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To Make a Ring

I’ve been thinking about songs that I wish were sung on Sunday mornings in lieu of the usual “praise & worship” fare.
Wovenhand's David Eugene Edwards
Wovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards

In his recent — and much discussed — list of the best ​“Christian” albums of all time, Brett McCracken included Over The Rhine’s Ohio, of which he wrote ​“there are about six songs from this album that should be sung in churches every Sunday.” High praise indeed, and it got me to thinking about songs that I wish were sung on Sunday mornings in lieu of the usual ​“praise & worship” fare.

I’ve been on a bit of a 16 Horsepower/​Wovenhand kick lately, and as I was listening to Consider the Birds today, I realized that ​“To Make A Ring” easily fits that bill.

Nothing in this world
Gives me a reason to doubt
I want to enter Him
Of my flesh I want out
I have been given to follow the sun
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne

Listen Judgement will not be avoided by your unbelief
By your lack of fear
Nor by your prayers to any little idol here
He owns all those cattle
He owns all these hills
Forever ​round the throne yeah
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne yeah

Crow eye come see
Crow eye come see
The Lord will not be mocked
Not by you or me

Power glory honour
Be unto my King
We will weave our hands
Weave our hands
We will weave our hands together to make a ring
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne yeah

Power, glory, and dominion
Be unto the King
We will weave our voice
Weave our voice
We will weave our voice together
Together and sing
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne
Forever ​round the throne

Forever

Of course, to do this song justice, you’d need to bring in some pounding tribal drums, a creaking violin, a mandolin or two, and buckets of wheezy, old-timey drones and atmospherics. Oh, and you’d have to convince the congregation to opt for a slightly charismatic air, what with all of the hootin’ and hollerin’, and not be afraid of sounding dark, otherworldly, and spooked out (like David Eugene Edwards).

Then again, this is Old Testament, God walking the Earth, prophets crying out for justice and mercy, fire falling from the sky, smoke and darkness kind of stuff. The lyrics drip with fear and reverence, mystery and awe, salvation and damnation, praise and humility, sin and holiness — truth that sends shivers down the spine and brings tears to the eyes.

Or, as Edwards puts it:

It doesn’t matter what you do — how good you are. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done — how bad you are. Salvation is of the Lord, and we think it is of us, if we behave a certain way or eat the right food — basically that God is not sovereign. If there is a God, which I think that a lot of people are ready and willing to admit whether they are Christian or not, it really doesn’t matter. It’s of no consequence if there is a God, because it’s all up to them anyway. Whatever means they choose, meditating or going to the psychologist, they use whatever faith they have as another tool, just like if they were taking a medicine. Basically, my job is to tell people that they are hopeless. Hopeless without Christ.

Amen, amen, and amen.


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