I've been tagged! for my 5 favourite hymns.

Right... I'd been wondering what this tagging business was all about. The tag came from John Browne. In return, I tag
holyfamoley and Chris Curtis.

Seeing as John chose 5 Latin + 5 English I'll do the same and add 5 favourite contemporary Worship songs and 5 songs by contemporary Christian artists for good measure. The latter 2 categories are a reflection of what songs I myself use in our school Masses (and to a certain degree in the parish also) and listen to. But I do genuinely love Gregorian chant, especially when experiencing it in the liturgies of vibrant monastic communities. My musical tastes are rather "catholic" in the sense of global and wide-ranging. As a Music teacher it is your duty to help young people to appreciate good music in all genres and I suppose I am lucky in the respect that I do like a variety of styles and genres, from Irish folk, to Renaissance choral music, to Classical and romantic piano music, to 2oth century composers such as Stravinsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, etc..., to Gregorian chant and other forms of Medieval music, to modern rock (both christian and secular)...

Here we go:

5 Latin hymns

1. Salve Regina (Cistercian version)
2. Tantum Ergo
3. Ubi Caritas (original plainchant version)
4. Veni Creator Spiritus
5. Confitemini Domino (Taizé version)

5 English hymns

1. Lord Of All Hopefulness
2. The Day Thou Gavest Lord
3. Abide With Me
4. Only A Shadow
5. This Is What Yahweh Asks Of You

5 Contemporary Worship Songs

1. Majesty (Here I Am) - Delirious? - not the 1980's "folk Mass" standard
2. History Maker - Delirious?
3. With Every Breath - Sixpence None The Richer
4. Here I Am To Worship - Tim Hughes
5. Happy Song - Delirious?

5 Songs by Contemporary Christian Artists

1. Sing - Jars Of Clay
2. Consume Me - dc Talk
3. I Can Only Imagine - MercyMe
4. Twenty-Four - Switchfoot
5. Walls - Downhere

(loads more Switchfoot songs just missed out).

When reflecting on my choices I notice a melancholy strand running through them. The obvious exceptions being Happy Song + History Maker by Delirious?. I like uptempo, lively praise, but ultimately my favourite pieces are those songs + hymns whose lyrics speak to me the most personally and that combine such meaningful lyrics with strong music that seems to often be mid-paced and anthemic. My favourite secular songs seem to fit the same template (Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Crowded House, R.E.M., Gemma Hayes, Athlete...). They are the ones that I come back to repeatedly to help me with my prayer and to just give me a bit of a boost if I'm feeling down (including the "secular" ones). I find they open my heart to God's presence living inside me and in the world around me. I'm so lucky that music can do this to me. It always has and I pray it always will.

I think I might do another post with my favourite Irish songs and my favourite Classical pieces :-)
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