Condemned No More - lyrics & melody

There are many hymns lyrics that are structured with verses followed by refrains. On the surface, this structure is similar to verses and choruses (A and B sections) used in many popular songs. But because of the emphasis on scriptural depth, hymns often employ many more verses than typical pop songs. It is not uncommon for hymn lyrics to have 4 or more verses. It's a great way to include a lot of rich content. But a lot of verses in a pop song format usually makes them way too long!  I wanted Condemned No More to have at least 4 verses, so I made the verses and choruses somewhat short. This allowed me to have a song under 5 minutes and still keep much of the lyrical content.

Many hymns have a short musical interlude (turnaround) between chorus and verse that provides the literal "breathing room" for the singer. After you sing a powerful chorus, it gives you a chance to catch your breath before singing the following verse. Typically, part of the end of the chorus is repeated to accomplish this. But I decided to use a motif played by guitar. This works as a "bridge" and makes the song more interesting because it incorporates the ethnic folk flavor that echoes the song melody.

I believe the best hymns incorporate both lyrical depth as well as memorable and accessible melodies. And it's important that the melody be simple enough for anyone to enjoy singing it. That's the whole point to worship music... God wants everyone to worship Him, not just good singers! So I tried to write Condemned No More with the singer in mind.

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