Thursday, June 4, 2015

#72 WORTHY IS THE LAMB - Hillsong

As I checked back on my list, I see that it's been quite a while since we've had a Hillsong offering on the list, so I'm contractually obligated to throw another one of their songs out there. You see - and not a lot of people know this - but anytime anyone in the whole world puts the word 'worship' anywhere on the internet, the people from the Hillsong Church in Australia immediately know about it and then they contact you.

Once I was contacted by the Hillsong Church, I explained to them what I was going to do with my little blog here, they graciously said that they would consider my request. A few weeks later, after their lawyers contacted my lawyers, they explained that they would allow me to write my blog, but only if I consented to put at least one Hillsong song on the list every 10 songs or so. And they also said that if I would be so kind as to spell 'Zschech' correctly, they would release my grandma.

He pulls the towel off of the rack, and then sleeps on it. Smart cat.
The point of all that silliness is that Hillsong Church is the Beatles of modern worship, and they have a ton of great songs. As I peruse my top 100 list, I see that almost every group of 10 songs has at least one Hillsong song in it. The fact that the last one was in the mid 80s and this one is in the early 70s makes it seem like it's been quite some time since we've heard from them. Since my little crappy blog here continues to get new visitors each week by the boatload (yea, I know, I'm as surprised as anyone), here's a quick list of the Hillsong songs covered so far:

#105 - High and Lifted Up
#96  - One Desire
#91  - You Said
#85  - Here In My Life

As I mentioned earlier, in one of those posts, it's really hard to distinguish one good Hillsong song from another one. And this week's song is particularly difficult because of it's title, Worthy is the Lamb. There seems to be a lot of songs similarly titled, and one could confuse them. There is 'You Are Worthy', 'The Lamb is Worthy', 'You Are the Lamb', 'Worthy, You are Worthy', etc, etc, etc. And it doesn't help the confusion that they are all pretty good songs as well. Well, I mean all except the terrible 'Lambchop Worship', the opening track off of Hillsong's critically reviled Something About Worship, and Jesus, and Blah, Blah, Blah CD. (1)

(1) This is like a running blog gag I use for most Hillsong songs. You'll have to go back through all the Hillsong songs to get the joke. I think it's absolutely hilarious. More than likely, it is not.

Once again, not Hillsong's best work.
Song #72 on the top 100 countdown is somewhat unique in that the lead singer is not Darlene Zschech, but rather Miriam Webster. This dovetails with last week's song, Nothing Holding Back, which was a Jesus Culture song in which Kim Walker-Smith was not the lead singer. I think in order to keep this pattern going, next week I'll do a Passion song where Chris Tomlin doesn't sing, but rather plays the zither.

Worthy Is The Lamb is off of Hillsong's 2001 release, You Are My World. YAMW(2) is a typical Hillsong CD, with a bunch of great songs, and a few borrowed from Hillsong United, AND a top 50 song coming up later on this countdown (Spoiler Alert). But it's not the first album I think of when I think of great Hillsong albums. Look, if anyone else had put out this album, it would probably be the greatest thing they ever did, but for Hillsong, it's probably like their 7th or 8th best album.

(2) I'm going to shorten You Are My World to YAMW to save time from now on. You see, if I just use the initials, instead of spelling it out every time, I'll save a lot of typing. Heck, counting spaces, typing YAMW instead of You Are My World saves 12 characters every single time. 
But you know what, now that I think about it, any characters I saved by doing that, I'm using up anyway in explaining it to you right now. So, on second thought, from now on I just might as well type out You Are My World instead of just using YAMW.(3) 

(3) I'm weird.

Worthy Is The Lamb is a Hillsong song that hits my right squarely in my ear sockets. What I mean is, it's the exact type of song I LOVE to listen to. It's that thing where they start out really slowly and then build up to a fully orchestrated chorus thingy.(4) It's the type of song where if you played it for your church worship time, it would start out with everyone just swaying softly with their hands folded in front of them, but by the time the chorus hits, everyone would have their hands raised high and singing at the top of their lungs.

(4) I'm not really musical enough to explain why I like a particular song. That's why I pad my posts with so much 'Andy-weirdness'.

Another thing I just love about this song is that thing that Miriam does where the band and the whole church is belting out the chorus, but she's singing something different or she's singing the chorus differently than everyone else. You know, kind of like Paul McCartney for the last 6 minutes of Hey Jude.

My favorite part comes at about the 4:35 mark in the song, where the band and everyone in the congregation is singing the second part of the chorus, "High and Lifted Up", but Miriam lengthens it to, "He is...He is high, He is high, He is high and lifted up". And then, when everyone else is singing 'Jesus Son of God', she just sings 'Jesus'.

I'm sure there's a word for that, but I don't know what it is. What I do know is that I really enjoy hearing it every time it comes on my iPod or in my car. Worthy Is The Lamb is a strong, powerful, artfully done Hillsong classic, and even though it's not Darlene Zschech, it deserves to be on the list. Enjoy:

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