Sunday, November 4, 2012

Give Thanks



SONG & MUSIC WRITER: Henry Smith                              

WHEN WRITTEN: 1978

HYMN HISTORY:  This became one of worship leader Don Moen’s most famous songs, however, it was not written by him.   Following the introduction of the song during a worship service at the Williamsburg New Testament Church in Virginia in 1978, a military couple reintroduced it to a congregation in Germany. The song eventually caught the attention of executives at Integrity Music. When Integrity's Hosanna! Music copyrighted the song in 1986, the author was unknown. After the Give Thanks album was released, the song was brought to the attention of original writer Henry Smith, who contacted Integrity with authorship information. Integrity later included songwriting credits on all subsequent releases, along with a writer-publisher agreement. As of 2010, the song has been recorded by over 50 companies and published in songbooks around the world.
"Give Thanks" is one of Don Moen's more recognizable songs, having been translated into various other languages, including Russian, Afrikaans, and Swedish. As of August 2011, the song is one of the Top 100 CCLI Songs reported by SongSelect, which provides online access of worship song lyrics, sound samples and download of lead sheets, chord sheets, and SATB hymn sheets. It is listed as the #1 top Songs With The Greatest Gain.  The song also been included in 11 known hymn books.

BIBLE VERSE:  The phrase “give thanks” is used 59 times in the KJV of the Bible.                               

2 Thessalonians 2:13 – “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

HYMN LYRICS:
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
Let the poor say, "I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us"

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
Let the poor say, "I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us"

Give Thanks!

(REPEAT)

6 comments:

  1. The electronic pop group, Pet Shop Boys blatantly copied the melody from this song for their hit, "Go West" in their 1993 album, Very.

    There is no attribution to Smith or Integrity Music in the album notes. Surprisingly, when reading about clear plagerism in popular music, I've never heard anyone link these two songs.

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  2. That's because Pet Shop Boys didn't write it, they simply covered it (and made it very popular). It was written in 1979 by Village People, the year after Give Thanks was published.

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  3. There's no doubt though that Village People "borrowed" the melody. Aside from a slight variation at the close of the fourth bar of the melody, it's identical.

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  4. I hate to tell you, but the basic tune with its unique chord progression is the same as the Hymn of the Soviet Union, which was introduced in 1944. The music was written by Alexander Alexandrov (1883–1946) so unless Alexandrov got the tune from some other source, it appears that neither Harry Smith nor Victor Willis of The Village People created it from scratch.

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