Archives For Music Of The Week

This week’s song is not making a deep theological statement…at least not one I could identify after my initial 25 listens.

I first heard Baby Monkey (Going Backwards On A Pig) when it was a free download on iTunes last year.  I LOVED it immediately…yes, I’m strange like that.  As soon as I played it for my kids it was quickly set to auto-repeat and we drove around town singing it at the top of our lungs.  Team Allen in all our glory.

I believe there’s a strange genius to this song as well.  Parry Gripp didn’t stop at singing about a baby monkey, or even a baby monkey riding a pig.  No, this baby monkey is riding backwards on a pig.

If you listen closely you’ll even find an encouraging message in the verse.  We all need a loving reminder to keep trying even when life is hard, and to do that while riding a pig…well that’s just freakin’ awesome!

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Forever Reign is one of those songs that took me a couple listens at first but then went and got itself stuck in my head.  I first heard this song when it was released by One Sonic Society this past year.  Hillsong also does it, however, I’m finding myself partial to the One Sonic Society arrangement and recording.

The cadence and feel of the verses build and lift as a confession of truth and declaration of God’s nature.  When the chorus arrives, I find a sense of God welcoming us intimately as we sing and praise His greatness.  The bridge becomes a place of speaking devotion to loving and following Jesus alone.  The music and lyrical connection are beautiful and moving.

My heart will sing
No other name
Jesus, Jesus

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Over the past few years I’ve received a lot of requests to use Take Me To The Cross in Easter services and productions.  I wanted to feature it this week since Lent season is upon us and the Easter celebration approaches.

When I was a kid, some of the most memorable vacation excursions were times when we would detour from our planned route.  Dad would show us where he grew up and tell us stories about what it was like for him growing up.  Those moments are still vivid memories for me.

I wrote Take Me To The Cross with my wife and another friend.  We wondered what it would be like if Jesus were to kind of be a tour guide and show us around the places He lived.  It would be cool to have Him tell us stories and talk about the experiences He had.  As we talked and thought more about what this would be like, we were aware of just how undone we would be by the powerful reality that Jesus lived and died for us…and that He lives again.

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Stronger ::: Hillsong

andyallen —  March 8, 2011 — 2 Comments

I’m a huge fan of songs that sing to and about Jesus.  Songs that proclaim who Jesus is, what He has done for us and our need for Him.  Stronger is one of those songs that tells the story of Jesus’ sacrifice and love, then builds up to a personal declaration of Jesus being Lord of all in our lives.

The production and arrangement on this recording really works well in a live worship experience.  I’ve also found that it’s pretty easy for everyone to find something they connect to when singing this song.  When I’ve had Stronger as part of my worship set, there is a very cool sense of commonality in the room as people engage in this song together.

You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

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This is definitely one of my favorite songs to come out in the past year.  It was written and recorded by the team at Elevation Worship.  There have been some incredible things happening at Elevation Church in North Carolina, with almost 11,000 people coming to faith in Jesus through this church since it began only five years ago…amazing!

I find this song to be powerful with words from the Lord’s Prayer in the verses and a cry for Jesus to make our hearts like His in the chorus.  The bridge really grabs me and is a great rallying call for believers to joyfully sing to God.  I think the reason I’m affected by this song is due to the strong lyrical and musical build throughout.  It inspires hope inside of me.

Raise your hopeful voices
Make a joyful noise and
Sing unto the King of Glory

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