Top 10 signs it’s time to cut a song

Top 10 signs it’s time to cut a song


Let’s face it. Every song has a shelf life. Very few tunes are going to endure through the ages. And that’s OK. We just need to know when to remove songs from our active rotations. Here are the top 10 ways to know it’s time to cut a song.


  1. If you hear audible groans from the congregation when the lyrics are projected, it might be time to cut it.
  2. If people are falling over during the song, and you’re not in a Charismatic church, well…yeah, you probably need to let it go.
  3. If you still have this song on an overhead transparency somewhere in storage, you maybe have been doing it too long.
  4. If the senior pastor uncontrollably yawns during this song, you just might get his support to axe this one.
  5. If the only request you get for this song is for funerals, well, enough said.
  6. If the chord charts are actually mimeographed copies, you’ve probably gotten your money’s worth out of this tune.
  7. If you get more than one anonymous threat to burn your guitar or pour sulfuric acid on your piano strings after scheduling this song, you may want to consider retiring it (and finding a new church).
  8. If the teenagers roll their eyes when you start to play this song, don’t worry about it. If the senior citizens do, well, that song’s done.
  9. If your drummer has passive-aggressively made up alternate lyrics to the song about boogers, back hair, or Michael Jackson (and your team likes singing those lyrics better), you might want to put it to rest.
  10. If you have to to admit that the drummer’s lyrics are actually an improvement on the original ones, cut it.


How about you. Got any other criteria for retiring a song? 


Jon Nicol is a worship leader, blogger, teacher in Lexington, OH, USA. He loves helping churches and leaders build remarkable teams & ministries. You can read his blogs 4 – 5 times a week at and connect with him on Twitter @jonnicol

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