One True God Song Story
Featuring Dan Adler Posted on July 17, 2012
So now that I had told Jessica (McIntosh) that I'd try to write Bhangra song, I had to figure out what that was. She told me it was like the end of the movie "Slum Dog Millionaire". Ok. I'd seen that and it gave me a little idea, but I had a challenge ahead of me. So I started looking up Bhangra videos on YouTube. I found that all of them were in a language I couldn't understand. The melodic structure was very unpredictable, the instruments were different and I wasn't sure how a "normal" Bhangra song was laid out - with choruses and verses etc. I felt a bit overwhelmed. So I began to spend hours just watching and learning and studying about the instrumentation and praying a lot that God would help me to understand this musical form enough to be able to use it for His glory. I did that for about 6 weeks. After getting a bit of a sense of the music I wanted to do, I still had to think about what I would do with the lyrics. Well, a local evangelist named Tom Elie had come to our church a few years ago and shared about his ministry in India and spoke about evangelism. I loved his presentation and got on his mailing list and started to receive his email updates. While working on this song, I read one of his blogs in which he shared about leading a hotel doorman to Christ and how he was rejoicing to have met "The One True God". That phrase caught my attention and I felt like that would be a great song title and theme for the song. Now I had some direction lyrically. So in the verses, I addressed attributes of God that contrast with Hinduism. The first verse speaks of the Oneness of God - versus the thousands of deities in Hinduism. The second verse addresses the substitutionary atonement of Christ - versus trying to get our good deeds to outweigh our bad deeds so that we'll be reincarnated to a better position in the next life. And the third verse addresses the lack of a caste system in the Kingdom of God - whereas Christ chose to be in the ultimate low caste as a Servant to all and tells us all to follow Him with that same approach. And in pondering these amazing truths, the chorus just leads us to have to dance - which this form of music calls for so much.
So I had lyrics and some musical ideas. I bought a little one string guitar called a Tumbi, a drum called a Dhol and a tambourine type thing called a Chimta - which are commonly used in Bhangra music. But what I came up with still sounded kind of stupid to me. And I felt fried on trying to make this work. I was ready to quit and I told Sandy so. Then I decided to try one more time. I changed the melody completely and I ran across another video that had a chord progression that I could relate to and that blended some hip-hop elements with Bhangra. The lights went on, the chords, melody and lyrics came together, and finally, one of the most exciting songs we've ever done was written! Praise God! As far as I know, this may be the first ever Christian Bhangra song! It's a joy for me to see Jessica just come alive now when we sing this song and it's exciting to think of how this song might reach into the hearts of other East Indians as well to bring them to the One True God!
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