New Song (draft): “He is exalted”

UPDATE 14/04/2012:
A more recent version of this song has been posted here.

After my recent recording session I’ve been inspired to get back into some songwriting, as it’s been a while! Simone R put up a draft of some lyrics she’s working on, and so I figured I’d steal think about her ‘brief’ of the incarnation as a starting point. I used the beginning of Philippians 2 as a basis:

Verse 1:
Son of God and Son of Man;
The Shepherd now
as spotless Lamb has come;
God with us.

From before the world began
The Father’s great
redeeming plan has come
God with us

Pre-Chorus:
Every knee bow down
Every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord
He is Lord!

Chorus:
He is exalted
The name above all names
Let all creation
Worship the Lamb
He is exalted
The highest of Heaven;
God you are glorious 

Verse 2:
In his image we were made,
In our flesh he died
The price was paid;
God for us.

Cancelling the law’s demands
As our interceder
now he stands;
God for us

 Bridge:
What a glorious mystery
God revealed to set us free
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus our Emmanuel! 

 

I’ve been making a (pretty dodgy) demo track, but it needs some tweeking before I put it up. [edit: see below]

Let me know what you think / give me suggestions / what could be better etc. (don’t be shy)

===

UPDATE 10/03/12:

I really appreciate the feedback so far! A couple things have been mentioned which need to take the musical setting into account, and so here it is. A disclaimer – it’s not that great a recording – the vocals are not good, and will need redoing when the mic I got on ebay arrives. Mostly it was an excuse to play around with using my Zoom H4 as an Audio I/O device.
  He is exalted (demo) by therealfindo

19 responses to “New Song (draft): “He is exalted””

  1. Simone R. says:

    Nice work. I like your first verse, particularly : The Shepherd now as spotless Lamb has come.

    I'd be wary of the phrase 'the price is paid'. You may get away with it, but on paper (without the tune) it weakens your second verse.

    One book I read on songwriting said to watch out for the c-section. If your song needs something other than verses and chorus to exist, then another bit (bridge, pre chorus, post chorus etc) won't help it. Do you really need the pre-chorus and/or bridge? Does the chorus sound lame without them (I don't know – I haven't heard the song!)? If so do a rewrite, get the ch. excellent on its own, then put them back in if they add even more.

  2. simone r says:

    I thought I left a comment here but I can't see it. Is it awaiting moderation or did I do something wrong?

  3. simone r says:

    Let me try again.

    Nice work. I like your first verse, particularly : The Shepherd now as spotless Lamb has come.

    I'd be wary of the phrase "the price was paid". Might work with the tune but on paper it weakens the second verse.

    One book I read on songwriting had a chapter on the perils of the C-Section (bridge, pre-chorus, post chorus etc.) If the verses and chorus don't sing by themselves, then the introduction of another bit won't save the song. Pull out your pre chorus and bridge and have a listen. If they don't grip you, then do a rewrite. Only add the C(and D!) section when the basics are really solid. Looking at the lyric exposed on the page, your verses are fresh and say something new, but in the rest you retreat into what has been done before.

    I think it's worth pursuing. Keep going.

    • AndrewFinden says:

      Thanks Simone!

      That's really helpful advice about C-sections.
      I do like the pre-chorus, as it is part of the Phil 2 text, and musically it leads from the vs to the chorus much better than without it (and I don't want to change the verse really).
      The bridge, however, is a bigger question.. I kind of like bridges in the style I'm writing in, because I don't want to repeat the chorus without something to break it up..

      I see your point about 'price is paid' too.. it's perhaps a little too 'jargon-ish', but it does rhyme with 'made' 😀

    • AndrewFinden says:

      I've put the recording into the post – how does the C section sound?

  4. @ds_says says:

    The first two lines of verse 2 gripped me instantly. It's like you've been reading Athanasius – we need one like us (in our flesh) to restore us to the image of God.

    I also like you're 'big picture' of who Jesus is – from before the foundation of the world, to his incarnation, and even what he does for us now (intercession). That's great!

    I'm not sure I agree with the last line of the Chorus. For the rest of the chorus our praise is being directed to Jesus (the 2nd person of the trinity), but I normally associate the word 'God' as shorthand for 'God the Father', and so there's an unanticipated jump there. I'm a simple man and prefer lyrics to focus on one idea at a time!

    • AndrewFinden says:

      Thanks!

      I agree that the last line of the chorus is not strong, but let me attempt to defend my choice to address God here. Have a look at Phil 2 vs 11 – it seems that Paul's praise of Jesus as being exalted etc. is for God's glory. So I don't think it's inappropriate that having sung about Jesus we give God glory for that.
      However, I do understand that it's a bit clunky, and it does feel a little bit of a 'filler' lyric.

  5. Jack Lim says:

    Nice work Andrew. I like "the price is paid". Clear and unambiguous. 🙂 Not quite so sure of "In our flesh he died" A bit contorted. The clearer option could be "Took on flesh and died" but I can't think of a btter suggestion that does justice to your we-him, us -he flow.

  6. Dene says:

    Here's my second attempt to comment cos it seems logging in to WordPress caused a problem…

    Comparing verses 1 and 2, they aren't as parallel as they could be.

    I like the way the words "has come, God with us" are repeated in verse 1 and think verse 2 deserves a similar pair. You already have "God for us".

    Copying the way I imagaine verse 1 scans, you could do something like:

    In his image we were made,
    In our flesh he died
    and paid – no debt
    God for us.

    Cancelling the law’s demands
    Interceding now
    he stands – no debt
    God for us

    • AndrewFinden says:

      Thanks Dene

      I did wonder about the way the rhyme in the verses falls differently.. but it doesn't trouble so much in context – have a listen and let me know what you think. The God with us / Go for us pairing is still strong.

  7. AndrewFinden says:

    I've updated the post to include the demo recording (which uses the lyrics as in the OP).

  8. cardiphonia says:

    this is nice andrew. Such a great passage to meditate on!

  9. simone r says:

    You don't know the meaning of 'dodgy demo' if you think that's one! Imagine a macbook stuck on top of an upright piano and 'record' hit on Garage Band. No mic and a non-singer singing with the piano vibrating! If the song sounds good under those conditions, you know you are on to something special!

    Having listened a couple of times, I still think the bridge is unnecessary. It would happily end at 3:30. Just hit the final chord. The pre-chorus is fine, but it does work without it too. I like it.

    • AndrewFinden says:

      haha! I've got some doozies I did on 4-track tapes back in the day! If you weren't so far away I'd give you the USB condenser I don't use anymore 😉

      Thanks for having a listen – I came the conclusion a few days back that I agree – the bridge is unnecessary. I do like the bridge itself, so maybe I'll build something else out of it one day.

  10. […] gone from draft to demo (or should that be beta?)! You gave me some great feedback when I posted the draft, and now, here’s a demo recording. It’s still a ‘rough’ demo; I recorded it […]

  11. AndrewFinden says:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys and gals.. have come up with a more finished version: http://www.thingsfindothinks.com/2012/04/he-is-ex… do check it out!

What do you think?