Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#69 YOU ARE HOLY (PRINCE OF PEACE) - Michael W. Smith


Goodbye summer. Yea, I know, summer isn't officially over until Sept 21st, but everyone generally recognizes Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. And of course, the end of summer means we all have to go back to work, back to school, and I have to get back to the business of chronicling the 100 Best Worship Songs of All Time.

The summer of 2015 will be remembered for a lot of things. It was the summer of Donald Trump, the summer of Star Wars trailers, the summer of Hillary Clinton lying (every summer, really), and the summer of a whole bunch of people taking to the streets to protest because all of the bad choices they've made in their lives turned out badly for them.

But I'll most remember the summer of 2015 as the summer that my very first girlfriend passed away. OK, I guess technically she wasn't my girlfriend, but she certainly was my first crush as a 9 year old boy. Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl on the campy 1960s TV series passed away last month at the age of 78.

R.I.P. Batgirl. Keep kickin' the bad guys.
You young folks might not believe this, but back in the early 1970s my TV only had 6 channels. And one of those channels played Batman reruns all the time, and that's when I fell in love with Batgirl. And yea, I'm sure that eventually I moved on to Charlie Angel's or whatever, but I'll always remember Batgirl as my first love. For more on my weird adolescence, and perhaps the most wonderful/terrible music video of all time, see this post: Savior To Me, Kerrie Roberts. And now (finally), on to this week's song.

EVERYONE knows this song, I mean everyone. Sure, you may not recognize it from the title, but if you're here because you like worship music,(1) there's a 97% chance that you've belted out this song at church camp, or youth group, or a 'Financial Freedom Found in the Book of Lamentations' conference.

(1) Yea, most of you are here because you like worship music. But there is a tiny percentage of my audience that is here because they googled "Hoverboard" and came here to see my expert Hoverboard analysis from my last post.

You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) is one of those songs that is in the personal history of virtually everyone who grew up around the church, youth groups, etc.  From the mid 1990s on, it was just one of those songs that always seemed to get thrown in whenever the worship team decided on their list. But still, there may be some that might not recognize it from it's title, so here are some lyrics:

(Girls, you sing the parts in the parathesis after the guys):

You Are Holy (You Are Holy)
You Are Mighty (You Are Mighty)
You Are Worthy (You Are Worthy)
Worthy of Praise (Worthy of Praise) ...

Ok, so now do you know which song I'm talking about? Good. And don't try to deny it, I know you were singing along as you were reading - it's a VERY singable song. As a matter of fact, in a recent poll in the magazine "Made Up Statistics About Worship Music Weekly", the song You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) was voted the #1 most singable song in the entire history of modern worship music.(2)

(2) I find it a bit strange that a periodical with such an oddly specific name like "Made Up Statistics About Worship Music Weekly" would have enough material to publish every week. But hey, people still read Newsweek and think it's the real news.

I apologize. Seemed like a good idea at the time

The best part of the song, of course, is when the guys and the girls sing the competing and totally separate choruses at the same time. Does anyone know what that's called? There's gotta be a musical term for it, doesn't there? It's not just 'a round', is it? Round seems too easy to be the term they'd use for it. Music always seems to have the overly complicated terms for things like this - something like contra-lyrical, or some other such stuff.

Ok, little tangent there. But I really do love the part where the men and the women sing different things at the same time in this song. And, I've got a confession to make: There were times when I sang the girl parts in this song instead of the boys parts. I think some of it was that the girls parts are usually cooler than the guys parts. But I think the main reason is that I was young, it was college, it was a confusing time, and we were all sort of experimenting with our gender identity - DON'T JUDGE ME!(3)

(3) My therapist just called and booked a few extra sessions this week.

According to the CCLI page, this song was written by the memorable duo of Marc Imboden and Tammi Rhoton in 1994, so it just falls under my rather arbitrary definition of 'modern worship'. We're going to use Michael W. Smith's 2002 version for the video, because, well, you know, people have heard of Michael W. Smith.

Not to disparage Marc and Tammi, but I googled them and the only thing that came up was You Are Holy (Prince of Peace). Perhaps they did other things during their respective worship careers, but I didn't see anything. Maybe after writing this song together they fell  in love, got married, and moved to Montana and out of the spotlight. Who knows? But for now, these one-hit wonders are the Dexys Midnight Runners of modern worship.

Anyway, here's the Michael W. Smith version of You Are Holy (Prince of Peace). As a bonus, I've added a Smitty classic video, complete with sick vest and acid wash jeans in Andy's Extras 2. Enjoy.



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