For some reason, I always try and write songs that have some sort of anthemic feel to them. Back in the 90’s my most memorable experiences in worship were getting to know songs like Did You Feel The Mountain Tremble? and Obsession by Delirious – the epic numbers that journeyed through intimate moments to get to storming choruses that really moved me.
Sing Sing Sing, in part tries to imitate some of that feeling – a long atmospheric intro, moving to quiet verses, to a big chorus. I love the ‘bigness’ of the song.
The theme and content of the song took it’s own journey – in the first instance writing about creation and being inspired by all creation having a voice to worship God. I love the imagery of trees that clap their hands, and all creatures singing.
The bridge of the song “Every tribe, every nation, every tongue, every people, we’re gonna keep on singing…”, was firstly the hardest section to write, but ultimately was the most personal. After hearing first hand accounts of the persecution of Christians in another country, and sharing the pain of a family that even feared death through their circumstances, these words took on new meaning for me.
I realised that the song of the earth, of creation, of Gods people cannot be silenced. You can never mute the voice of worship that is in the earth. Even through persecution and trial, the song of worship just gets stronger. “We’re gonna keep on singing”.
Because of the diverse people that belong to my home church, I also loved the idea of voices of different languages joining in praise – you may not understand them, but they are words of praise spoken in Chinese, Albanian, German and Zulu dialects. Kevin Prosch once said that when we get to heaven, it’s not going to be a white man with a guitar leading worship (!) – we need to love and embrace the cultures that surround us and join with their song also.
All creatures of our God and King, sing sing sing!