For some years now I’ve taken part in various editions of the 12-song challenge, a songwriting initiative hosted by resoundworship.org. The challenges and the supportive songwriting community have kept me writing at least one song a month. even during busy and trying times like vacancies and the pandemic.
This month the assignment was to write Assembly Bangers:
assembly – gathered, collective worship in schools, supposed to be daily and of a broadly Christian character. Though not so common throughout the school experience as it once was, it remains a staple of many children’s experience in primary school (ages 4 to 11)
bangers – a British colloquial terms for great song that make you want to get up and dance
– are repetitive and hooky
– have a simple structure
– are easy to play and lead on piano (or guitar)
– have an accessible vocal range
– have words that children can read/memorise/understand
To start with I revamped an existing song called “God is my refuge”, also based on Psalm 46. Slowly but surely the revamp evolved into a song in its own right, including a new verse that references war and peace and a bridge based on “Be still, and know that I am God” (v.10).
I don’t know if I hit the brief exactly. Perhaps the song is too confessional and belongs in the church, more than the school assembly. Time will tell.
GOD IS OUR HELP (PSALM 46)
God is our help in times of distress
God is our refuge and strength
God is with us always
No need feel afraid
for God will keep us safe.
Even if the earth starts to tremble
and mountains start to slip and slide
even if the waves start to roar like lions
God is by our side
One day God will stop all the fighting
All weapons will be scrapped and burnt
One day God will reign over all the nations
Peace will come on earth
Be still and know God is on the throne
Be still and know, God is in control.