Monday, August 07, 2006

God Bless Africa

"Born in song, gods people are always singing" An immortal line from an ever popular hymn and a "tag" that has been oft applied to the Methodist People. yet this week radio 4 reminded us all of the lasting legacy of a more modern day Methodist. Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika is one of the main contributers to the current south african anthem and it was written by a teacher at a Methodist Missionary school. It's first public outing was for the ordination of a methodist minister and less than 50years later was used at the very first ANC meetings and many subsiquent meetings since then. It was a song that provided one of the major rousing and lifting tunes for the anti-aparteid movement on a road to national self-realisatoin and liberation. So, where is all this going? Well a thought I have been having recently... where are all the good songs and hymns gone? As Methodists we are blessed to have a rich and varied history of hymn writers. These were people who influenced more than just the denomination they helped found/ were part of (People like Charles Wesley or Fred Pratt Green or even Freda Head. Yet of late there seems to be a complete lack of fresh young writers. It would seem that the evangelicals have all the good tunes really. Whilst people such as John Bell and others do a stirling job of the other theological viewpoints there just isn't the real diversity out there. That said... Maybe I am wrong.... Let me know Take Care Y'All John