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Whitney Houston Loved The Lord: Gospel Remixes to Her Contemporary Collection

02 Apr

“I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

-Psalm 104:33:

 “The sudden death of legendary singer Whitney Houston has left the music industry in a state of shock. Although her passing came far too soon, the most-awarded female entertainer of our times has left an inspiring legacy, particularly in the Christian world.

Whitney’s roots, early influences, and musical training overflowed with faith-filled melody. Gospel singer Cissy Houston was her mother and first music teacher. Other singers in the family included her godmother Aretha Franklin and cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, all of whom shared gospel music as a fundamental component of their artistry.

An 11-year-old Whitney first sang in public as a performer in the choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. It did not take long for the little girl with the big voice to be featured in church services. Whitney’s first solo performance in the church was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” She later told Jet magazine that the hymn is “a song that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

During her extraordinary career, Whitney won two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She experienced worldwide sales of more than 170 million albums, singles, and videos.

With regard to the Christian world, Whitney’s most significant contribution took place in the mid-1990s at the height of her career. In 1996, the soundtrack of “The Preachers Wife” would ultimately go on to become the largest-selling gospel album of all time, with 6 million copies in worldwide sales. Two of the tunes from the album became hit singles, “I Believe in You and Me” and “Step by Step.”

At a Hollywood nightclub two days prior to her passing, Whitney would give what would end up being her last performance. It is fitting, given the inspiration she provided to all, that Whitney’s last song before leaving this earthly stage would be the gospel classic, “Yes Jesus Loves Me.” (Footnote)”

–          Except from http://www.newsmax.com/Hirsen/Houston-Gospel-Grammy-Cissy/2012/02/13/id/429232

Despite her obvious faults, Whitney Houston is greatly admired for her faith. When she used her talents to sing directly to the God, it was heavenly.

 

I have wondered what Whitney could have done if she went “all the way gospel”. And by that, I don’t mean to say her mainstream career was in vain, but I wonder how many more songs she could have created that could have brought others closer to Christ. But then again, I have to tame my imagination and realize that perhaps she did more in that realm than I realize.

Whitney’s voice was indeed God given. And her passion for the Lord radiated in her music, even in songs that were considered contemporary. Being a traditional gospel enthusiast, I really do enjoy when even contemporary artists do gospel songs and albums. Shoutout to Mariah and Christina. Yes, there are plenty of talented gospel singers out now. But we’re past the Golden Age of Gospel. Most talents these days may be raised gospel, but when they enter the music industry, they likely go pop/adult contemporary.

Since Whitney’s death, I’ve been compelled to think of many of her songs as gospel songs. Not a new concept, I know. Many love songs are a simple translation away from being gospel. Some of my other favorite examples of contemporary songs being applied to as gospel songs is Musiq Soulchild’s Love  and even, The Temptation’s Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. Sister Act I and II were full of them.

God’s so good, that just referencing him in a song can even convert a song that initially was talking about Other People’s Privates (“You down with G.O.D.!”)

As you read through these lyrical re-arrangements and listen to the original song, just be aware that it will take a degree of open-mindedness to disregard what may seem corny or awkward, as well as some musical savvy to follow along. Some songs were easier to translate to gospel than others. Feel free to comment your suggestions the gospel re-arrangements.  Enjoy and be blessed!

Gospel Remix #1: Jesus is Love (You Give Good Love)

A song about a girl finding and enjoying the Love that she’s been dreaming for.

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

-1 John 4:9-11 

Lyrics:

I found out what I’ve been missing
Always on the run
I’ve been looking for that love

Now You’re here like You’ve been always
And You know just what I need
It took some time for me to see

[Chorus]

That you are true love to me Jesus
So good take this heart of mine into your hands
You give good love to me Jesus
Never too much
Oh Jesus is love

Never stopping I was always searching
For that perfect love
The kind that girls like me dream of

Now You’re here like You’ve been before
And You know just what I need
It took some time for me to see

[Chorus]

Now I’ve stopped looking around
Each night what this life’s all about
Your love is here to stay
Oh Jesus is love

Gospel Remix #2: Greatest Love of All

The Greatest Love. Saints, need I say more.

Actually, perhaps I do. This song has a great message as it is. So I didn’t tamper with the verses. If anything, I just added more references to God’s Love.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “

-Ephesians 3:16-19

Lyrics:

I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
until I learned to depend on Him

[Chorus]
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what the world take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love the Lord
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

[Chorus]

And if by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in the Lord.

Gospel Remix #3: Come to You (Run to You)

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

-James 4:8

Originally, this is song about running into the arms of your crush/lover, and wondering whether they would be receptive. Flip that, and apply it to God. I re-arranged the song to begin as a first-person testimony, then goes on to sing how the Lord want to “come to you (the listener)” and how that the Lord can re-shape your life. Chorus was a simple translation. This would make for a great invitational song.

Lyrics:

I know that when you look at me
There’s so much that you just don’t see
But if you would only take the time
The Lord, in my heart, you’d find
The world is scary sometimes,
There’s so much to worry on,
but can’t you see the joy in me?
You don’t have to be alone

[Chorus:]
Let the Lord come to you (oooh)
Let the Lord come to you (oooh)
Let Him hold you in His arms
And keep you away from harm
He wants to come to you (oooh)
But if He comes to you (oooh)
Tell me, will you stay or will you run away

Each day, each day you play the role
Of someone always in control
But at night you go home and turn the key
Seems that nobody’s there,but there is One who sees 

What’s the sense of trying hard to find your dreams
Without the Lord to cherish it
Tell me what does it mean?

[Chorus]

You need Him here
you need Him here to wipe away your tears
To move away your fears
If you only knew how much…

[Chorus]

Gospel Remix #4: I Have Nothing

Original version is essentially a plea for your lover to not leave, to leave you with “nothing”.  Remix: Without God, you have nothing. Testimonial. Verses switch from 2nd person to 1st person.

“I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

-Psalm 16:2

I believe she references the Lord shortly after the @3:30 mark.

Lyrics:

He gave me life,
Took me for who I am.
He ignited a change
He wants the same for you.

Take His love,
He doesn’t ask for too much,
Come just as you are
And see what he can do.

You don’t really need to look
Very much further/farther,
You don’t want to have to go
Where He won’t follow.
Don’t hold it back again,
your passion inside.
Can’t run from the Lord,
There’s nowhere to hide.  [shoutout to Jonah!]
(His love will endure forever!)

[Chorus:]
Don’t make Him close one more door,
You don’t have to worry anymore.
Stay in His arms because He cares,
Or must you imagine Him there.
Don’t walk away from Him.
(No, don’t walk away from Him. Don’t you dare walk away from Him.)
‘Cause you’ll have nothing, nothing, nothing
If you don’t have the Lord

Lord, You see through,
Right to the heart of me.
You break down my walls
With the strength of Your love.

I never knew
Love like I’ve known it with You.
All of your promises survive

Each one I hold on to.

You don’t really need to look
Very much further/farther,
You don’t want to have to go
Where He don’t follow.
Don’t hold it back again,
your passion inside.
Can’t run from the Lord,
There’s nowhere to hide.  [shoutout to Jonah]
(His love will endure forever!)

[Chorus: x2]

Gospel Remix #5: All the Love That I Need (All the Man That I Need)

Honestly, this has always been my favorite Whitney Houston song. The song really doesn’t need any translation. Whitney has mentioned in numerous interviews that she recorded this song with God in mind. And by this particular performance, I don’t doubt it.

Lyrics:

I used to cry myself to sleep at night
But that was all before He came
I thought love had to hurt to turn out right
But now He’s here
It’s not the same, it’s not the same

[Chorus:]
He fills me up
He gives me love
More love than I’ve ever seen
He’s all I’ve got,
He’s all I’ve got in this world
But He’s all the love that I need

And in the morning when I kiss His eyes
He takes me down and rocks me slow
And in the evening when the moon is high
He holds me close and won’t let go
He won’t let go

[chorus]

In this above version of “All the Man I Need”, she actually references to the Lord @3:48. She looks to the sky throughout the performance. Such a proclamation of faith makes all the difference. It changes the whole context of a the song for me, and I can’t listen to the song any other way now.

RIP Whitney

I believe that Whitney was able to sing so great about love because she knew what love was. At her funeral, many of her closest friends reflected on how giving and compassionate she was. She was accredited for always acknowledging God for the great things He had done in her life, and for humanity.

Also, as I conclude, I’d like to say that God can work through any means to speak to us. We don’t need particular songs or individuals to become closer to Christ. God is omnipresent and can work through anything or anybody.

And oh, it’s so beautiful when it comes all together.

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1 Comment

Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Music

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One response to “Whitney Houston Loved The Lord: Gospel Remixes to Her Contemporary Collection

  1. primemeridian11

    April 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I got into a very heated debate about this the day of her funeral because someone tweeted that we can’t know if she is in heaven or not. I’m grateful you made a post paying homage to her faith. She had her issues, but who doesn’t? Her faith was always evident to me and The Preacher’s Wife is one of my favorite movies. I watched it 6 times just this Christmas.

     

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