Thursday, November 12, 2015

#68 COME AND FILL THIS PLACE - Al Denson


In my last post, found HERE, I said that "Everyone knows this song" when referring to You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) by Michael W. Smith. This week, it's just the opposite - no one knows the song that appears at #68 on the list of the 100 Best Worship Songs of All Time.

Of course it wasn't true when I said last time that everyone knew the song; and it's not true this week that no one knows the song. It's just that if you are familiar with this week's song, Come And Fill This Place by Al Denson, you probably didn't think it would show up on a list of the best worship songs of all time.

My long-time loyal readers know all too well that right about now is the part of my blog where I ignore the worship music and talk about something unrelated - like stories about my cats or 5 or 6 paragraphs about the scientific inaccuracies in the Back To The Future Movies.

Well, true to form, I am going to go off into story-time a little bit here. But unlike most other times, this time it's actually sort of relevant to the discussion of this week's entry in the 100 Best Worship Songs series.

Our story starts WAAAYY back in days of yore, in a time known as 1999. 1999 was a time of great significance in our nation's history. Kids around the nation could be seen riding their skateboards and listening to their phonograph recordings of The Grass Roots while doing the latest dance craze, the Bristol Stomp. A new hero named 'The Fonz' lit up our TV screens as he brought us love and laughter, which was much needed as President McKinley tried to fend off Hitler's invasion of Nebraska.(1)

(1) So I'm not a history professor - sue me.

If not for these two heroes, this blog would be written in German
The year 1999 was when I moved to Juniata County to start my tenure in the youth ministry. Of course (as you can see from the content of this blog), worship music was a big part of what we were doing back then. And it seems that the sole interest of most of the leaders that I was connected with at my church was to find the newest and bestest(2) worship music to stay on the cutting edge of the worship scene.

(2) Apparently I'm not an English professor either.

So, from the late 90s and for most of the rest of the next decade, I and my like-minded ministry pals were on a constant quest for the very best in worship music. One night as I was visiting/helping out another leader, he played the song Come And Fill This Place during our worship time.

Now you should know that by that time I was pretty sure I was up on all the latest happening in the worship scene, so to hear a new song that I immediately thought was awesome was a bit of a surprise to me. I thought I knew all the top groups, and churches, and event worship bands, etc; so I was sure that this 'Al Denson' was some new trendy worship leader on the scene.

Of course, as most of you probably know, Al Denson was not some new, hipper version of Chris Tomlin. He was just what he always was - A pretty decent Christian singer who put out a lot of really decent pretty songs. And this one particular song, Come And Fill This Place, REALLY just hit the spot for where our little gang was at with worship at the time.

No worries, Al. We've all made bad hair choices. (That's my Senior picture, btw).
So, I did what I always did when finding a great new song - I made up an overhead and got the song so I could use it for worship at our youth group that next Sunday. Of course you never know if the kids are going to respond to a song the way you do, but I was pleased that after our worship time that night several kids asked me about the song.

One of the great things about this particular song is that I don't think it was put out as part of a 'worship experience' type of thingy. It was just a song that happened to really, really work for worship. I can't find anywhere were it's listed as a top hit or anything like that. My hope is that those of you reading this aren't really familiar with the song. If so, you're in for a treat.

Come And Fill This Place is a very 'goosebumps' sort of song. It starts out quite soft and pretty, and then the instrumentation starts to swell a bit on the chorus. But then, after the second verse, the chorus REALLY starts to ramp up. I must admit I'm sort of a sucker for songs that start out slowly and softly and then build as the song goes along.

In doing research for this post, I was able to dig deeper into the Al Denson discography. Seems like the guy has a pretty decent body of work for his career. So much so, that I've decided to add a bonus classic Al Denson song in Andy's Extras 2, so click there to see Al in all his mullet-rockin' glory (great song, by the way).

And enjoy the 68th best worship song of all time:





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