Song of the Week - God of Wonders
Like the Song of the Week from a couple of weeks ago, this is one of those songs that has proliferated around so much that few people know where it came from. It was written by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd, childhood friends who both currently belong to the alternative Christian rock band The Choir. The song comes out of a weekend where Byrd was reading the psalms, and kept going back to the phrase "You Are Holy" over the familiar chord progression. When he brought that to his friend, Hindalong came up with the "God of wonders beyond our galaxy." lyric.
The song was originally released on 2000's City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise compilation album, where it was performed by Mac Powell with Caedmon's Call. Caedmon's Call later released it on their In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship album the following year. it has been covered by Paul Baloche, Chris Tomlin, Rebecca St. James and several other artists. For me, the definitive version is on Third Day's Offerings II: All I Have to Give album from 2003, a powerful live version featuring Michael Tait of dcTalk fame.
I first heard this song when I was a fairly new Christian. I was doing sound for a small ministry who were using our church for a concert, and they played this song. I got a copy of their practice CD which had both the Chris Tomlin and Rebecca St-James versions. I thought it was interesting to have a worship song with the phrase "beyond our galaxy" in it. But as I began to listen to it, I became aware of the beauty of this simple, modern-day psalm. Especially notable on the Third Day version is the weaving of a traditional hymn (Lord God Almighty...) into the chorus of the song.
This has become one of my favorite songs to play on an acoustic guitar. I like to play it keeping the high G and D ringing (Dsus4, Em7, C2) in the verse, and full open chords in the chorus. This is a really popular song with our congregation. I know this is one of those songs that you can get tired of quickly because it's been so overplayed. But I urge you to take a fresh listen to it, or to look up the lyrics, or grab a guitar and sing it yourself. (C'mon, you know you know it!) It's really as timeless as the psalms because that's what it is - a simple song of praise to the God who created the universe.
Here we are playing it at an all-acoustic set a couple of months ago.