(Picture from the Official Website for Nichole Nordeman )
- English is not my native language, so please excuse me any misspellings or otherwise a bad use of the English language.
- I am writing this on my own initiative and I am not affiliated to Ms Nordeman or to her publishers or agents, or to any commercial interests.
- My aim with this article is just to share with you some of the wonderful works and interpretations by this remarkable woman and Sister in Faith, together with my personal comments and impressions.
- I hope that I am not violating any copyright rules or are guilty of any misconduct by publishing this. If so, please let me know by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- I have personally purchased all NN albums and songs I am listening to, from Google Play.
How do you express and articulate a mature Christian faith in text and/or music?
There are indeed many pitfalls. You can use well known clichés to a sing-along tune. You can avoid being personal. You can deny your own doubts. You can pretend that life and faith are without pain. You can try to hide your own weakness. You can hide behind an intellectual shield. You can hide yourself behind a religious screen. You can boast yourself etc.
To make it very simple: Nichole Nordeman is quite the opposite to all this!
You won’t find any clichés. Her tunes are not sing-along-friendly. In fact, like reading good literature, her music and texts are demanding, but very rewarding. She is very personal but without exposing her privacy. She doesn’t avoid sensitive and tough topics. She knows her Bible very well and she seems to be a very humble and kind person.
OK, now to some examples:
A good starting point is “To Know You“, from the album “Wide Eyed” 1998, (even though I prefer the the more “naked” live version from the album “Live at the Door“, 2003).
A wonderful performance is this, “Holy“, 2003(?). This time with a big orchestra with a real string section. I wish I had been there! :
Two songs that are especially strong, for me, and are moving me to tears are these two:
“I am” (I want this song to by played at my own funeral.)
When I am weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name.
“Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-maker,
hold on to my hand,” and You say “I am.”
So I said “Daddy, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why is He dressed in that bright purple robe?
I’ll bet that crown hurts Him more than He shows
Daddy, please can’t you do something?
He looks as though He’s gonna cry
you said he was stronger than all of those guys
Daddy, please tell me why
Why does everyone want him to die?”
A wonderful song that I have shared with some of my dearest friends this Christmas is “Real“:
Mary you look so serene
Far too pretty, much too clean
We might think we know you well
But what stories would you tell?
Of all the dirt and dust and shame
Every burning labour pain…
I love these two videos that were released 2015:
“Legacy”, a song revisited. Originally on the album Woven & Spun 2002:
And “The Unmaking“, 2015, from the album with the same name:
Two more songs from her latest album :
OK, and how did I, as an ordinary Swede, discover Nichole Nordeman?
Well, I was searching on YouTube for Newman‘s beautiful hymn, “Lead Kindly Light“, when I discovered Kari Jobe‘s version of “Be Still My Soul“, to the beautiful tune by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. I purchased the album “Jesus Firm Foundation – hymns of worship” just for that song. On that album another song caught my attention, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Look Up)” sung by Nichole Nordeman, and you can imagine the rest… (But why didn’t this happen at least ten years ago?)
For me, personally, Nichole Nordeman represents a kind of Christian music I have been missing, and been longing for, for many years! The best word I have for Nichole Nordeman‘s songs is the Swedish word “innerlighet“, a word that I am not sure there is an English word for. Cordiality, is the word that is suggested. OK, you’ll probably know what I mean.
I really do hope that you have enjoyed this post, and hopefully found that Nichole Nordeman is truly a woman of faith..
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