A few weeks ago after Mass, a parishioner was talking to me, and he pointed out how happy he was that I wasn't using any more of that "Haugen/Haas stuff." I admitted I had made a definite decision to avoid using certain types of songs, regardless of how much affection and nostalgia people have for them.
But...should I really be determining my song choices based on the composer? (I'm not. As you noticed for my All Saints songs, I DID use "Blest Are They," because it is a completely appropriate Communion Antiphon!)
Shouldn't the text and musical reverence of the song take more precedence over purely the composer?
I mean, "Blest Are They," is actually NOT like any song you would hear on the radio. (Use of popular style songs being the biggest argument against many "contemporary" songs.) And I would differentiate also between Haugen/Haas as being simply "folksy" (but what the heck does that mean? Doesn't that just mean "singable by the average person?") as compared with true "contemporary" songs like "Awesome God," for example, which is undeniably a more radio-popular style. (Not saying ANYTHING about the adequateness of the song by itself.) (Life Teen type songs, for example, [which is a completely different post-perhaps I do believe that Life Teen has its place, but let's save that for another time...] )
Anyhow, I can't remember why I went off on that tangent...
so....some songs are simply...not hymns? and perhaps also have the stigma of being written by one composer or another that we normally like to disdain?
Really, can anyone claim that "Blest are They" is an intrinsically poor song? (I think the melody actually nice. The words completely scriptural. Actually, now that I think of it, it tends to alternate between "Blest are they," and "blest are you..." which is it actually scripturally? Is that then the only complaint leveled against it? and a few verses that vary enough in melodic rhythm, that...yeah...)
ok, now I'm rambling.
To summarize more, I just had my choir sing a piece, based on a wonderful famous prayer, but by a rather similar composer to the one mentioned above...if you didn't know the composer, you would think, "oh, what a lovely, reverent, song!" but if (most of you who read this blog...) knew the composer, you'd think, "yech! him again!"
but is that really fair?