Resurrection Chant Song Story

Featuring Dan Adler Posted on July 17, 2012

I love Easter songs. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them. I grew up visiting my Grandparents’ Salvation Army church a lot on Easter when I was young. They always sang two hymns that I loved, “Christ Arose” with the great old chorus “Up from the grave He arose”, and the song “He lives”. I still love those old songs. Then when Keith Green and 2nd Chapter of Acts did the new “Easter Song”, that was an all-time new great that really fit the music with the message. I’m sure there are plenty of others out there, but these are the ones that stand out to me.

I wrote my first Easter song with a light-hearted joyful Caribbean feel called, “We Celebrate the Love of God”. But some years later, I wanted to write another one that would have an intense, powerful sort of tribal feel, and thus “Resurrection Chant” was born. This song sort of evolved in my head and then evolved more as the Heart of the City Worship Band began to perform it. When I was writing it, I had sort of an African tribal sounding idea in mind – maybe sort of like something coming out of the Lion King. That’s where the idea of the “Alle-ee” came from. But then I thought of our East Indian singer at the time, Johanna Macden, and thought that an East Indian sounding intro would really set this song up well. I had also purchased a guitar synthesizer and was able to play a real decent Sitar patch through my guitar to add to that East Indian feel. So Johanna was the first to sing the Indian style free-form solo at the beginning of the song. Johanna then moved away and so her sister, Susanna, began to sing with us for several years and was the one who recorded the vocal on this CD. But then she got married and also moved away. So then Jessica Singh (now McIntosh) joined the band and she is the one who always sings it live with us now and is featured on the slide show. I’ve also always been a fan of the music of the secular artist, Sting. Somehow, my vocal solo at the beginning of the song was influenced by his style as well. So ultimately, all these different feels came together and what emerged is an amalgamation of styles and cultural influences that is a powerful proclamation of the Gospel and the Resurrection. I wrote this song before Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ came out and it was sort of amazing, when watching the beginning of that movie, how much it sounded like the beginning of this song!

The death and resurrection of Christ are central to the Christianity. Without the death of Christ, there is no atonement for our sins. Without the resurrection, Jesus was just a Rabbi with some good teachings who had allusions of grandeur and was executed, and we are still lost in our sins. But Jesus did die as the Holy Lamb of God who takes away our sins and He rose again victorious – conquering sin and death and being the first born from the dead so that we too will be raised with Him! Praise God! He’s Alive!!

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