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megasamurai

Shitty church music

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Anybody remember having to sit (or worse stand) through awful music and having to sing along or else you're going to hell. At Assembies of God churches, these lasted forever and I just wanted to sit down. I was once told I was a filthy sinner who was going to hell because I forgot to pretend to sing along. At least sometimes we were able to sit down when it was a musical performance rather than "praise and worship," unless the holy spirit can and compelled everyone to stand up. Those who wanted to rest were damned to hell. Anyway these songs were terrible, with the "teen" worship services I attended in the 2000s being like a terrible post grung cover band with lyrics about Jesus that had no real distinct melody, just a slow songs that all sounded the same with no distinct melody. The lyrics were basically meaningless, "Jesus is so good because he has goodiness." The lyrics were basically meaningless and shallow. Why is god good? These songs usually don't tell you. One of my favorites was "these words are from my heart, these words are not made up." even though the congregation was reading these lyrics from a prompt. Other songs seemed to take loving Jesus as loving him romantically. I really had to sing about wanting him to hold me in his precious arms and feeling the warmth of his breath. One song had the lyric "loves like a hurricane" which my dad thought made no sense, but it makes perfect sense when you add the words, "in bed" to the end. Adult services also had some terrible performances. I found one video that takes me down memory lane:

 Do you all have any church music memories you want to share?

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My wife is a member of a large Methodist Church,  their musicians & singers are professional quality so the music is actually quite good. A large black gospel choir is about as good as it gets. You don't have to be a believer to appreciate singing like that.

 

 

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There are probably a few churches with good musicians across the country, but sadly there are so many mediocre to awful musicians in churches too. When a special musical guest came, it was always scary because I usually had no idea what to expect. Good that your church had tolerable music.

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

My wife is a member of a large Methodist Church,  their musicians & singers are professional quality so the music is actually quite good. A large black gospel choir is about as good as it gets. You don't have to be a believer to appreciate singing like that.

 

 

 

We were in York, England and decided to go to the cathedral for a service. I thought I'd like to see the building being used for the purpose for which it was built, not just wandering through with a tourist brochure in my hand. York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, begun in 1220 and declared complete in 1472. The boys choir was stupendous. These boys attend a special school and obviously are selected based on talent, and apparently rehearse daily. Their voices echoed ethereally off the stone walls as the procession wound down a side aisle and up the center, each young boy's voice strong and confident as they passed through the rainbow of light streaming through some of the largest stained glass in the medieval world. The whole ceremony was mystical, and I could see how people would get pulled into it's religion. Even though I don't buy into the message, if I lived there I would go from time to time just for the show. And, honestly, I'd like to go again.

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13 hours ago, megasamurai said:

Anybody remember having to sit (or worse stand) through awful music and having to sing along or else you're going to hell.

 

At Assembies of God churches, these lasted forever and I just wanted to sit down. I was once told I video that takes me down memory lane:

 

 Do you all have any church music memories you want to share?

Fantastic! 

 

Fucking Christian music, bloody hell, it's just mind numbing zombie tunes. The guy at my shopping center gets better rhythm with a pair of drumsticks & some plastic paint drum's. 

 

 

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Oh good - now I know what strangled cats sound like. 

 

This is how you should sing that song:

 

 

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     Jesus was well known for his singing.

 

          mwc

 

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Oh. My. God!  I haven't laughed so hard in years!  Thanks for sharing.   

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I have mixed feelings about this.

 

As a child, yes, I was forced to sit through some truly awful stuff. But later, I was one of the musicians. And my band was good. I'm not just saying this. I still occasionally listen to the album my band made, to see if it's just something I've built up in my mind. The lyrics are cringy as all get out. But musically, we were good.

 

A few of my former band mates, including my brother, are still involved in a local church. I visited a couple years ago for my niece's baptism. The production was impressive. Vacuous, cringy, and impressive.

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I started in a Nazarene church and the singing was outstanding. They did an old hymn "Wonderful the Matchless Grace of Jesus" and the whole congregation broke into parts. I loved it! They even ran through the chorus a few more times because the pastors were impressed also. It reminded me of the Welsh churches that have such lovely harmonies. The worship leader was a trained vocalist, and many of the guys played horns. One pastor played the double-bell euphonium!

 

It wasn't until I started attending pentecostal services that they let some people lead that were genuinely lousy singers, and then they'd fill in the gaps between songs with that pentecostal free-form singy-praise crap but had no sense of harmony. GAAH!

 

 

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At the Reformed Baptist church I used to attend in college, music was actually taken pretty seriously and was well done, for the most part. Obviously I no longer believe in the message, but the profound theology and the artistry with which it was conveyed is something I can still appreciate to this day.

 

...which made it altogether inexcusable when this church actively chose to play idiotic "Jesus is my boyfriend" music on occasion, thus throwing away centuries of rich Christian musical tradition. Why Christians would get innovative with their music is beyond me.

 

The funny thing is that in grad school I attended a non-denominational church. The theology they taught appealed to my fundamentalist, Reformed sensibilities. But the music was, well, God-awful. The music at this church resembled a rock concert more than Christian worship. I'll never forget when I took an "introduction to this church" class, and the pastors went around the room asking people why they chose to attend this church. I would actually hear middle-aged men and women cite the music as their reason for attending. So I guess that during my time as a Christian I experienced both the best and the worst of Christian worship music.

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I have to second the poster who spoke of being enchanted with the music in a UK Angelican church,   I've always found it uplifting and in fact own some CDs  of it.You do not have to believe to find it so. 

 

My son is a confirmed agnostic and last year spent a few weeks in London attending grad school. He stayed  within walking distance of St Paul's  cathedral . I told him to make an effort to attend a Sunday service there, that it'd be something he'd remember all his life. He thanked me  later for that, loved the music and the atmosphere. 

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From the sounds of it, Pentecostal churches, like mine, were most guilty of terrible music. Youth service music is also almost always worse than old fashioned gospel. Since I was a teen, the only service with people of my age was the "contemporary" worship service. I also wonder if 2010s "contemporary" is better or worse than 2000s. I think Skillet, Switchfoot, and all those Christian post grunge bands have died out (I think). What's the new style now that post grunge Christian power ballads are maybe fading?

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that singer in the first video makes me want to pray to god to make it stop 

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Doesn't this poor guy have at least one person in his life who would be honest enough to tell him he can't sing worth a shit?!?  I wonder how many people in church snickered during the song.  Even god's ears would bleed listening to that hot mess!

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That man in the video is intensely bad. But I admire his confidence.

 

My church music was good. My father played piano and guitar and sang. It was basically just him with some the congregation singing along. He didn't make anybody stand up either. He was asked to perform at events sometimes. He was offered a chance for a career as a professional singer but he turned it down because he thought it would be bad for him spiritually. Like the devil goes after people in entertainment industry more than other professions.

 

I went to my friends church and it was all people wailing while someone played piano. Then they switched to music on tape to wail along with and give the piano player a break. And you were supposed to stand the whole time. I wanted to sit so bad, but my friend would poke me to stand up again. I hated it so much. And some men were dancing around and falling on the floor like they were having a seizure. Nothing like my family's church. I told my friend I'll stand up the whole time if you go up there and fall on the floor shaking like those other people. She wouldn't do it.

 

Churches have either well trained singers or terrible singers. I can't remember any that were just ok. I went to a few with wonderful choirs.

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Standing during the music, I wonder how much this custom varies from church to church. Assembly of God music can last well over an hour. Sometimes the actual songs stop and "freeform worship" happens and people scat sing praises to god in tongues. It's crazy. Church camp was the most unbearable thing in the world, where we did an 100 minute "praise and worship" (I timed it). I was feeling "god's presence" but I got tired of it and wanted to sit down. The bizarre psychoactive effects of this prolonged worship services were something else. I guess being sent to a boring camp makes you go bonkers. The camp is so boring, that praise and worship becomes exhilarating because of  how much more exciting it is than anything else.

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On 5/12/2018 at 8:22 AM, Stamps1962 said:

My son is a confirmed agnostic and last year spent a few weeks in London attending grad school. He stayed  within walking distance of St Paul's  cathedral . I told him to make an effort to attend a Sunday service there, that it'd be something he'd remember all his life. He thanked me  later for that, loved the music and the atmosphere. 

 

Glad he did that. We went to an evensong there. Evensong is a musical service at the end of the day. (Going to a service gets you in without having to pay the tourist fee.) We were seated at the front while the paying tourists were ushered out. Then we were lead around the side and into the choir, which is the seating area behind the main altar, and where all the big shots sat during the wedding of Charles and Diana. The heavily carved wooden seats must have been several hundred years old. We were almost under the organ, which can't be matched by anything other than another cathedral organ. The regular choir, which includes professional singers, sang along with us, and those folks knew how to create a sound that completely filled the second largest church building in the UK.

 

If any of you can go to a European cathedral service without suffering flash-backs, do it.

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Oh that video reminds me of my days recording christian acts.  A little backstory here for those who don’t remember me (I may have even told this story here before)...

 

I am an audio recording engineer/Sound designer who works in theatre for the past 12 years, but got my start in recording studios in the mid to late 90’s doing radio car commercials, library music, and local college/high school bands.  One of the studios I worked at was bought out by the chief engineer and a partner he knew from his church.  The first time I pulled up to work a session with the new owners, they saw the Darwin fish on my car and from that point on, the majority of the work they gave me was christian based.  I had done my fair share of those gigs in the past, from several studios, but this place seemed to think they could convert me if I was given christian projects.

 

There was one guy who was really nice and had a good sense of humor but was as bad as the guy in the video as far as singing was concerned.  He would bring these music tracks with him that sounded like they were produced on a Cassio keyboard from 1988 and then sing over them at the studio.  His voice was not high pitched like the video, but it wavered back and forth in pitch so bad even the auto tune plug in didn’t even his voice out.  I tried to get decent takes, but he would sing it 5 times and they all sounded exactly the same.  

 

He would tip me at the end of every session and ask me to mix it ‘like it was my own project”, which I of course did for everyone, but I got the idea that he thought a studio would have the ability to make him sound like some wonderful singer that was backed by the best orchestra in Florida.  How do you tell someone in a nice way that garbage in/garbage out?

 

Anyway, I stopped working at that particular studio after Pat Robertson called for the assignation of Hugo Chavez and I made sure the management knew why I was declining work from them.  There were other reasons (all connected to my unbelief), but the biggest was I simply did not want my name on those christian products anymore.

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There was a woman in my congregation who had the worst singing voice ever, and she topped it off with a harelip. Bless her heart, they let her sing a solo damn near every week. But I'll just leave this classic here now. 

 

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I remember the saccharine Matt Redman-type stuff we had to sing. It did get uncomfortable, the over the top syrupiness and vaguely sexual lyrics. Even though we were supposed to "enjoy" worshipping god this was not encouraged in practice. Dancing to upbeat songs was frowned upon. I got the feeling we could never get it right, if we were too serious we weren't in touch with god but having fun was irreverent.

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Ugh church music, and jesus music is acoustic epicac. 🤮

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