bed.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    edited October 28
    I have a lovely arrangement of Anakin Skywalker's theme which I played one April 1st. The one and only person who recognized it was the preacher's son, who was desperately trying to hide his laughter!

    (I had so many compliments on that music. A few people told me that it was the most beautiful music they had ever heard!! :smirk: )

    ETA, I had to have a title for that music in the bulletin, so I named it Phantasy on an Old Tune. :joy:
  • Right the setting of hymn words to popular tunes or popular words to hymn tunes has a long history. It goes both directions and always has. For those that want something before the modern era please have a look at Cameronian Cat which is in common meter so there are plenty of hymn tunes to choose from
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Right the setting of hymn words to popular tunes or popular words to hymn tunes has a long history. It goes both directions and always has. For those that want something before the modern era please have a look at Cameronian Cat which is in common meter so there are plenty of hymn tunes to choose from

    At Greenbelt in the late 80s Steve Taylor's mainstage encore was It Only Takes A Spark (Pass It On) sung to the tune of Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Being Scottish, I knew this as:
    There was an old Seceder cat
    And it was unco grey
    It caught a mouse within God's house
    Upon the Sabbath day ...
    I understand the thinking behind it was that you shouldn't sing hymns outside of actual church services, so if people wanted to practise the tune, they had secular words to sing it to.

    And of course, the only acceptable hymns were metrical psalms, which are all in Common Metre.
  • Do you remember those interesting books of Psalms and Paraphrases, with the pages split into a top and bottom half, so you could sing virtually any Psalm to any tune?

    "Let us be upstanding and singing Psalm 119, verses 33 to 40 and 65 to 72, to the tune 163". Those Scots were good listeners!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Baptist Trainfan a 'stable door psalter'. I've got one.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Me too. My copy is a 1929 printing IIRC
  • I think mine was, too.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    BT - I do indeed.

    I've just donated D's one (CH3) to the Cathedral, along with the rest of his extensive collection of hymnals and anthem books, for the use of his successor.
  • DormouseDormouse Shipmate
    Mention of the Dam busters reminds me of a time in chapel, when the priest, I think it was, refused the hymn that uses it (God is my strength and refuge?) because the tune glorified war . So the organist composed a tune for the hymn that wasn't quite but very nearly was the Dam busters. It was quite amusing.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    When we've done the Dam busters hymn there's been a minor outbreak of arms as wings and dive bombing in the choir but that's just us.

    I like to weave in some commentary on current events as for example Land of My Fathers and the SA National Anthem on Sunday just gone. I've been avoiding Brexit though as way too contentious - I did a minor key Ode to Joy on the day after the Referendum but that could have been read either way.
    When the women bishops vote was rejected by the laity after the clergy approved it I did Mendelssohn's War March of the Priests. As one would. And Ethyl Smythe's suffragette anthem.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    At my church in New Hampshire, every fall when we switched from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time, the organist played "God's Time is Best" as a prelude.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    Moo wrote: »
    At my church in New Hampshire, every fall when we switched from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time, the organist played "God's Time is Best" as a prelude.

    I love your organist from afar
  • Perhaps like Eutychus, I only have some dated examples of sneaking recycled rock and pop riffs into church music. The bass line from the Steve Miller Band's 'Joker' seems to turn up a lot in 'Lord we lift your name on high'; less conventionally, 'Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God' can be persuaded to zip along a bit like the Housemartins' 'Happy Hour Again'.

    (I've just started playing for church events again after a 30 year gap. Some people think my playing sounds fresh, which is because they're not old enough to know better. My kids are not deceived, because they've heard my influences.)
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    I've just managed to work in a standard blues progression into Come People of the Risen King. I have no idea if the band leader noticed at practice, but since I'm not actively forbidden from playing it, it's happening on Sunday.
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