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Category: My Band

Blessed Be Your Name | Metanoia and Bailey

Blessed Be Your Name

Lockdown has taken away so much of our day to day life. Not least of which is music. We are usually live in front of an audience playing in rock bands Silverthorn and Metanoia at least once a week and losing that has been hard.

That said, there is a huge creative opportunity that has opened up to us through this. We have been really getting to grips with the home studio. For years we have been saying that we wish we had time to do things like this video of Blessed Be Your Name. Bailey asked if he could sing a song at Holy Nativity’s online service and this is our second effort.

With all of the recordings we have done in the past with Metanoia, the predominant factor has been deadline. 3am working out how to get things mixed for the next day. Lockdown has given us time to really explore things creatively and work out how we work best together.

I’d better go and crack on with this week’s project….

When I Survey | Metanoia #GoodFriday

This is something Ruth and I recorded a couple of years ago to use in online worship. We used it as part of our Stations of the Cross service on YouTube this afternoon. The Jesus Film footage is very kindly being allowed for use in online worship. I made contact with them and filled in the necessary forms. This crisis is really showing the best in people. The number of resources people are giving away free is amazing.

Alternative Hymnal – VNV Nation, Nova

Why is Robb sharing electronica?  Who can say?  It’s not normally my kind of thing but when we were running the charity stall at Whitby Goth Weekend this came out of my friend’s iPod and I really like it. Electronic goth/industrial – no spandex in sight.  

Every time it comes on my playlist I wonder if we could throw an electric guitar and a cranked Marshall at it for Rock Mass at the blessing. I think we may give it a go at some point this year. I’ll ask The Bassplayer what she thinks.  

Now I’ve listened again a couple of times on the train maybe it could be part of a penitential rite. I’ll ask Fr Simon if he fancies making something special for it in March. 

I long to feel my heart burned open wide, til nothing else remains, 

except the fires from which I came.

Like parted souls, divided for an age, awe and wonder I´d embrace, 

and the world anew again. 

But now, this picture from me fades. 

From still´s cold hand there´s no reprieve, light the fire in me.
Shine, shine your light on me.

Illuminate me, make me complete.

Lay me down, and wash this world from me.

Open the skies, and burn it all away. 

‘Cause I’ve been waiting, all my life just waiting, 

for you to shine, shine your light on me.
I dreamed the world, with my eyes open.

But time moved on and then, new worlds begin again.

Oh my heart, in this universe so vast.

No moment was made to last, so light the fire in me.
Shine, shine your light on me.

Illuminate me, make me complete.

Please shine, shine your light on me.

No hesitation, make me complete.
Lay me down, and wash this world from me.

Open the skies, and burn it all away. 

‘Cause I’ve been waiting, all my life just waiting, 

for you to shine, shine your light on me.

Mary’s Lullaby (Away in a Manger) – Lyrics Adapted by Ruth and Robb

Since the late 19th century, The Church has been held hostage to one of the most theologically facile songs that has ever been sung during a service. All of the accusations of “pie in the sky when you die” and a “bearded man in the sky” can be found in this universal favourite.  When combined in a service filled with “baby” Jesus and the Christmas “Story” references, The Church has been inoculating people to the revolutionary faith we have in Christ.

Away in a Manger has become such a large part of our wider cultural memory that planning a service without it can cause disagreements both inside the church community and outside of it. Ruth and I have talked about this problem for many years.  A couple of years ago we wondered what it would be like if Away in a Manger was as revolutionary as the Magnificat. Using those words as our inspiration we decided to rewrite Away in a Manger from the perspective of Mary looking at her newborn child.

We have used it for the last couple of years in a variety of different contexts and it goes down really well.  We reworked it for Metanoia and the Rock Mass but we’re only half way through recording it so here is a simple arrangement to show how it could be used on organ or guitar.

Let’s take back Christmas!  Please use it freely in worship and schools.  If you want to credit us as “Ruth and Robb Sutherland” you’d make our day.

Mary’s Lullaby (Away in a Manger)

“Away in a manger, asleep on the hay,
I will watch over you at the end of the day,
The stars in the bright sky shine down where you lie,
As angels sing ‘Glory be to God on high’.”

“My spirit rejoices, for news of your birth
Like wildfire will spread over all of the earth;
A light in our darkness, a hope for the poor,
God’s gift to all people of life evermore.”

“Your name shall be Jesus, for this holy night
Is fulfilment of promise through God’s saving might;
But now sleep in peace, as I sing lullaby,
I will stay by your side til your dawning is nigh.”

– Lyrics adapted by Ruth and Robb Sutherland