The Songwriting Journey: The First Release

Moving houses can be a stressful process. Someone told me recently that it is rated as the second most traumatic event a person can go through. I’m not sure traumatic is quite the word, but it was constant low-level stress that was enough to make you feel unsettled, but not enough for adrenaline to kick in and give you a rush. Kind of like the background whirring of a plane engine when you are on a long-haul flight that causes you to never really feel rested.

I’m glad to say we are finally over the worst of moving. We’ve still got some boxes to unpack and some rooms to set up, but at least we can more or less live a normal life from our new place.

Last Sunday, as a worship ministry, we crossed another threshold. If you have been following my rather sporadic writings over this last season, our church has been on a journey towards writing and singing worship songs crafted by our own worship team.

In my last post, I talked about how we went through the process of crafting the lyrics.

A few weeks ago, our music directors and lead musicians got together to put some musical flesh to song. Building on the basic structure, riffs were introduced. Our drummers even charted the drum patterns.

And then last Tuesday, another group of musicians and singers ran through the song one more time.

Finally, on the Sunday just past, without much pomp or ceremony, we quietly introduced the song to the congregation. I was very privileged to lead our congregation in singing the song. None of the original writers of the song were on the team that week, and so the song became truly owned by the worship team and the church rather than by the few who composed it.

It was such a thrill to realise that this had become a collaborative team effort. It took some to write the song; others to adjust the lyrics; and still others to work on the arrangements. And ultimately, the arc was finally completed as the congregation gave voice to the song.

The significance of the moment was not lost on me. I believe that this will be first of many more home-grown songs to come. Songs that capture the heartbeat and cry of our church as we journey towards discipleship and disciple-making. Songs that will create memories of a time and season in the life of our congregation.

Quite coincidentally, when the song, entitled “Your Love” was written in around October last year, we had no idea that when we finally released it, our church would be going through a sermon series on God’s Love. And we could not have predicted that last Sunday, the preacher rostered on was actually our worship pastor, Dave Wong. And if we think about what’s been going on in our city, with many people losing jobs and struggling to hold on to hope, the song reminds them that God is “our rock, our strong foundation / There is nothing to fear, God I know You are here.”

Only God could have orchestrated such a prophetic moment.

So here is the live recording of “Your Love” as sung last Sunday.

 

And here is the final version of the chords and lyrics.

Your Love

by Joe Chuah, Rina Tean, Melvin Kway, Brittany Gan

Key: G

Intro: C D Em C

Verse 1:
C                                                 D
All my eyes have seen will pass away
G/B
But You will never change
C
You remain the same
C
When darkness closes in
D
I’m not afraid
G/B
Your arms around me
C
Surround me

Pre-Chorus:
C         D/C
Here I stand
Am7                    D
My life is in Your hands

Chorus:
G       Am                  C                              D
From my heart, I will sing a new song to You, Lord
G                  C                            D
From my soul, I will give You all the praises
Em   D            C       G/B
And even in my lonely hour
Am                       D
I will lift Your holy Name
C                       D          C
For Your love will never change

Verse 2:

When troubles come my way, my hope remains
Lord I will seek Your face, for all my days
The voices of the world will fade away
As I call out to You, only Your words are true

Interlude: Em   Bm C  Am x2

Bridge:
Em                G
You are my light, my salvation
C                             Am
Whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear?
You are my hope, my validation
Whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear?                        
You are my rock, my strong foundation
There is nothing to fear
God, I know you are here
You are my rock, my strong foundation
There is nothing to fear
God, I know you are here

Instr:   Em G C Am (end on D)

I pray that as you listen to and worship with this song, God will really minister to you.

I can’t wait for the church to sing it again this coming Sunday.

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