Hi all,

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this one, purely a song for a time of reflection perhaps rather than congegational?

https://soundcloud.com/joeaikenmusic/counterfeit-thrones-by-joe-aiken

We've been living on these thrones for way too long

Thinking we're the ones who run the show

How long will we be blind to see

What's going on

We've taken over what was never ours to take

We think the world is so much better done our way

How long will we be blind to see

What's going on

You are God, You will always be

We step down from our counterfeit thrones

And lift You up to the place that is Yours

You will be King

Crowned as we bow down

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I imagine you spent a bunch of time deciding whether to make this an "I" song or a "we" song so I'll just mention that I'd have made it an "I" song... In a song like this about how "I / we have done wrong..." making it "we" seems to me like it kind of accuses everybody else in the room of having done wrong, whereas making it "I" is more like, "well, I screwed up, maybe you can identify as well..."  So I'd have gone with "I," but it's your song.  You mention that this might be a song for personal reflection rather than congregational, so that might be one more reason to make it an "I" song...

Maybe making the last bit "Help us step down..." would soften it a little bit, too.  The first 2/3 of the song feels like "we are in this place of being wrong..." and something needs to be a little different to suggest that we are now changing... would it be too hokey to switch that last section to a major key?  That or change it to something like "if we'd step down..."

Something about the phrase "will we be blind to see..." feels like it needs a little tweakage, maybe just "too blind to see."  Or "refuse to see".

The overall imagery, I get where that's coming from, it's a good story line, but to me the telling doesn't have the impact it could have.  That third section makes this a "problem solved" song but the music still has an "I'm in trouble" feeling to it.

I dunno, just my usual collection of "here's what I'd do if this was my song and I'd gotten this far with it" thoughts.  Take what's helpful, ignore the rest.

Hey Charles, thank you for listening and giving feedback, thought provoking as always (that's a good thing)...

It definitely started out in the 'I' mode but switched to 'we' somewhere along the line.

Your point about others feeling accused of something by this song is a good point. Maybe it is a good song for a group that has collectively felt this challenge from God and wants to respond to that together.

Maybe I'll revisit with some of these thoughts in a few days
Charles Wolff said:

I imagine you spent a bunch of time deciding whether to make this an "I" song or a "we" song so I'll just mention that I'd have made it an "I" song... In a song like this about how "I / we have done wrong..." making it "we" seems to me like it kind of accuses everybody else in the room of having done wrong, whereas making it "I" is more like, "well, I screwed up, maybe you can identify as well..."  So I'd have gone with "I," but it's your song.  You mention that this might be a song for personal reflection rather than congregational, so that might be one more reason to make it an "I" song...

Maybe making the last bit "Help us step down..." would soften it a little bit, too.  The first 2/3 of the song feels like "we are in this place of being wrong..." and something needs to be a little different to suggest that we are now changing... would it be too hokey to switch that last section to a major key?  That or change it to something like "if we'd step down..."

Something about the phrase "will we be blind to see..." feels like it needs a little tweakage, maybe just "too blind to see."  Or "refuse to see".

The overall imagery, I get where that's coming from, it's a good story line, but to me the telling doesn't have the impact it could have.  That third section makes this a "problem solved" song but the music still has an "I'm in trouble" feeling to it.

I dunno, just my usual collection of "here's what I'd do if this was my song and I'd gotten this far with it" thoughts.  Take what's helpful, ignore the rest.

I like the melody you have here Joe.  I appreciate where you are going with the message in the lyrics.  However, I believe you can make these lyrics stronger.  Choose some terms that show our willful and heavy-handed approach to taking over a throne where we have no right to be.  Take some terms from Phil 2:1-12.   Jesus did not seize equality with God.  Use the word "seize" or something like that which shows what we tend to do when we see our long desired opportunities to take over and have our way.  Incorporate some terms from Jesus' blasting of the Pharisees , or even poor James and John, for wanting a place of honor that they did not deserve.   It's not blindness as much as greed or that sinful desire to be praised or to have the power to control people.   It might only take a little tweek here or there, but a stronger lyric will push toward the conviction that this song appears to be leading us to.   

Hi Brian, thank you for listening, really appreciate the feedback.

Brian Lawson said:

I like the melody you have here Joe.  I appreciate where you are going with the message in the lyrics.  However, I believe you can make these lyrics stronger.  Choose some terms that show our willful and heavy-handed approach to taking over a throne where we have no right to be.  Take some terms from Phil 2:1-12.   Jesus did not seize equality with God.  Use the word "seize" or something like that which shows what we tend to do when we see our long desired opportunities to take over and have our way.  Incorporate some terms from Jesus' blasting of the Pharisees , or even poor James and John, for wanting a place of honor that they did not deserve.   It's not blindness as much as greed or that sinful desire to be praised or to have the power to control people.   It might only take a little tweek here or there, but a stronger lyric will push toward the conviction that this song appears to be leading us to.   

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