Then there are those people with imagination who direct the choir to sing Once in Royal David’s City in a new and fresh way. There may be a new release of a Christmas pop song, brought up to date by an up-and-coming pop star. And then there are the covers.
Some of the most striking music I’ve heard over the last two months, the ones that have made me stop what I’m doing and pay attention, have been covers. And I don’t just mean someone singing someone else’s song, but the ones where a singer or a band totally change the song, so it takes a while to work out where you’ve heard it before, and how the original goes.
First there was ‘Half the World Away’ originally by Oasis, and used by John Lewis in their Christmas advert.
Then a cover of ‘You Don’t Own Me’ originally by Lesley Gore was used by House of Fraser in their Christmas advert.
I then heard an amazing cover of ‘In the Bleak Mid Winter’, used by All Saints Peckham in their video of the Nativity, called Snow on Snow by Rue Royale.
And at Christ Church we used a cover of ‘Shining Light’ by Rend Collective with new emphasis and a different meaning to the lyrics, originally a song by Ash.
There’s something about hearing a song you know well, that you’re familiar with and to which you know the lyrics, in a different style, or at a slower pace, or to a different rhythm, or even to a different melody that makes you pay attention.
I’m left wondering how God gets my attention - what would God have to do to get my attention at the moment, this New Year? What is he trying to tell me, and am I listening? Would he lead me into a slower pace, or change the rhythm of my life, or even change the main tune to something completely different? Am I looking to him, listening to him, for the rhythm of my life, or just doing the same old stuff, rolling out the same themes and tunes, season by season?