Kingdom Come (First Draft)

I sometimes get asked how I write songs, so I’ll show you.

Here’s a first draft of a song called Kingdom Come I started three years ago during a sound check.  Brian was road managing me at the time and heard it, liked it, and said I should finish it.  (It was mostly la las at the time.) I finished this draft of it yesterday.  I’m not thrilled with it yet, but that’s why it’s a draft.

I’ll post future revisions if they happen – and they probably will – so all you songwriters can see how the process works…for me.  I’ll also post, in the comments, all the things that are wrong with the song so you can also understand how to dissect your own songs and make them better if you choose.

Here’s how the song began three years ago:  I was at a Lutheran church and turned to a page in their hymnal looking for lyrical inspiration.  I started making up a new melody to a song I’d never seen before called ”Great God, What Do I See And Hear?” The lyrics of the hymn were all about the future kingdom of heaven, future judgment and joy.  So, I began rewriting them to communicate the present tense nature of the kingdom of God – something I’d just started learning about at the time.

Then, in Ethiopia not long ago, I got to spend time with persecuted Christians and started realizing how irrelevant American “worship” music is lyrically to so many Christians around the world.  It says little about persecution, fear, war, hunger – because that’s not our experience as Christians here in the West.  I started wondering: If I lived in the third world what would I sing to God?

In the third world, the price of faith is felt constantly.  And the present tense provisional aspects of God’s salvation are closer to the core of third world theology.  When Ethiopian Christians ask for daily bread, for example, they aren’t speaking metaphorically.  When they speak of God’s rescue of the poor they aren’t speaking about spiritual poverty alone and they believe rescue happens now, not just later in eternity.  So, this song is my attempt to write something the Western Church can sing and be reminded of aspects of God’s kingdom and salvation that our third world family doesn’t need reminding of.  And maybe the reminder will even mobilize us to be part of their present salvation as well.

Kingdom Come (First Draft in C)

Words & Music by Shaun Groves

Verse 1:

Oh, God what do we see and hear

Your kingdom coming

Oh, God why do we bleed and fear

Your kingdom coming

Let it come in us

Let it come through us-

Chorus:

‘Til the sword is spared

And the bread is shared

‘Til the dying’s done

Let your kingdom come

‘Til the rich ones give

And the poor ones live

‘Til the weak are strong

Let your kingdom come

Verse 2:

Oh, God what do we pray down here

Your kingdom coming

Oh, God why do we slave through tears

Your kingdom coming

Let it come in us

Let it come through us-

(Repeat Chorus)

Bridge:

Your mercy come

Your justice come

Your will be done through us on earth

Your healing come

Your peace will come

Your will be done through us on earth

(Repeat 1/2 Verse 2)

(Repeat Chorus)

Questions? Comments?  Leave ‘em here or e-mail me.

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