Jubilee College of Music

Always Singing...Dr. Smoak

Inspiration for Writing a New Song

Christian song writers are always looking for inspiration and ideas for writing the lyrics of a new song. As we approach the Christmas season, the Song of Mary found in Luke 1:46-55 provides this kind of stimulus. The Song of Mary, also known by its Latin title The Magnificat, is the psalm-like song that the Virgin Mary sang after the angel Gabriel told her that she would be the earthly mother of the Son of God to be named Jesus. Down through the centuries of Christian history this song has always been a part of the Christian worship repertoire. Please open your Bibles to Luke 1:46-55 and read through these verses. Let us now look at some of the words and phrases from these scripture verses and find fresh ideas for writing the words for a new worship song.

My soul magnifies the Lord,        vs 46-47
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

In these opening verses, Mary lifts her personal praise and worship up to God. The word magnifies comes from the Latin word Magnificat mentioned above. It is simply another word for worship or praise. In the second line, the word rejoices is also a word for worship or praise. Notice that both lines are saying the same thing: Mary accepts Gabriel’s message to her and begins to worship and praise the Lord.

And holy is his name        vs 49

The word holy always reminds us of God’s holiness and our separation from him because of our sins. The Latin word for “holy” is sanctus. There are two places in scripture where the phrase “holy, holy, holy” is used in a song-like cadence: Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus is another familiar phrase in the history of our Christian song repertoire. We must keep the word “holy” fresh in our contemporary worship songs.

And his mercy is for those who fear him        vs 50
from generation to generation.

These two lines explain the phrase God my Savior that Mary sings in verse 47. God’s mercy towards sinful humans is fully demonstrated in the death of his son Jesus on the cross. Mary’s son was born to be the Savior of all people for all time from generation to generation. May our songs always proclaim this good news of the Gospel.

He has filled the hungry with good things        vs 53

We find two meanings in this phrase. First, God meets the needs of the poor and downtrodden. He supplies good things for their physical needs. Secondly, the spiritually hungry are satisfied with the good things of God’s presence and God’s salvation through his son Jesus.

Now is the time to begin forming phrases for a new worship song. You can do it. Read and meditate on Mary’s song of praise. Here you will find inspiration and guidance for a new worship song.