The Multiverse of a Worship Song: Matt Redman's "This Beating Heart"

Welcome to the multiverse, where all your worship needs will be fulfilled...
Recently I was listening to the latest Matt Redman record, Your Grace Finds Me (2013), which I pretty much like and am still trying to figure out which songs from it I want to sing at my church (I know, my process of deliberation is slow and tedious). Well, when the song "This Beating Heart" came on it was immediately clear this song, more than others, was the "Mumford-and-Sons-bandwagon-song." You know, because of the kids

Banjo? ....check. 
Bass drum and foot stomps? ....checkers. 
Ooooo-ey, ooooh-ey, aaaaah-ey vocal hook? Yes indeed!

My beating heart sank. I couldn't really listen to the song anymore, even though I kept it playing on my car stereo. The lyrics, which are pretty decent, just sped right past me, because the music had become a distraction. I don't know if the Mumford DNA was embedded pre-hoc or post-hoc, but their intention was blatantly obvious: somewhere in the songwriting/arranging process someone legitimately suggested and/or asked to make the song sound like Marcus Mumford and co.'s psuedo-bluegrass, neo-folk, bearded, suspendered, hipster, already three years old music industry zeitgeist. 

Sorry for the impassioned cynicism. I mostly like Mumford and Sons. They're decent, you know?

You see, I do not intend this entry to be a rant against the dubious schemes of the the worship music industry but instead a thought experiment wherein I attempt to combine two fields of knowledge: (1) the multiverse, the theoretical notion that there are infinite possible universes in existence simultaneously, and (2) worship songs.  Thus, what I mean to write about is the multiverse of a worship song

Because you know, the Mumford-Redman song really got me thinking about how "This Beating Heart" and then the entire album Your Grace Finds Me would exist in the multiverse, where we would find infinite versions of each of the songs off the album.  This means that in one universe, "This Beating Heart" would sound like...let's say Prince instead of Mumford and Sons, while another song, such as "Sing and Shout" would sound like Pink instead of ________ (fill in the blank because your options are endless!). Actually in this particular universe, this would be the "P" album, with other songs sounding like Paul McCartney, Pantera, Pharrell Williams, and Pink Floyd.  But then, don't you realize, that since we are dealing with the multiverse we would have endless versions of "This Beating Heart" as a song and Your Grace Finds Me as an album (each in their own universe(s)), and thus, among infinite options we would also have the Prince, the Pink, the McCartney, etc. versions of "This Beating Heart" as a song? Are you following me here? Isn't it amazing and wonderful?

The benefits are, well, infinite. If our worship songs exist in the multiverse we can ensure an infinite number of versions of a worship song exist as a means of appealing to an infinite number of people as well as an infinite number of variations on those infinite people. Surely any given song will find its audience then! Meaning, let's say there's a version of me in another universe (which indeed there is) who on a particular Sunday prefers the Bruce Springsteen version of "This Beating Heart". Well, that version of me will be satisfied and better able to worship God on that Sunday.  

Now, of course, since there are infinite universes, there are a whole heckuva a lot of versions of me who really wanted Springsteen or DC Talk or The Gaithers and didn't get them on that particular Sunday, but that's OK. It's all a roll of the (infinite) dice.  The point is that with an infinite number of versions of a song come an infinite amount of satisfaction. You want Paul Simon? You got it! You want Paul Robeson? You GOT it! Do you want J.S Bach or C.P.E Bach? ALL can be yours! Everyone's musical tastes and preferences will be met. Everyone will get to worship God by singing exactly the type of music they like best.

...Oh but wait. If there are an infinite number of versions of songs and an infinite number of versions of people in a infinite number of versions of churches on an infinite number of Sundays, then there will also be an infinite amount of dissatisfied people who aren't hearing the version of Mumford-Redman's "This Beating Heart" that they wanted to hear on that particular Sunday morning. 

Stinkers binkers. I guess not as many people will be able to worship God as I once thought. Maybe this whole thing isn't going to work out after all...

You can read my review on Matt Redman's latest album Unbroken Praise here.
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