(A new hymn by Andrew Pratt, but adapted slightly and set to new music)

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I met Andrew at a hymnwriters conference in the UK in 2002 and was impressed by his lyrical abilities. But most seemed to be aligned to traditional hymn tunes, which frustrated me. I would have loved to see his creativity brought more into the contemporary music arena, without denying where he is coming from or the continuing validity of many traditional Christian musical formats.

So, this is still a hymn/song very much as he wrote it, in a rather different musical idiom, and with a few approved alternative lyric changes. The original published version is "God, forgive our tabloid praise", which is graphic, but possibly over-judgemental for more general use. I thought "shallow praise" was a phrase more generally applicable, as it applies to our attitude to worship rather than just the words of specific worship songs. I am grateful to both Andrew and his publishers for their kind permission.

The full keyboard version of the music is still to be completed.

Download the sheet music and related midi file in “zipped” format (45Kb)?




Words (by Andrew Pratt)

God, forgive our shallow praise,
glossing over grief and loss.
Empty praise in empty words,
treating life as so much dross.

Love is real but so is grief.
Jesus wept and so can we;
all our swaying, chanting songs
can't remove life's agony.

Don't we care? Or is this right?
Have we just not understood?
Did Christ die immune from pain
hanging on that cross of wood?

Yet we sing our casual songs,
shielded from this cosmic drought;
hail expediency as God,
pleasure all we seek, or sought.

But if he received that prize,
how can we expect for more?
Help us, God, to find a way
back through life to praise that's pure.

(repeat chorus/bridge and v4)

The words of this hymn are copyright 2000 to
Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England

and may only be reproduced under the terms of the Churches Copyright Licence,
or with specific permission from the publisher.

135 of Andrew's lyrics, including this one, are in his book "Whatever Name or Creed",
available from Stainer & Bell's online bookshop here

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