Month: November 2015

  • Blog
  • Song Story: Come Thou Fount (Hallelujah)

    Come Thou Fount // Hallbanner

    by Stacy Tan


     

    It has been nearly a week since Come Thou Fount (Hallelujah) was released & we’ve been so blessed by the outpouring of feedback & affirmation from the Singaporean community. The transformation of this beloved hymn started out as a complete experiment when we unearthed an old project idea for songwriting class, which was to ask students to rearrange a classic hymn. There’s something special about hymns of old that strike a chord in people’s hearts. Perhaps its their metric & musical symmetry, or their distinctive choral patterns that draw people to them, but I like to think that its mostly because so much of their lyrical content & imagery arise heavily from scripture & meditation.

    We went through many hymns before finally settling on Come Thou Fount. This hymn has always been a favourite of mine, but I loved it even more after hearing Calvin talk about Robert Robinson (the original songwriter of Come Thou Fount) before band rehearsal one day. Born in 1735, Robinson grew up fatherless & joined a gang as a youth, bullying innocents & living a life of degeneracy. One day, Robinson & his gang started to harass a gypsy who suddenly singled him out & foretold that he would live to see his children & grandchildren. These words shook Robinson, who felt convicted that he would have to change his way of living in order to see the generations after him. In 1755, at the age of 20, Robert gave his life to the Lord & became an influential Methodist preacher. Two years later, he wrote the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing which expressed the joy he found in his new faith.

    I love that story so much because of its honesty. It reminds me that Robinson, like the rest of us, are but strangers who continuously wander from the fold of God. But what immense grace, that this is a God who would take us back, time & time again.

    Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
    prone to leave the God I love
    Here’s my heart, O take & seal it
    seal it for thy courts above

    Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

    But what immense grace, that this is a God who would take us back, time & time again…

    & the new bridge & chorus? As we always teach in songwriting class, a good song is one that embodies an eternal, scriptural truth about God while simultaneously retelling that truth in a fresh, creative way. While we love the lyrics of the original hymn, we wanted to write new words to add to the heavily-personal narrative, words that would act as a mighty, calling trumpet sound, words for a truly AWAKENED generation to gather & sing.

    Written primarily by Alarice, the new song parts ended up reflecting the very heart of Awaken Generation, which is to stir the children of God to awaken to their evangelistic calling & to celebrate in an eternal, Christ-won victory.  

    Hallelujah, He has saved me
    Hallelujah, He has come
    Hallelujah, it is finished
    O the victory has been won

    O awaken, all ye children
    hear the call of Father’s love
    This salvation, not for keeping
    but to share & to award
    A generation you desire
    bringing Jesus to the lost
    No other worthy cause we cling to
    than the one shown on the cross

    No other worthy cause but you, Jesus.

    Love,
    Stacy

  • Blog
  • Song Story: Sons & Daughters

    by Yvonne Ng


     

    “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him “Abba, Father. For his spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

    (Romans 8:15-16)

    Before I joined Awaken Generation, songwriting to me was always more of an ad-hoc thing, something that I did as & when inspiration hit. It was only after coming back from the mission field in 2012 that I realized that writing songs was not just a hobby, but a gift that had to be faithfully stewarded. When I discovered AG many months later, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to work on this gift that he gave me.

    It was at one of the Awaken Generation meetings that this song idea started to unfold. In May, Josh Yeoh (international worship leader) came to minister to us about hosting God’s presence. One thing he shared really stuck with me, which was about the importance of aligning our hearts with the Father. I remember God giving me the phrase Sons & Daughters as the session continued.

    It dawned on me that God is not seeking after people who just go to church on Sundays or worship Him routinely; He is seeking after people who firstly know their identity as His sons & daughters. Sometimes as seasoned Christians, we forget His sovereignty over our lives & become susceptible to the slave mentality. I must do good things all the time to be a good Christian. If I don’t, God will not love me. How untrue this is, for Christ died for us to adopt the mantle of sonship, & not slaveship! He is for us, not against us.

    Christ died for us to adopt the mantle of sonship, & not slaveship.

    Anyway, back to the song idea: Sons & Daughters. Somehow, this little phrase stuck with me for the whole week & I knew that I had to write a song about it. The song started coming together later in the week, after I decided to get on the piano & ask God to inspire me. Amazingly enough, I wrote the entire first draft of Sons & Daughters in half an hour!

    We are sons & daughters of God
    Chains are broken, they are broken
    We are sons & daughters of God
    Sin defeated, we are victorious!

    Since its release, Sons & Daughters has been viewed over 16 000 times & has reached close to 70 000 people. If anything, writing this song has taught me that if everyone has a common identity & confidence in Him, we are like a mighty army that can defeat anything, breaking down walls relentlessly, unashamedly & victoriously. 

    It’s not about me but it’s all about Him.

     

    Cheers,
    Yvonne

    P.S. You can download the free MP3 track of Sons & Daughters here, as well as the original chord charts.

  • Blog
  • (the making of) Sons & Daughters

    S&D Banner 2

    by Alarice



    We lift our voices & declare
    You are able, we’re prepared
    Build your kingdom as you raise a generation
    An army laid down for your cause
    A revolution marked by love
    Build your kingdom as you raise a generation…

    Since Awaken Generation started earlier this year, I always knew that I wanted to release original music that came from our own students. There’s something special that happens when a nation sings songs written BY the people of that very nation. Original music written by the local church is like a mirror; the soundscapes reflect the physical terrain, the internal conflicts of its people, the hungry cry of the multitudes. Local church has its own vocabulary & worship sound, & it was always a dream of mine to capture that very sound. Who knew that it would happen so soon!

    Sometime in early May, one of our songwriting stream students Yvonne Ng started to pen a song called “Sons & Daughters”. It is a powerful song about a generation finding its identity in Christ, & before we knew it, it had become an anthem for the class of 2015. I thought, how great it would be if we could one day record this song. Nothing big – just a couple musicians & a simple set up. That would be amazing!

    Original music written by the local church is like a mirror; the soundscapes reflect the physical terrain, the internal conflicts of its people, the hungry cry of the multitudes…

    Sons&Daughters_1

    God is funny. I love how he just shows up & pours his blessing over our endeavours, regardless if we are ready or not. What started as a tiny idea soon exploded into a full-scale production: four tracks, an eight-piece band, fifteen vocalists & a full videography team. In just five weeks, our team & student cohort pulled together & wrestled with the weight of this massive project – yet, I knew that God was doing something. When something magnificent happens through something small like Awaken Generation, it’s not to feed human ego but to point back to His incredible providence & grace. It’s then that one can confess, with all heart & soul: This could only be God.

    Thus here it is: The Sons & Daughters Live Recording Project. Recorded in an empty warehouse in the heart of the city & uniting students across all streams, it embodies the heart of worship that we value & cultivate here at Awaken Generation. We hope these songs will minister to you as they have ministered to us.

    You can download the chord chart for Sons & Daughters here. Stay tuned for more tracks from our debut EP!

    Love,
    Alarice