In recent discussions about worship music, we haven’t said much about the fact that so much of the music that comes to us is just… vapid. I don’t mean that the song is short. Plenty of short songs have lots of gravity. You can get a lot of depth out of a 12 measure song. Nevertheless, a lot of songs today don’t have much to say.
It’s easy to gloss over this, because it’s pretty easy to get people to agree that worship songs shouldn’t be vapid. Pack in as much as possible. That’s what makes a song worth singing.
But a bigger question is why do so many songs come out that have the musicality of a masterpiece and the lyrics of a child’s paint-by-number scheme? Here’s my guess – too many worshipers are spending too much time on their stringed instruments, and not enough time in word and prayer. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and the hearts of vapid songwriters are full of vapid things.
2 thoughts on “Full of Vapid Things”
On one hand I do agree. I remember when the musically gifted despised Dennis Jernigan’s “music” as too simplistic and totally missed the depths of his lyrics while the more musically intricate songs they loved didn’t have too much to say. On the other hand, there is also the question of maturity. At times I weary of hearing songs about how much God loves me even when I fail — which is fundamentally true. Still, 30 years later, I should reasonably expect to have made some progress and those songs just don’t touch my heart. Still, the person writing the song and those who love the song may not be 30 years later and may be going rejoicing down the road in this one spiritual truth.
Well, I would hardly call Dennis Jernigan’s stuff vapid.