Ten Worst Hymns

Firstthings has taken on a rather daunting task : Identifying the ten worst hymns of all time. Given the massive amount of tripe produced in the last fifty years, it would be hard for me to even begin, but they have done a pretty good job of picking the most banal and puerile stuff.

Three thoughts :

1) I totally agree with “He I am” as one of the worst hymns.  I once did a funeral, and the family wanted the grandkids to sing it.  The whole time they are singing, I’m thinking, “Isn’t this song based one what the disciples said when he told them would be betrayed by one of them? Is that really what the author was trying to say?”

2) I would add “The lamb” to the list.  “He si – ghs.  He Die – s”  Cringe inducing.

3) How bad a sign is it that I knew the lyrics to the number one song without clicking in the text link?  Ahh, my sordid past…

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2 Responses to “Ten Worst Hymns”

  1. Well, I don’t agree that all of the 10 chosen are the “worst” of all time. You possibly are a “post – Vatican II” church musician who hasn’t had the opportunity to play through the St. Gregory and (worse) St. Badsil Hymnals. Yes, many of the hymns and mass settings are wonderful, but some are Irish pablum – awful!!! Not all of the church music done before the change was great. Favorites; they probably are sentimental favorites from youth, having sung them in choir, but they’re still BAD. I think many of the hymns listed are often called “bad” because of poor performance technique, tempo, instrumentation, and lack of choir training. In this respect, nothing much has changed from 8′ 8′ 4′ Gt-Pedal and 16′ of most Catholic worship before the Council in most Catholic churches. There are exceptions to anything, but banal music is almost the norm because of lack or leadership and investment in a first class music program by most parishes. Anything and everything comes before.

    • forestboar Says:

      I am deeply offended by the suggestion that I am a “post Vatican 2” sort of person. I’m not even a “Post Vatican 1” sort of person. I am a “Pre-council of Trent” sort of guy. To my mind, if it was written after 1600, it probably isn’t that great a hymn. Otherwise it would have already been written.
      No, I’m not kidding. I actually consider Paul Gerhardt a “Modern hymnist.” Anything after 1700 is recent. Anything after 1800 is definitely contemporary. And anything after 1900 is simply “Pop” music.
      Although I must confess that I do enjoy the pop artist +Martin Franzman+.

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