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Incredible Christian Song Demos

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Totally how another crazy piece of religious music got started

Those Unbelievable Believers:
The Blessed Sounds of
Incredible Christian Song Demos

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#10 — "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" (3:07)

"His Eye Is On the Sparrow" is a treacly old hymn concocted by Civilla Martin in 1905, when sensible songwriters were writing popular Tin Pan Alley songs. Civilla took her inspiration not from the bright lights of the Great White Way but from a married pair of invalids named Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle, whom she termed "true saints of God." (Couldn't be related to the Doolittles of Pinal County, who both work for the evil empire). But whoever's eye was on the sparrow, Civilla Martin's eye was almost certainly on Wagner—specifically, the Prelude to Act 1 of Lohengrin.

Our singer here takes the old hymn, sees its treacle, raises it by a histrionic factor of, oh, I don't know how much, we'll say ten, and then he boldly calls. Jenga!

I say histrionic, though the inexplicable fans of Mariah Carey or American Idol will notice nothing out of the ordinary. After all, thoughtful persons can intelligently differ on the propriety of grunting and squealing during the act of gospel music, or whether one is supposed to sound like one is screwing a lid off a jar, or screwing the anything off of anybody, while proferring praise unto Thee Mostest Highest (Robin, take note). But I strongly believe we can reach ecumenical agreement on it not being a good idea to think you're the next Mahalia Jackson if you sound like the next Lucia Pamela. Double-especially if you are a man.

S I D E N O T E :

See whether the harmony of that final drawn-out Me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e doesn't remind you of the blast of that train horn or whatever it is at the beginning of Van Halen's "Running With the Devil."

(Right-click to download this song)

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart, should my heart, should it be lonely
And long for the heav'nly home?
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is he

His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing, I sing, I sing, because I'm happy
And I sing because I'm freeeeeeeeeeee
His eye is on the sparrow
I know, I know, I know, I know
Yes, I knooooooooow
He watchessssssssssssssssssssssssss

Totally how another crazy piece of religious music got started

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