Thursday, February 14, 2008


This just in from Nick Alexander, aka "The Catholic Weird Al".


Catholic Music - PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Milford, CT - Top Catholic Songs formally announced today the voting results for the Top Ten Songs for Lent from Catholic Artists. Sean Clive holds on to the #1 spot once again with “Between Here and There” off the album Amazed. Margo B Smith's “Lord Hear My Prayer” and “A Simple Cry”from the band Last Day round out the top three.

George Lower and Gretchen Harris each landed two Top Ten songs. Lower's “Turn My Heart” and “If today” scored the #4 and #6 spots, while Harris earned #5 and #7 for her recordings of the familiar favorites “Take Lord Receive” and “As the Deer Longs”.

Lynn Geyer makes yet another appearance in the Top Ten with her song “I Call To You” coming in at #8. Nick Alexander's “Too Late Have I Loved You” and “See Christ In All Things” from Deacon Chuck Stevens complete the list.

The purpose of this Top Ten list was to honor Catholic artists for their musical and technical achievements in providing Catholics with quality recorded music which is entertaining, edifying, and educational.

According to a poll of the Top Catholic Songs online community, these 10 songs represent the best recorded songs by Catholic musicians for the Season of Lent:

1. Between Here and There / Sean Clive
2. Lord, Hear My Prayer / Margo B Smith
3. A Simple Cry / Last Day
4. Turn My Heart / George Lower
5. Take, Lord, Receive / Gretchen Harris
6. If Today / George Lower
7. As the Deer Longs / Gretchen Harris
8. I Call To You / Lynn Geyer
9. Too Late Have I Loved You / Nick Alexander
10. See Christ in All Things / Deacon Chuck Stevens

To hear and download the Top Ten Songs for Lent by Catholic Artists, and other Top Ten lists, go to: is an online community where Catholics can find music from Catholic artists organized in the popular "Top Ten" style. The lists are dynamically connected to iTunes -- through which any seeker of Catholic music can listen to and download songs, burn CD's, and discover new artists. Go to for more information.


Jason Pennington said...

As long as the top 10 recording artists remain just that: recording artists, as opposed to liturgical composers, that's fine. There's a reason why the music is on CD and why you're not supposed to play CD's at Mass.


Brian Michael Page said...

Oh yes - that's my assumption anyways. Knowing Nick Alexander, that was his assumption also.

The purpose of this Top Ten list was to honor Catholic artists for their musical and technical achievements in providing Catholics with quality recorded music which is entertaining, edifying, and educational.

You can play it in your car, you can play it at home, you can even play it at work (provided that "work" is not providing music for Holy Mass).

Nick Alexander said...

The list is a mix. Some of these songs, I would suggest (by their fidelity to Scriptural/Lenten-Season readings) are liturgical... and are even in hymnals. As to whether to use them or not I leave entirely up to the liturgist, the priest, in judging their fidelity to the teachings of Vatican II and the needs/talents of their community.

But that said, Catholic contemporary (read:entertaining) music has often been sideswiped by this whole liturgical divide. There's no consistent radio airplay (not even on Catholic stations... 30 min does not count), and people have the assumption it simply does not exist. The reason why these lists (and many more are coming) are being promoted are so to draw attention to the strengths of contemporary Catholic music, irregardless as to whether it fits the liturgy or not...

Personally, I would have loved it if there were some renditions of hymns like "The Glory of These Forty Days" up there... but as it stands, there is no recorded version of this song on iTunes. Maybe some of you liturgists can push for digital distribution of one of your Lenten evenings of Inspiration.

Jason Pennington said...

Nick, your comments reflect mine. It's not that I would want ST. FLAVIAN on the top 10 music list, it's the fact that the music of recording artists, i.e. contemporary pop Christian music is good on CD's to be listened to on one's own time, as Brian said. It's not really the best choice for Mass, whether or not scores of the music is found in a book for group singing. The oddness of thinking ST. FLAVIAN would appear on the list drives this point even more: hymns are meant to be sung by a congregation in church. This is probably why CD recordings of hymns tend to be cheesy and rather boring. I have a couple hymn compilation CD's. They have quite a bit of dust on them, and I'm an organist. Sing the hymns live in church and leave the Catholic religo-pop in the car for the drive home.


Nick Alexander said...

Hi JP...

I wouldn't dare downplay listing ST. FLAVIAN on the board. First and foremost, I would suspect many people are unfamiliar with this work, and this is as good a place to be introduced to it as any. Secondly, while listening to this recording on a CD is boring, I cannot say the same for listening to the same piece amidst a Lenten playlist--whether in an MP3 player or on random on a CD. The entire experience is transformative, because a genreless-but-thematically-specific environment makes the boring unpredictable, and thus exhilirating.

I, for one, would most welcome a post on the tcs board including an iMix of Top Lenten pieces of this sort. You are welcome to email me privately if you have created such a list.