Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Monday, May 23, 2011


You know what I miss? Singing songs in rounds. There are very few things as good in life as singing songs in rounds. I think what is primarily wrong with modern Christian music is that they think they are too cool to sing/write songs in rounds.

Yesterday I was nostalgically thinking about that song Behold What Manner Of Love, and how great it sounds in rounds. It reminds me of childhood: church, Sunday school, school and also Summer School, that terrifying yearly trip where I'd be shuttled off in some bus with a horde of strange children I'd never met to some place for the day. There were tears. But at least there was singing in rounds.

I was trying to remember other good songs we did in rounds but couldn't remember. Anyone from my generation remember any?


Ali said...

How about Seek Ye First? That went in rounds didn't it. And don't forget "Praise ye the Lord" and how you could rise up out of your seat on the "Hallelujah" - ever do that?

Lara said...

Love the Lord your God.
Rejoice in the Lord always.

Those are a couple I remember without thinking about it too much!

Ben McLaughlin said...

Ali- I loooove seek ye first. That might be my favourite. what a great lilting kind of tune. I'm not sure I know the second one. I might recognise the tune.

Lara- Hi, thanks for your comment. Ohh man, I love Love The Lord Your God. What a great tune. Also great how with the lyrics it ends with the same word it starts with so you could pretty much sing it forever! And good old Rejoice. I have a version of Keith Green doing that in a medley. Good stuff.

Jessica said...

Yay for rounds! Why does coolness ruin these things?

I've been impressed, at the Cathedral morning church Ross Cobb has lead us in a round a few times. One part went "Jesus, lamb of God, worthy is your name" and another part went "you are my strength when I am weak".

Lara's two are my favourites, though.

RodeoClown said...

We had one at sunday school about "the horse and riders thrown into the sea".
That was fun. I remember most of the words, but not what it was called.

We have a song we do at church occasionally which isn't quite a round, but has the men and the ladies singing two different parts, and it sounds fantastic when it's done right.

The line the two parts end on is "You're my prince of peace and I will live my life for you".

Really, really good song.

I don't know what it's called though :)

RodeoClown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben McLaughlin said...

Jess- good to hear there's still some rounds being attempted out there.

Rodeo- yeah I remember the horse and rider one. I can rememeber a few lines but not all of it.

I like those old man part/ women part ones too. I love that epic sounding one that ends with 'He is our God, there is none else!' tThat's a killer. I'd like to hear a metal version of that.

Ali said...

Ah well see, one side of the room stands up and sings "praise ye the Lord" then the other side jumps up and goes "Hallelujah" and you can mix it all around the room so it looks like the church equivalent of a mexican wave. I think you have to be a teenager for that one though - later on you're too tired to keep springing out of chair with gusto :).

But, ah yes, Rejoice in the Lord Always ... that was really something.

Stuart Heath said...

Thanks for your post, Ben. It's reminded me that there are some blessings in not growing up Christian, particularly in the daggiest decade yet witnessed.

Paul Berkman said...

We sing the new round Jessica mentioned at our church too, it's something of a favourite (or was for a while at least).

I reckon rounds go well with singing grace too. There's one that we sing regularly around our family dinner table that goes:
"For life and health and daily food we give you thanks oh Lord,
for fellowship and all things good we praise your name oh Looooooord
Then as each group (there can be up to 3 or 4) finishes they hold the last word until everyone finishes and then everyone sings "Amen, amen". Used to be my grandmother's favourite :-)

Karen said...

What a great post. Brought back so many memories of church in the 70s and 80s.
We used to do all of the ones already mentioned in the church I grew up in, and I do remember jumping up out of our seats on "Hallelujah" in "Praise ye the Lord"
I wonder when they became uncool?? Maybe it was when singing all that Hillsong stuff became cool (or not...)

Ruth said...

Hey Ben - 'E' was singing 'Behold what manner of Love' to us yesterday - and it took us ages to work out what she was singing - but she just kept going, till we worked it out.

I sing it in rounds with my kids most nights.

Ian - 'I will sing unto the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider thrown into the sea'.... 'The LORD, my God, my strength, my sing, has now become my victory'... 'The LORD is God and I will praise him my Father's God and I will exalt him'....

I don't know if that's the one you mean, but I used to sing it in rounds at Sunday school.

We used to sing a really sad slow song about the being by the waters of Babylon, in rounds when I was very young.

We also sing 'Love the Lord you God' nearly every night (although when I get totally overdosed, I have power of veto) .... we also sing a lot of 'echo' type songs - current fav with kids is: Sing Hallelujah to the LORD.... although a few years ago we were doing 'Let us Adore' quite frequently.

I did also teach them 'Unto to thee o LORD', but wondered if they even had a clue what the words meant.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Stuart- That hurts. Deeply. I think we are currently living in a time daggier than the 80's. It's daggy because people think they are so hip and cultural now. When they'll never be as cool as singing in rounds is. ps- I met your mate Danny yesterday.

Paul- sounds fun, but rounds at grace means a long time before you actually get to pop some food in your mouth, surely..

Karen- I reckon things changed when we decided we should sound 'contemporary'. When you try to sound like something else, you sound a bit lame.

Ruth- Good on you for round singing at home! I gotta get the girls into that. Is the Babylon song you mean the Boney M one "By The Rivers of Babylon"?

Ruth said...

No, it's not. It's a very mournful, slow song - that really matches the misery the Isralites must have felt whilst in exile.

Dawn Merz said...

Oh wow! The memories come flooding back!! My sisters and I used to sing all of the ones mentioned except the "Babylon" ones. Hurrah for rounds!!!

Another couple: "You are my hiding place" (soooooo beautiful) and "King of Kings and Lord of Lord".

KIM said...

"Deep and Wide" ... and not particularly Christian, but "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and ... that French one about the brother sleeping I can't remotely try to spell :)

Ben McLaughlin said...

Dawn- oh yeah, I remember 'You Are My Hiding Place'. It's a good one, though that first line is totally the Phantom Of The Opera's tune. Compare and contrast:

You are my hiiiding place..
Beneath the ooopera house..

Ben McLaughlin said...

Kim- I love frare rah zcharka. Yes, that is the correct spelling.

Thora and Dean said...

ohhh, ruth, i wanted to mention all the songs you did! love it :)

Unknown said...

I just Googled Rounds because I have been missing rounds like these in worship in the US...part of my history and my heart song! I really miss them.