Friday, August 8, 2008

'I don't have to listen to the music, do I?'

When I became a Christian three-and-a-half years ago, I had two basic questions immediately afterward:

1. "So, I guess I need to go buy a Bible now?" and
2. "I don't have to listen to the music, do I?"

And I wasn't kidding. Yes, I know art and music are open to opinion, and I accept this, but I think any of us who have ever listened to "popular" Christian music for any length of time -- even the most sanctified and separated-from-the-world among us -- can attest to the fact that there are a lot of really cheesy "Christian" lyrics floating on poor electronic keyboarding out there. And I'm leaving aside the doctrinal problems. Even before I was a Christian I knew popular Christian music was, generally speaking, not great and to be avoided. And the thought of having to trade the (pagan) music I loved so much for (what I thought would be) religious dreck upset me.

I was lucky that the Lord had sent me someone who loved the fallen world's music even more than I did. And as the years have passed, I've learned there is some praise music out there actually worth listening to. Too, I've remembered a lot of my grandmother's music, hymns she played on the church organ when I was wee. Current artists are taking these old standards and making them new for a modern audience. I'm not sure she'd approve of this -- even though she was never a Christian, she was a quite a legalist -- but I think she'd be glad that the songs she loved so much aren't being forgotten. Least of all by me.

One hymn I love is "I'll Fly Away." Here's a bluegrass version of it, sung by Allison Krauss (whose voice is so beautiful; she sang a good portion of the soundtrack for Cold Mountain, paired there with Sting) and Gillian Welch:

Moral of the story (at least for me): good Christian music is out there; it just has to be hunted down.


Anonymous said...

Cool song...happy hunting!

Sharon said...

No, you don't have to listen to the music. I'd rather have good art and entertainment -- even if it's fallen -- than bad wannabes and substitutes.