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Not-quite-classic hits

As with many of you, I’m sure, I love music and have many favourite songs. Along with songs by famous secular artists and groups, I also have lots of Christian favourites. While many of these songs can be found in The Salvation Army song book, there are also quite a few contemporary songs of faith that mean a great deal to me.


Here’s something you won’t know (because I just made it up), just as William Booth would ‘borrow’ the occasional secular tune and put Christian words to it, so, too, do many modern groups and individuals ‘borrow’ Christian songs and make slight adjustments to them. Below are some examples.


‘How Great is our Dog’ – The modern-day Chris Tomlin classic has been appropriated by the Mixed Dog Breeders’ Association of Australia as its promotional theme tune. It is sung with gusto at the commencement of all board meetings and is used in promotional videos and commercials.


Onward Christian Solderers’ – This 19th-century hymn – so loved by generations of Salvationists – is now the official song of the Australian Christian Metalworker’s Guild. The words are even printed in their official handbook for new members. Apparently, in 1987 it won a close vote by members, the alternative suggestion being the riveting song, ‘Bind Us Together’.


‘Shine, Cheeses, Shine’ – This song was used in a cheese commercial shown on television in the 1990s, produced by the Australia Cheese Board. The ad was created to promote the purchase and consumption of cheese, and it worked extremely well: profits from cheese sales rose by 15 per cent while the ad campaign was still being conducted.


‘God is in the Mouse’ – Each Sunday morning at Disneyland, staff meet to worship Mickey and sing their favourite lines: ‘God is in the mouse, there is no doubt,/ God is in the mouse, can’t keep him out.’ These worship sessions pump staff up for another week of promoting all things Disney and have them evangelising fervently that Mickey is God’s mouthpiece to little boys and girls everywhere.


‘It Is Well With my Sole’ – The next time you go to a Mr Minit to pick up your shoes after getting repairs done, listen carefully and you’ll hear this song being played quietly in the background. As a matter of internal policy, all Mr Minit traders have been mandated to play this song on high repeat at their trade counters as a form of subliminal messaging to customers that your repairs have been completed well.


‘Crown Him with Many Crowns’ – At the 2018 National Cosmetic Dentistry Convention, a version of this Christian classic was played over the loudspeaker system as members arrived each morning. The opening lines were: ‘Crown him with many crowns,/ the man who loudly groans./ Hark, how the sound of buzzing drowns/ All screaming but its own.’


‘King of Kings, Majesty’ – While his wife and family have picked on him for using it, apparently it’s the ringtone on the personal phone of King Charles III. Ego out of control or a fitting choice? You can decide.


–      Major Mal Davies is the Assistant Divisional Commander for the Victoria Division.


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