‘Simple songs for young and old’

Short review of the latest EP by City Alight

Not all kids songs should be upbeat and rambunctious with numerous actions to humiliate the uncoordinated dads of your church, ‘Simple songs for the young and old’ by CityAlight offers an alternative, a well-trodden alternative and a warmly welcomed alternative.

Since Issac Watts published his pithily titled ‘Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children’ in 1715, gifted songwriters have sought to serve the young with simple words and melodies so the truth of God’s Word might get to the hearts of even the youngest souls. Isaac Watts’ masterpiece was a best seller for over 150 years and by the mid-19th century more than one thousand editions had been printed, the 6 songs on this EP might not find such acclaim, but they are worth a listen and certainly worth including into your church repertoire. Why? 

1. They are simple songs 

The tunes are simple. You will be hard-pressed to find a note that even the most musically illiterate won’t be able to anticipate. There are no obscure bars with 5 beats, or random diminished chords to make the guitarists sweat. These songs are beautifully simple, which is good, because anyone of any age and any ability can pick them up and confidently sing. Warning: if you are an accomplished musician you will be musically bored from first note to last, but it’s not about you and it’s not about you exercising your musical prowess! We sing and we lead the singing to praise the Lord and encourage our brothers and sisters, so rejoice in these simple songs that declare the beautiful simple gospel of Jesus.  

2. They are for young and old 

If you have ever felt slightly childish doing actions to a wildly upbeat, syncopated noise fest of a children’s song, relax, these 5 songs are not in that mould. I have nothing against actions, or playing things fast and noisily, but the great blessing of these songs is that young and old can collectively sing truths they understand to the Lord and to one another, reciprocally edifying, focussing on the truths being sung. What a joy to have young believers sing the gospel to us! 

Please have a listen and enjoy 25mins of repetitious simplicity in these gospel songs. They are simple, but each song repeats a truth that we all need to hear and hold in our hearts… 

Truth 1 –  Jesus calls me friend. 

Truth 2 –  The Lord is by my side. 

Truth 3 – My God is overall. 

Truth 4 – Day after day, Jesus reigns. 

Truth 5 – Jesus is strong and kind. 

Personal highlight…the chorus of ‘He calls me friend’ is annoyingly catchy, such that I can’t get it out of my head. Thanks CityAlight! (I really mean it…”thank you”)

Download the chord charts via the link here


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