Updated:  I agreed with the feedback on the recording and changed 1 and 3 of the refrain to make it more conversational.  'treeee of my sin' was changed to 'tree of my sin', and 'liiiiife without end' was changed to 'life without end'.  Good feedback.  The demo, notation and lyric files have all been updated and are uploaded here. 

Thanks for your help,

Steve

***********

A friend of mine wrote some simple verses a few years ago called Merciful Savior.  I loved them so much, I asked him if I could record it.  He said sure, do whatever you want with the song.  So, I not only recorded it, but I added a refrain.

Mp3, chord chart and lead sheet are attached.

I hope you enjoy, and please use the song in your church if you like it.

Blessings,

Steve

           Merciful Savior         

 by Robert Wagener and Stephen Robert Cass

© 2013 Robert Wagener

© 2015 Solid Walnut Music / ASCAP

CCLI Song# 7041772

 

59 bpm

 

Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God, born of a heart that beats from above.

You came to settle the debt that I owed, Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God

Merciful Savior

 

Merciful Savior, You came for me, took on my sentence so I could go free.                 

You suffered my lashes and carried my cross, Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God

Merciful Savior

You were broken and bled on the tree of my sin

Opened Your arms even though I was condemned                          

Your act of grace gave me a life without end

One with the Father forever! Amen!

Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God, born of a heart that beats from above.

You came to settle the debt that I owed, Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God

Sweet Lamb of God

You were broken and bled on the tree of my sin, Oh the mystery!

Opened Your arms even though I was condemned                          

Your act of grace gave me a life without end, glorious victory!

One with the Father forever! Amen!

Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God, born of a heart that beats from above.

You came to settle the debt that I owed, Merciful Savior, Sweet Lamb of God

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Since I see that you already released this song and it has a CCLI #, I am wondering what specific feedback you are looking for.  Such as, in other cases where feedback has been requested, some have asked if those songs are "singable" for congregations or groups, or if they have a style that fits a youth audience, etc.  In those instances, the song sharer received feedback (both positive and negative) on the specific areas, and any other issue that the feedback reply-er wished to share.  If I were working on a song that has not been released, I would want suggestions or thoughts on what would make a song complete, improved, easy to sing, etc.  But for your song, I would guess at this point that you aren't going to "rewrite" or make any more improvements to it.    So, your request for feedback is kind of open ended, but I'll give you more than whether or not I like it, or whether I think it is a good song.

I enjoy the basic melody in the verses.  This song doesn't present a music style that appeals to me, but I appreciate what you did here.  

I assume that you intend this as a congregational / group worship song.  It kind of works that way.  However, the speed or tempo at "merciful" is a little quick - too many syllables per second for group singing in my opinion.  (This is something I am beginning to notice about songs that are singable for groups - they have the right # of syllables per second, and fewer ends up being better on average - still something I have yet to do well).  Overall I would view the song as one to sit back and listen to rather than sing in a group or congregation.

At "tree of my sin", I don't like how "tree" is stretched out.  Doesn't sound right to me.  Perhaps it is the elongated "e" vowel sound at that point.  

The next point is mainly about the performance, which is good overall, but where you are singing "how He loves me" sounds like "Howie loves me".  Perhaps Howie does, but I'm sure you meant Jesus. ;-)

Thanks for sharing your song.  As mentioned earlier, if you have a specific aspect of your song where you are looking for feedback, please let me / us know.

Thanks Brian--

I wasn't posting it for feedback reasons, but all feedback is surely desired, and always wanted.  I appreciate yours.

I didn't know where else to post this.  I just wanted to share it.  Have any suggestions where is best?

Oh, I meant to say:  These days, CCLI doesn't accept lyrics and music until a song has been requested by more than two churches.  So, I still have a chance to change up the song if I want before it gets 'published' there.  Also, this song isn't going on any record yet.

Thanks,

Steve

Hey Steve,

There is a place to just share songs from your own profile page.  I uploaded 3 songs that I studio recorded a week ago.  One of those is the "We Thank You" song that I posted on this "give and get song feedback" forum.  I think for a few moments after sharing on my own profile section, those 3 songs showed up on the left-hand side of the WTR main home page of this website until an immediate flurry of activity and sharing by others moved it quickly off the radar.  A person can go to my profile page to listen to those still (hint, hint), or you can go to anyone's profile page here to see if they have posted songs.  Long story short, perhaps the best way to simply share a song on WTR is to just post it on this "give and get feedback" so it doesn't immediately disappear from the main view of the members.  If you do not want your song analyzed intensely by certain folks, then post on your profile, but that may result in nobody noticing or hearing what you've shared.

Phil W, if you're listening, maybe we need a new forum where we can post "songs that are finished, but I'd just like to post it for people to listen."  I know people can post songs on their profile page, but that doesn't exactly draw attention.  If I hear a song up for critique that I really like, I'll go to the person's profile page to see if they have any others, but I generally don't go around checking profile pages... especially if (and I'm not sure if this is true here or not) as soon as you get to the profile page the song autoplays...  until then, though, I'm okay with people posting songs to the songwriter forum for feedback, even if the song is unlikely to change.  As Brian wrote, though, it is nice when the person posting the song explains what they're looking for in terms of feedback.

Okay, this song... first off, the fuzz guitar does nothing for me, it doesn't feel like it fits the feel of the rest of the song.

The other thing about this one is that the intro feels like it's in 4/4 (or maybe 12/8) but then the first verse feels like it's in 9/8 and I think it goes some other places later on.  At 1:40 or so it shifts to a definite 3/4.  If we did this with our band, I think it would quickly evolve into one of those rhythms and everything else would shift itself.  Maybe I'm mis-hearing some of the rhythyms, though it does sound like you're intentionally changing rhythms in there.  Also, for the record, the .mp3 is 4:09 long and it sounds like the actual song should be longer than that.

So, to answer one of the questions I always try to answer when critiquing songs on here... as a worship leader, I would probably pass on trying to use this one with our band / in our service.  The changing rhythms would make it tough for the congregation (and the band) to pick it up.  Also, the words feel, to me, a little old-fashioned - not 1850 old fashioned, but just a little too hymn-like for what we're aiming at in our service.  Maybe...

Have you tried doing this as a straight 3.4 song all the way through, more of a "folk hymn" sound?  Maybe that's why the rhythms are the way they are, you tried it like that and it was too boring, but I think that might serve the song better.

By the way, I will have more to say on your other post, about the book, it was just a hectic weekend here...

Hi Steve, 

Read this post this morning and was thinking along the same lines as Charles about a new category for sharing songs but not necessarily wanting feedback.  I have looked through the existing categories and feel at the moment this is the best place to share your song.  You could amend the wording of your post and make it clear that you prefer not to receive feedback, but would like to share it with others and I am sure fellow members will respect this.  

Kindest Regards.  Lorraine

Hi Brian--

I actually love getting critiqued.  It's the only way to go forward.  A song's never complete until there's feedback from listeners.  Thanks again for yours.  I agree with the melody on 'treeee'.  It does not seem natural, and it will when I continue the line naturally.  Funny how sometimes we think we have something right and we really don't.

Steve

Brian Lawson said:

Hey Steve,

There is a place to just share songs from your own profile page.  I uploaded 3 songs that I studio recorded a week ago.  One of those is the "We Thank You" song that I posted on this "give and get song feedback" forum.  I think for a few moments after sharing on my own profile section, those 3 songs showed up on the left-hand side of the WTR main home page of this website until an immediate flurry of activity and sharing by others moved it quickly off the radar.  A person can go to my profile page to listen to those still (hint, hint), or you can go to anyone's profile page here to see if they have posted songs.  Long story short, perhaps the best way to simply share a song on WTR is to just post it on this "give and get feedback" so it doesn't immediately disappear from the main view of the members.  If you do not want your song analyzed intensely by certain folks, then post on your profile, but that may result in nobody noticing or hearing what you've shared.

Thanks to the Lord for hectic weekends to keep us on the straight and narrow :-)

I think that my lack of music theory and the fact that I'm a complete ear musician has taken me to this point on the rhythm offerings during this song.  I do know some decent music theory now, but came by it later in my musical life.  As you explain how you hear the rhythm shift in the song, I could also hear it.  To my ear, though, I would settle on saying that the entire song is intended to be 6/8.  When it shifts to the refrain and you are hearing 3/4, I have it neatly notated out in 6/8 and it works.  So, to my uneducated ear, I don't understand how duration and phrasing can dictate time signature...it's a feel thing to me.

But I completely hear why it could easily be notated in 12/8.  I guess the feel of the kick is what set the tone for the song on that, although my intention was 6/8.

You're right, the song began as a 3/4 folk-style and evolved rhythmically.  As far as playing the song, the beautiful part of music to me is making the song your own, rhythmically, if it speaks to you.

Charles Wolff said:

Phil W, if you're listening, maybe we need a new forum where we can post "songs that are finished, but I'd just like to post it for people to listen."  I know people can post songs on their profile page, but that doesn't exactly draw attention.  If I hear a song up for critique that I really like, I'll go to the person's profile page to see if they have any others, but I generally don't go around checking profile pages... especially if (and I'm not sure if this is true here or not) as soon as you get to the profile page the song autoplays...  until then, though, I'm okay with people posting songs to the songwriter forum for feedback, even if the song is unlikely to change.  As Brian wrote, though, it is nice when the person posting the song explains what they're looking for in terms of feedback.

Okay, this song... first off, the fuzz guitar does nothing for me, it doesn't feel like it fits the feel of the rest of the song.

The other thing about this one is that the intro feels like it's in 4/4 (or maybe 12/8) but then the first verse feels like it's in 9/8 and I think it goes some other places later on.  At 1:40 or so it shifts to a definite 3/4.  If we did this with our band, I think it would quickly evolve into one of those rhythms and everything else would shift itself.  Maybe I'm mis-hearing some of the rhythyms, though it does sound like you're intentionally changing rhythms in there.  Also, for the record, the .mp3 is 4:09 long and it sounds like the actual song should be longer than that.

So, to answer one of the questions I always try to answer when critiquing songs on here... as a worship leader, I would probably pass on trying to use this one with our band / in our service.  The changing rhythms would make it tough for the congregation (and the band) to pick it up.  Also, the words feel, to me, a little old-fashioned - not 1850 old fashioned, but just a little too hymn-like for what we're aiming at in our service.  Maybe...

Have you tried doing this as a straight 3.4 song all the way through, more of a "folk hymn" sound?  Maybe that's why the rhythms are the way they are, you tried it like that and it was too boring, but I think that might serve the song better.

By the way, I will have more to say on your other post, about the book, it was just a hectic weekend here...

Hi Lorraine--

You know, as I was posting this, I thought about stating how I wasn't looking for any feedback, or however to word that the way I intended. But I decided not to.  Only fools won't listen to others' feedback.  Who am I, anyway? :-)  But I agree, there might be a forum strictly for posting songs.

After thinking about it, I think I should have asked specifically for some feedback regarding congregation singability, melody, etc., anyway.  That's what I'm really after.

Thanks,

Steve


Lorraine Doswell said:

Hi Steve, 

Read this post this morning and was thinking along the same lines as Charles about a new category for sharing songs but not necessarily wanting feedback.  I have looked through the existing categories and feel at the moment this is the best place to share your song.  You could amend the wording of your post and make it clear that you prefer not to receive feedback, but would like to share it with others and I am sure fellow members will respect this.  

Kindest Regards.  Lorraine

Ok Steve that's great so long as you are happy with that : )

Thanks for the suggestion Charles. As it's the first time this has come up I'm not sure it currently warrants it's own category at this stage, but I'll certainly bear it in mind. That being said people can still post in this category and simply state that they would prefer not to have feedback (if that is indeed the case).

Charles Wolff said:

Phil W, if you're listening, maybe we need a new forum where we can post "songs that are finished, but I'd just like to post it for people to listen."  I know people can post songs on their profile page, but that doesn't exactly draw attention.  If I hear a song up for critique that I really like, I'll go to the person's profile page to see if they have any others, but I generally don't go around checking profile pages... especially if (and I'm not sure if this is true here or not) as soon as you get to the profile page the song autoplays...  until then, though, I'm okay with people posting songs to the songwriter forum for feedback, even if the song is unlikely to change.  As Brian wrote, though, it is nice when the person posting the song explains what they're looking for in terms of feedback.

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