(Over the years, Bryan Allain has written some fantastic guest posts on SCL. He’s one of my friends who I hope gets to publish a book someday because he’s a funny, smart honest writer. He’s also just started BlogRocket.com to help other bloggers blow their blogs up. Today he shares, a brilliant post about a song most of us know and love. Enjoy.)
Kissing Metaphors in Worship Music
If you’re not familiar with John Mark McMillan’s song “How He Loves”, first off tell me what it’s like to live in a cave. Do you pee in one corner of the cave or do you go outside to do your business and risk being mauled by a jaguar with your pants down?
Either way, “How He Loves” is a popular song in churches right now, and one of the more memorable lines in the song goes something like this:
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss
Now, you’re gonna be shocked to hear this (I hope you’re sitting down in the urine-free corner of your cave), but some artists and congregations aren’t comfortable throwing in imagery more commonly associated with a 7th grade make-out party into their worship songs.
As a result, another version of the song has been recorded that describes the heaven-earth collision as a slightly different lip lock:
So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
I bring all this up because a few months ago I was speaking at a youth retreat and i overheard the following conversation between one of the youth leaders and the guest worship band:
Youth Leader: You guys did a great job tonight, but I wanted to let you know if you do “How He Loves” again, our kids are cool with the “sloppy wet kiss version”.
Worship Leader: Oh, are they? Okay, cool. I forgot to ask you about that, so we just did “unforeseen kiss”.
YL: No, our kids like the “sloppy wet kiss” way better.
WL: Yeah, so do we!!! Good to know for next time.
The moment I heard that conversation, I knew it HAD to be a Stuff Christians Like post. So many points to be made here.
1. Worship Bands need to start putting the Sloppy Wet Kiss Clause (SWK) into their riders.
SECTION 4C, NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUES
“We’ve got four non-negotiables: 1) We need in-ear monitors (no wedges), 2) we need three pounds of unsalted cashews in a wicker basket, 3) we need a high-ceiling closet to drape our scarf collection, and 4) we will ONLY do the ‘sloppy wet kiss’ version of How He Loves.”
2. Why an “unforeseen kiss”? Doesn’t it feel like the person who rewrote that line just made a list of 3-syllable phrases/words to pair up with “kiss” and in the end “unforeseen” was the best they could do?
I’m guessing the list looked something like this:
#1 – So heaven meets earth like a hollywood kiss (sounds great but Christians are never gonna go for it)
#2 – So heaven meets earth like a butterfly kiss (perfect, but Bob Carlisle refuses to sell us the rights)
#3 – So heaven meets earth like a pantomime kiss (only if we want to creep out the entire congregation)
#4 – So heaven meets earth like a tongue-on-tongue kiss (somehow we’ve found something grosser than “sloppy, wet”)
#5 – So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss (it makes no sense, but it’s the best we’ve got. Let’s do it.)
3. Never thought I’d see the day when a youth leader would say “our kids like the sloppy, wet kiss way better” with a big smile on his face.
I mean, having been one years ago I always knew junior high kids preferred sloppy, wet kisses…I just didn’t think Youth Pastors would ever find a context in which they’d be cool with it, too.
4. Why limit it to kissing? If we’re going to rewrite the song and use romantic language, let’s really open up the palette. Some suggestions…
So heaven meets earth like…
…some tender light petting
…a gentle ear nibble
…some married foreplay
…a playful butt grab
…the Song of Solomon
Let’s stop there before I get myself in trouble.
5. I’m calling it now: a Worship Leader will get fired in the next 12 months for refusing to sing the “unforeseen” version. I can already see the story…
Disagreements between worship leaders and pastors are nothing new, but twitter was abuzz today when a rogue song leader was fired for singing his favorite version of the song, How He Loves, against his Senior Pastor’s wishes. Mitch Veeneck, a worship pastor at Firepond Church in Central Iowa, sang the “Sloppy, Wet kiss” version of the song at both the 9am AND 11am services yesterday after being warned he would be removed from his position for continuing to do so.
While initial public support was strongly behind Veeneck, a new development in the story has swung the pendulum the other way. In an article posted on the church’s blog late last night, slow motion stills show the crooner flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth like a snake while singing the controversial line. More details as they emerge…
So what’s your take on the “sloppy, wet kiss” line in How He Loves? Do you like the original, prefer the toned down version, or don’t really care either way?
And by all means, if you have your own (non-vulgar) suggestions on how to rewrite that “heaven meets earth” line, pucker up and fire away.