We asked for some help a while back on recommended songs for kids worship and promised to share the resultant article with you. The article was commissioned by CCLI in the UK so the resources are pretty UK-centric. That will likely mean some great discoveries here for those of you in the rest of the world. And of course the chance for you to share your own personal favourites in the comments below.
Many a child’s musical toy-box overflows with songs and rhymes, especially when actions and movements are involved.
Classics such as The Wheels On The Bus, If I Were A Butterfly and the 1932 cuddly two-step Teddy Bears’ Picnic remain favourites. More recently, songs from Disney, High School Musical, and Veggie Tales, where computer animated vegetables help children learn about life and faith, have all packed-out the playground of sing-a-long delights.
As a result of Sunday schools, Parent and Toddler groups, seasonal fun weeks, school nativities and Bible-story animations, there is now a vast array of Bible-themed songs aimed at children of all ages. Of course, we’re all familiar with Father Abraham, The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock and He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, but how do we stay up to date with the latest songs? And, with so much now available, how do we find the gems guaranteed to set children’s feet a-stomping and hands a-clapping? CCLI set out to find some answers…
Our Song Is A Great Big Song
A catchy tune seems to be the starting point for a great children’s song. Nigel Hemming of Vineyard Kids and the Great Big God series, adds that in addition to being catchy, “it must have a good vibe! It’s a myth that all children’s songs have to be bouncy or crazy, though it’s fun to have a few, but I think a good one knows what style it’s trying to be and works well within that.”
Jo Squires from BIG Ministries observes, “Music is a big part of most children’s lives, either songs from the radio or music from films, and so it’s important the songs we write are the same standard as these. We learn so much through songs too, as music and words can be so memorable. It’s absolutely crucial that the lyrics we write for children’s songs are not just thrown together but make sense, teach good theological truths and are written in ‘normal’ language.”
The instant-recall factor is obviously a vital musical element but Squires alludes to other equally important factors – content and lyrics. Many middle-aged adults possibly remember singing ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning’which invoke memories of campfires and lanterns. For our media-savvy, net-generation the challenge is on to take God-truths and bible stories and convey them with cultural relevance. Read More