Christmas Gospel Medley – Jennifer Hudson

From an ABC Christmas special Jennifer did.  Enjoy.

 

  1. Christmas Gospel Medley Jennifer Hudson 4:00

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My Heart Belongs To You – Extended

  1. My Heart Belongs To You Christ Tabernacle Choir 10:11
  2. My Heart Belongs to You bgv Christ Tabernacle Choir 3:42

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On my walk with Jack this morning…yes, it was a brisk 10 degrees with a nice breeze…this song came on my iPod. It just grabbed me in a special way. No, it’s not gospel, it’s a contemporary christian song written by a guy named David Binton. But it’s lovely and I love the harmonies, and I thought I’d post it on the blog. What I had missed while walking however was the STORY that follows the song…that is actually more powerful than the song itself.

So, I edited the story a titch and added the music back in after the story ends, just because it seemed right. Enjoy.

For All You’ve Done

Something a little different today. A beautiful, simple vocal piece accompanied by only an acoustic guitar and claves. “Gospel” per se?  Probably not.  Lovely and soulful, yes.  Very nice.

 

  1. For All You've Done Stephen Daniels and The Shiloh Gospel Choir 4:08

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Higher Ground

Okay, today’s song is quite different and I’m not sure it fully qualifies as gospel, but I love it anyway. It’s 1989 a song written by Van Morrison and performed as a duet with Cliff Richard. This is one of two songs I know of where Morrison’s christian side shows through, the other being his rendition of “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” that is clearly directed to his God.

I love the kinda of pseudo reggae/African beat to the song (with all sorts of fun percussion instruments in the background) and really like the vamp at the end (3:46) when they riff on “Getcha feet back, getcha feet back…on higher ground getcha feet back….on higher ground”.

 

  1. Higher Ground Van Morrison 4:54

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Awesome God

“Awesome God” is a contemporary worship song written by Rich Mullins and first recorded on his 1988 album, “Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth”.

Sadly Mullins died in a car crash in 1997, but this song is certainly a major part of his musical legacy. This version is from the “Helen Baylor: Live” album.

  1. Awesome God Helen Baylor 4:21

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Mullins once said in an interview,

“You know, the thing I like about Awesome God is that it’s one of the worst-written songs that I ever wrote; it’s just poorly crafted. But the thing is that sometimes, I think, that when you become too conscientious about being a songwriter, the message becomes a vehicle for the medium. This is a temptation that I think all songwriters have. I think a great songwriter is someone who is able to take a very meaningful piece of wisdom – or of folly or whatever – and say it in a way that is most likely to make people respond. But, what you want them to respond to is not how cleverly you did that; what you want them to respond to is your message.”

THAT said, I do love the cleverness of his lyrics:

When He rolls up His sleeves, He ain’t just putting on the Ritz,
There’s thunder in His footsteps And lightning in His fists

 

When You Cry

The Winans from Detroit were one of the first groups to really merge gospel, R&B, soul, and secular music into songs that both the gospel community and secular audiences could embrace.

This cut is from the album “The Winans: Return” that was huge hit. On the 1990 Billboard gospel charts it hit #1, on the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) charts #4, on the R&B/hip-hop charts #12, and #90 on the Billboard Top 200.   (Yup, that’s Kenny G. on alto sax).

  1. When You Cry The Winans 6:03

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Wipe a Tear

This song is from the late, great O’Landa Draper and his Associates. He died in 1998 at the age of 35 from renal failure.

This song is more contemporary christian music, but Draper wrote some VERY kewl, serious gospel too…listen to “My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord” again…you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, this song has overtones of Michael Jackson’s “Man in The Mirror”, Quincy Jones’ “We Are The World”, and a lead singer who sounds a lot like Michael McDonald.  Its a GOOD song with a good message. Rest in peace dear O’landa.

  1. Wipe a Tear O'Landa Draper and The Associates 3:52

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Not Too Far From Here

I’ve always been a sucker for two things; children’s choirs and African music. Give me a song from an African children’s choir and well…

I particularly like the lyrics to this song because they are so universally applicable. Enjoy.

  1. Not Too Far From Here African Children's Choir 3:24

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Here are the original lyrics for this song written by Hillary Weeks:

Somebody’s down to their last dime
Somebody’s running out of time
Not too far from here
Somebody’s got nowhere else to go
Somebody needs a little hope
Not too far from here
And I may not know their name
But I’m praying just the same
That You’ll use me Lord to wipe away a tear
Cause somebody’s crying
Not too far from here

Somebody’s troubled and confused
Somebody’s got nothing left to lose
Not too far from here
Somebody’s forgotten how to trust
Somebody’s dying for love
Not too far from here
It may be a stranger’s face
But I’m praying for Your grace
To move in me and take away the fear
Cause somebody’s hurting
Not too far from here

Help me Lord not to turn away from pain
Help me not to rest while those around me weep
Give me Your strength and compassion
When somebody finds the road of life too steep

Somebody’s troubled and confused
Somebody’s got nothing left to lose
Not too far from here
Somebody’s forgotten how to trust
And somebody’s dying for love
Not too far from here
Now I’m letting down my guard
And I’m opening my heart
Help me speak Your love to every needful ear
Someone is waiting not too far from here
Someone is waiting not too far from here

I Live For You

Today we have a beautiful acapella contemporary Christian song with the same beautiful sound as Take 6.

College acapella groups could take a cue from this group and learn that great acapella is not about a bunch of people trying to emulate an entire percussion section, but in tight, beautifully crafted, intricate, close harmonies expertly sung.

  1. I Live for You True Vibe 3:01

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True Vibe was a short lived contemporary christian music group from Nashville, TN from 1999 – 2003. They recorded two albums, the second of which (See The Light) was nominated for a Grammy as Best Pop/Contemporary Christian Album in 2002.