Monday, July 7

Thank You, Jesus, For The Cross

I co-wrote a song with Andi Rozier entitled "Thank You, Jesus, For The Cross", and it is receiving some very kind words from such Internet blogs as BISH, and HEART&VOICE.

You can find a demo and lyrics here.

My life lived for only me
My days spent so sinfully
My heart was dark, my eyes too blind to see
My pride destroying me

Your life, sent for sin to die
Your blood shed to justify
Upon the cross, My ransom to afford
This sinners great reward

Thank You, Jesus, for the cross
Thank You for the price You paid for us
Giving up Your life to save the lost
Thank You, Jesus, for the cross

The crown placed upon Your head
The nails meant for me instead
Your death became the only way to life
For me to live is Christ

You knew no sin, but You became sin
The great sacrifice
so we’d become the righteousness of God

The story on this one is pretty fun. Andi and I have been trying to co-write a song for about, um, seven years. It just never worked. There's a lot of hilarious stories, though (Mate - the word "ORBIT" does not belong in a praise song. That's a brand of gum.).

At a song writers retreat about two years ago, we got a verse we both liked, but felt the melody and chorus were "pants" (a British phrase for "awful"). Then, we were helping our good friend Steve Busch write a bridge for one of his songs, and we came up with something Andi and I felt "chuffed" about (British: very excited).

Steve hated it. :-)

Fast forward about two weeks later, and Andi and I were co-leading a song writers retreat. The Lord gave us all a very sweet time. Andi brought out this lyric that we had co-written and played this new melody and brand new chorus. It was so moving. I told him it needed a first verse and ran to a quiet room. I came back 30 minutes later with the verse. We wrote, like, three more verses and kept one of them. AND we put the bridge that Steve Busch didn't like onto our song.

It got some tweaks. Most notably, there was a LOT of debate on the first line of the chorus. Was it better to say "Jesus, Thank You" or "Thank You, Jesus"? It seems strange now, but those of you who write songs know how much you agonize over that stuff.

So - that's how it happened.


andi rozier said...

mate. it was an honor to write this with the songwriter of one of my favorite songs. let's keep it going!

btw: we kept 2 verses (1+3) - right?

Jerry Wiz said...

Going to worship with this song at my small group this week. It's OK if I sing all three verses - right?

Matthew Westerholm said...

O yeah. The verses I'm talking about that we ditched were the one about "So now my life . . ." and, of course, every song needs a verse about heaven at the end. :-)

Matt Stowell was the first to tell us that they were not as good. He's a good (and faithful) friend.