Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My Song is Love Unknown, but strangely familiar

As I was preparing for this weeks worship music, I was scanning the Trinity Hymnal and ran across these lyrics:

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

I've never sung this in a worship context, but I have heard the words before, albeit just a snippet.

Oddly enough, the first and third lines appear in a lovely and very catchy foot tapping tune on one of my current favourite albums:
X&Y by Coldplay.

The song "A Message" is one of many on the album that are thinly veiled personal lovesongs to Chris Martin's movie star wife, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Here are the lyrics in their entirety:

My song is love
Love to the loveless shown
And it goes up
You don't have to be alone
Your heavy heart
Is made of stone
And it's so hard to see you clearly
You don't have to be on your own
You don't have to be on your own

And I'm not gonna take it back
And I'm not gonna say I don't mean that
You're the target that I'm aiming at
Got to get that message home

My song is love
My song is love, unknown
But I'm on fire for you, clearly
You don't have to be alone
You don't have to be on your own

And I'm not gonna take it back
And I'm not gonna say I don't mean that
You're the target that I'm aiming at
And I'm nothing on my own
Got to get that message home

And I'm not gonna stand and wait
Not gonna leave it until it's much too late
On a platform I'm gonna stand and say
That I'm nothing on my own
And I love you, please come home

My song is love, is love unknown
And I've got to get that message home


How do these lyrics match up with the subject matter and beauty of the "original"?

Judge for yourself:

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

I think the last stanza says it all. There's no love, no story, no grief like his. Christ's love is unknown because in one sense it stands alone. Because he dies for foes not lovers, this is not the love of romanticism. Love is a great theme for songs, but an undying love that goes to the death in the place of the hateful is the stuff of, shall we say, epic legend. To the heart that receives this as sweet truth, an eternity of songs can be written on this theme. Indeed that will be our theme. That love will be known in his awesome presence forever. Until then, we meditate on our theme, and marvel at what we've grasped by grace, and look forward to when faith will be sight and we will know as we are fully known. That's the message that we're pressing home until that day.

6 comments:

David said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog and have made it part of my devotional routine. I have added a link on my blog so friends of mine can enjoy your site as well.

RevGoT said...

I'm glad my random thoughts are edifying to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I'll think of y'all sweating away while I shiver up north as well!

God bless.

Nan said...

Great post Mr. Revgot. Glad you heeded my goading and posted on it!
:^D
Love you.

Pioneer Woman said...

Oh, wow. This gave me goose bumps. When I die, I'm going to need to have at least three funerals so I can get in all the hymns I want.
(Be Still, My Soul...How Great Thou Art...and thirty more.)
P.S. I love that wifey of yours.

Nan said...

Oh my. Be Still My Soul is going to be at my funeral too. I requested it for my Grandmother's service in November.
Only dimented people like us, Ree, are planning our funerals the way that 22 year old single girls plan their weddings.

Aggie said...

Thank you for posting this, I heard it as incidental music on a TV programme I was watching and like you connected the lyrics, but had no idea who the band was. I wondered whether they were trying to send a covert Christian message, but having seen the lyrics in full I guess not!!