For this week’s recommendations, I’m sharing suffering songs. There’s a reason why songs like these connect so strongly with our people – we need God’s help. While your crowd may look all together when they come to church, many of them are struggling and need the encouragement to put their hope in God.
Worship music seems to be in a good place these days with regard to singing about our suffering. We need songs that confess our reliance on God in struggle. This week is a different as I’m only recommending one song I’ve actually done. I like sharing songs that for sure “work” but I also love that the internet gives us this ability to pass songs on that might be new to others.
NEVER ONCE (Matt Redman)
I think is one of the strongest songs on Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons album. The piano part is subtle but still driving enough to carry the verses, the pre-chorus is melodic perfection and the song manages to be big without requiring big rock beats from the drums. I think the arrangement gets a little odd toward the end of the song. My band had a difficult time figuring out this one, but once we had it down, it felt pretty natural. Like a lot of Redman tunes, it’s probably a little too long on the album that most of us can pull off. At the same time, the ending is open enough to stretch if need be. (Spotify)
NOT FOR A MOMENT – AFTER ALL (Vertical Church)
Haven’t done this one yet, but am desperately looking for a place to use it. I dig that “a thousand miles away” line – that’s how suffering feels sometimes, isn’t it? I’m impressed at the smoothness of verses as well as choruses. They connect to the next section of the song so easily. I love the improv stuff at the end, but realize not every band can pull that off. Also like that the male vocals are mixed pretty hot in this one, which makes it easier to imagine what the lower register of this song sounds like. (Spotify)
WHEN THE WATERS RISE (Casey Darnell)
Any time a song opts for the opening riff on piano instead of electric guitar, I’m in. This is a new one for me, too. I find the pop groove really compelling – it’s a confident song of trust, which I think we’re lacking in our churches. I’m guessing that live it would need some adjustment; the production is definitely pop-influenced and live bands might need to prioritize parts before attempting. I also think Casey did a great job on the big vocal “ay” sounds at the end of each line in the bridge. Reminds me that it really does matter what kind of sounds we have our people make. (Spotify)
What are some other good “suffering songs”?
Have you done any of these songs? How were they?