Forget Me Not

It’s time for my Midweek Recommendation, in which I commend to your attention books or music or movies or anything I find worth recommending.

I have a confession to make: I like a lot of Christian Contemporary Music from the late 70’s through to the early 90’s.

I know, I know – some of you are shaking your heads in disgust. And, I know why. Some of it isn’t all that great. There are some really cheesy songs, some second (or even, third?) rate talents, and the production value is often pretty bad, as a lot of these albums were made on a pretty limited budget by mainstream recording standards.

Nevertheless, I still enjoy a lot of this music. Part of this can be attributed to nostalgia. I think all of us have blind-spots for particular foods, TV shows and movies, music and art and other things that we enjoyed at a young age. We might develop ‘better’ taste in each of these things as we mature, but we still remember fondly things we fell in love with in our youth. Heck, there are songs I didn’t like at all when they came out that I love to hear now. (Case in point, “Back on the Chain Gang” by the Pretenders came on the radio a few days ago, and I couldn’t crank it up loud enough, even though I hated it when it first came out…)

Even so, I don’t think nostalgia is all of it. Some of these bands had genuine talent, even if their albums weren’t always produced so well. And, some of the power of their music, I think, is connected to the truths they sang about. Some wrote cheesy Christian music, but not all of them.

One band that I am by no means an expert in, as they have continued to make music long after the days when I listened to it, is Glad. They became famous for a while because of a few a capella albums they made, but I listened to them before those days and don’t actually know those albums as well (though even their earlier stuff often included short a capella pieces).

One reason why Glad has survived so well with me is that Ed Nalle – the lead singer – has a great voice. Whatever can be said about some Christian musicians being second rate, this can’t be said about him. I think he’s a great vocal talent. Also, I think Glad tended to write better songs, lyrically, than most.

One of my favorite Glad albums is the one pictured above, “No Less Than All.” It came out in 1983, and it is most famous for “That Hymn Thing” where they take a hymn (“We Praise Thee O God, Our Redeemer, Creator”) and play it in several different styles. I saw them live several times, and this was always a highlight.

And yet, of all the songs on this album, and there are several good ones, the one that has the most staying power with me now, some 30 years later, is the song “Forget Me Not.” It is a great vehicle for Nalle’s powerful voice, and the lyrics have a depth that endures through the years. Here is an excerpt of the chorus and the bridge from near the end of the song…

Forget Me not, I have made you for myself
Forget Me not, for I know you far to well
Forget Me not, when life is hard to understand
You must never forget who I am

When you’re satisfied with all that you’ve become
And you start to think it’s something you have done

Remember, just remember

I have made you for myself, for I know you far too well
Forget Me not, when life is hard to understand,
You must never forget
You must never forget
You must never forget
Who I am.

It’s a song I can listen to over and over, in part, because the message is one I need to hear so often. How quickly I ‘forget’ to look to Christ and all that He has done. How quickly I make myself the center of my universe, when I am not able to carry the weight of that role. This song directs me back to the foundation of all I am and can be, and it does it in a beautiful and powerful way.

So, this week, I commend to you Glad and the song “Forget Me Not,” which you can sample at Amazon if you would like – just open Amazon, search for ‘Glad No Less Than All’ and pick the mp3 option when you get to that page.

2 thoughts on “Forget Me Not

  • I’ve never heard of Glad, but I don’t listen to a whole lot of music, and I didn’t listen to any in the eighties;) I do really like the lyrics though.

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