mgpcpastor's blog

Ancient Words – Sunday Songs

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Last Sunday I mentioned Lynn DeShazo’s song Ancient Words (which begins with the phrase ‘Holy Words long preserved’) as being one of a few modern songs that help worshippers focus on one of the God given means of grace, the Bible.
I am a little disappointed that it has not achieved more popular usage in the contemporary church. It was featured on the Michael W. Smith album ‘Worship Again’ and the Robin Mark album ‘Come Heal This Land’ both of which seemed to have wide appeal earlier this decade.
I find it simply distressing to keep hearing Christians referred to what ‘God says’ or ‘God told me’ when they are not referring to the Bible or even to responses to biblical truths, but are rather referring to matters that they have decided or intend to do.
This song recognises that God’s transforming power is mediated through the Scriptures.
For that reason alone I like it.
The tune is quite singable in a 3/4 time. The lyric is less ‘anthemic’ than Speak O Lord and maybe a little more sentimental, but I think the two complement each other quite well. The lyrics are, however, more poetic and metaphorical, which is why it works well as a song: it is not just a prose doctrine of Scripture put to music. As always the song commends itself to me by saying something over an extended structure.
A lot of promising modern songs would be more appealing if the authors could just have found it within themselves to write a second or third verse instead of repeating their first verse three or four times.
Anyway, here’s the lyric:
Verse 1
Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
O let the ancient words impart
Words of life, words of hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world where’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home
Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart
Verse 2
Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
O heed the faithful words of Christ
Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
O let the ancient words impart
Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart.

Words and Music by Lynn DeShazo
(c) 2001 Integrity’s Hosanna Music

The youtube is Robin Mark’s recording. Very simple, a good model for Congregational singing.

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