Christian Music Lyrics
Christian music lyrics pay respect to faith, spirituality and a belief in Jesus Christ as savior. While there may be some overlap, Christian music lyrics should not be confused with Black gospel music lyrics, which is a whole different genre. Some people do, however, say gospel music lyrics when referring to Christian music lyrics.
Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is a genre that includes rock, pop and worship and emerged in the 1970’s as part of the hippie Jesus movement at the time. While musically secular, Christian music lyrics are decided faith-based and relevant to many followers.
Christian rock is a subset of CCM and in the 1970’s many bands challenged the fundamentalist belief that rock music was in some way sinful or anti-Christian. Larry Norman was one such pioneer who used a contemporary sound along with Christian music lyrics to reach a younger audience of churchgoers who were looking for relevance in faith an entertainment.
Christian music lyrics typically incorporate religious imagery or scripture along with a faith-based message in the songs. Even though CCM may have this imagery, they can also contain love song lyrics just like many other genres of music. Mind Garage’s Electric Liturgy in 1970 is often cited as the first Christian rock album.
Lyrics from U2, Coldplay and The White Stripes, while not openly CCM contain overt Christian thought and the bands have members who are openly Christian. Christian music lyrics by Amy Grant and Debbie Boone, who had the mega-hit You Light Up My Life in 1977 have propelled CCM to the forefront in the past 30 years.
Some bands who write Christian music lyrics have the expressed goal of evangelism, hoping to attract new members to convert. These bands may appear at Christian rock festivals around the country or world or perform in smaller venues.
Another subset of CCM is Christian hardcore, where the music has the edginess of a punk band, but the lyrics carry the message of Jesus, worship and faith to the audience. The Christian hardcore lyrics often reject worldly authority figures in favor of the ultimate authority in God.