By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
A chorus change to the song “Above All” has been used twice in Chapel this semester, causing some confusion as students adjust to the change.
Dr. Jeanene Reese, assistant professor of Bible, missions and ministry, said she rewrote the chorus to point back to Christ.
“It’s such a majestic song; he is above all, above everything we’ll ever know,” she said. “The biggest problem I have is at the very end, which puts ‘me above all.’ That’s a very troubling sentiment.”
She also said the imagery of a rose falling to the ground and being trampled didn’t fit with the imagery for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
“I see a picture of sacrifice and then I see a rose and see someone stomping on it,” she said. “That’s not comparable to the death of Jesus.”
Reese said in an e-mail to Brad Carter, coordinator of Chapel programming, that she also felt that “taking the fall” did not did not fit with the poetry and eloquence of the first part of the song.
Reese said she and several colleges had discussed the song and agreed that they weren’t going to sing it that way again.
“I got to the point where I thought that I just couldn’t sing it one more time,” she said. “That’s when I sat down and penned what I did.”
Carter said the words to other songs have not officially been changed, but that he does receive feedback from both students and faculty about lyrics they don’t see as theologically sound.
“We try to think about, look at and discuss the words to the songs we’re singing and the appropriateness of those words for our worship,” Carter said, admitting that they don’t always do a good job of evaluating.
Next semester, he said, part of the Worship Formation Program discussion will focus on the appropriateness of songs for worship.