SONG #2 of 50: THERE IS NONE LIKE OUR GOD
Here’s the second installment of the fifty-song challenge. This tune “There Is None Like Our God” has become a personal favorite among the songs I’ve written over the years. Enjoy, and bask in the glory of our God who is indeed King of all kings past and present.
Who holds the earth beneath His feet? / Who wakes the dawn up from the east? / Who walks the floors of oceans deep? / Who calmed the waves and split the sea?
No one can comprehend or take His place / No one that can contend or steal His fame
There Is none like our God, who makes the darkness flee / There is none like our God, who is the King of kings / There is none like our God, who sets the captives free / There is none like our God, none like our God
Who came to earth to set us free? / Who was crucified between two thieves? / Who died to save His enemies? / Who swallowed death and stole the keys?
Who is restoring everything? / Who will return as trumpets ring? / When all creation will proclaim / That Jesus Christ is Lord and King!
Why I wrote it.
While reading Constance Cherry’s The Worship Architect, I was struck by the idea that one of the primary functions of public worship is to “remember the works of God.” As forgetful as I am, this seemed like a good idea. I made a note in the back of the book about an idea to write a song that walked through the history of God’s saving mankind.
This song is loosely based off of the canticle of Moses in Exodus 15, which to my knowledge is the first recorded “worship” song in the Scriptures. Similar to the triumphant song of the Israelites, I wanted to write something that walked through the narrative of Scripture. Granted, twelve lines in three verses isn’t quite enough to get it all (admittedly, there are big chunks missing like the nation of Israel and the Holy Spirit, to name a couple.) But looking at the God-and-mankind story as a greater narrative intrigued me, and gives the song potential for diverse liturgical functions.
Exodus 14-15. The verses draw from various biblical passages. They begin with creation (pulling mainly from Genesis, the Psalms, & Job), walk through the gospels, and end with imagery from Revelation.
Ryan Adams, Wilco, Neil Young, M. Ward, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, and (haters forgive me) early Eagles.
The chorus of this song originally started out as the bridge/outro for another song. Eventually I realized it was meant to be it’s own thing, and developed the song around the chorus. I went through three drafts before arriving at this one, and the song has become a mainstay at my church.
This is probably a good time to give some insight into my process. While I’m writing and finishing a song a week, I’m giving it some time before demo-ing each finished tune. I’m simultaneously writing one song while demo-ing another song. Why? Because of what Paul Baloche calls the songwriting “greenhouse effect” – where each song has plenty of space to grow and mature over time. Typically I like to have finished a tune, played through it, received some feedback and revised before demo-ing.
So some of the initial demos will be songs actually finished at some point in 2015. Which means (spoiler alert!) that this project will hopefully yield more like 70 or 75 songs (50 from this year and a couple dozen from last year.) But I suppose we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, eh?
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