Free Fallin' Altar Call

So on Sunday, we’re ending the service with ‘Amazing Love.’ And I’m playing the progression, softly, and oh-so-worshipfully, underneath our pastor as he gives the altar call. I’ve even got the closed eyes, with the head tilted slightly to the left as if that helps me hear the Spirit better, and I’m giving the ‘Yes, Lord’ nod every once in a while. And as I’m doing the G/B C G/B D progression (or tonic with third in the bass, sub-dominant, tonic with third again, dominant, progression, for the sake of showing how songs can share progressions without necessarily sharing keys), I suddenly realize that ‘Amazing Love’ sounds a lot like ‘Free Fallin’.’  Not exactly, but close enough to make me quite happy. So I start singing ‘Free Fallin’ in my head while I’m uh, tenderly playing under the salvation message. 

So now, as our lead pastor revs into the big, heart moment, and the congregation silently prays, and my guitar is softly helping the mood with the ‘Amazing Love’ chords……I’m now off in a completely other place, trying to figure out what chord comes next for ‘Free Fallin’.’ And please note that I am picking out the chords here…I’m not flashy-John-Mayer-fingerpicking, as cool as that is. The point here is not to say that I’m such a great guitarist that I can make worship songs sound like Tom Petty or John Mayer. I’m not (and I’ve tried, which is even sadder). The point is, one, how most good songs share chord progressions; and two, how incredibly far away from worship you can get in your mind; while still keeping the eyes closed, head tilted to the side so as to better hear the Spirit, ‘Yes Lord’ nodding thing. 

And then my pastor finishes strongly, gives me a deeply spiritual look of mutual Christian understanding, I step to the mic, open my mouth, and start to sing, ‘She’s a good girl, living in Recita…’ Yep. Luckily I turned my head away just in time so that all they got was ‘Sh…’ Which could be bad on other levels, too. And then I had to actually re-think how ‘Amazing Love’ starts. Oh, ya! It starts like ‘Free Fallin’!’ 

Incredible how far away I can be at times…when no one else knows. Nothing wrong with ‘Free Fallin’;’ just perhaps not the best choice when people are making the most important decision of their lives. ;)

Splendid.
Karl.

23 thoughts on “Free Fallin' Altar Call

  1. Best worship post I’ve seen in a while! Hahaha!
    I’m with you man, BTDT but never with Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ however I’ve thought about it. I saw Charlie Hall weave Won’t Back Down into one of his worship songs at a ‘worship/concert’ late night at a conference I was at. It was one of the most amazing moments! I loved it.

  2. smile. there’s something cool about how God can take my far-away mind and still glorify himself…and perhaps even through Tom Petty…and in spite of myself.

    I’m still laughing.

    I think we ought to do a series called ‘Free-falling’. it would mirror well our community…and at times my life. Maybe that’s why it sticks in my head so well.

  3. That’s funny. The chorus from James Blunt’s, “You’re Beautiful” can be a nice touch here and there.

    My Fralins came tonight, so I took the Lollars out and wired them in. There was a break in there to watch 24, and now it’s time for bed, but I’m excited to hear them. My guitar takes way too long to string with the lame slot head tuners, so I couldn’t just get them on and plug it in.

  4. I’m trying to remember which worship song had the same chords as the Killers’ Mr. Brightside.
    One of the Vineyard songs has the same chords as Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” You must focus on not playing Clapton’s lead part!
    “I am Free” where the streets have no name!
    One of the charts for “I am Free” even has the U2 lyrics at the end.

  5. Let’s face it, Christian musicians grew up on great 70′s and 80′s music. Oh, they can deny it, but we all know the real truth!

    Oh, and I’ve GOT to get to one of your services. I’ll be the guy in the Tom Petty t-shirt.

  6. NICE!!
    I second “the Joker” for Lord I Lift Your Name on High.

    We also played the songs “Only a God Like You” and “Better than Life” which sound like the verse and chorus of “Sweet Home Alabama” respectively. I even threw a riff in just because…..

    When I played a Samick, we played “Sweet Home Up in Heaven” with some thrown together lyrics. We really really wanted an excuse to play Sweet Home, and pulled it off. hehe

  7. That’s a great moment!

    Years ago we were playing Parachute Band’s “Shout” and if you change that intro just
    a bit, you end up with Van Halen’s “Panama”.

    Every time we played it, I had to keep thinking “not Panama, not Panama, not Panama”.

    I guess the mantra worked, because I never did it in service. But it was tempting …

    It’s so easy to sidetrack sometimes.

  8. Worshipcity–haha That’s pretty cool! Ya, it can be cool sometimes to intermingle some introspective bits of other songs into the worship set. hehe This one would have been totally by accident, though! ;)

    John–wow, great point. I’m blown away, as well, that God still chooses to use me even though I’m way more human than I’d like to be. haha

    And that’d be sweet to do a Free Fallin’ series!

    James–haha Let me know how you like ‘em! And I’m not into 24 yet…but if it can keep you away from the Fralins, it must be pretty good! hehe Maybe I’ll give it shot. ;)

    Dan–haha Killers would be great. And yes…I am Free is a blatant ripoff of Streets. Maybe that’s why it works so well. hehe If you can’t write a good one, steal someone else’s. ;)

    David–haha You don’t understand the U2 obsession?! You must never have heard them!! Okay, let me explain… It all started with Edge’s tone of nations…hehe ;) And good to have you here, bro!!

    Rhoy–haha Thanks, brother!

    Matt–Hey, good thought! hehe

    Alex–haha Jack Johnson. And ya, I should have sang it just as a parting gift to you. (Although, not sure how much of a gift it would have been, as I would’ve sucked at it. :) ) No, I should’ve done Streets for you! hehe

    Chris–promise to have a lighter or a cell phone, too, and you’re in!! haha

    Larry–haha Ya, we’ve done our share of Sweet Home Alabama riffs a few years ago. hehe Eric? ;)

    Mike–lol From the guy with the Marshall. ;) You rock, brother.

    Larry–haha Nice!

    Tim–haha That’s exactly what it was like! I kept going back to it. Wow…it’s a wonder God can even use me sometimes, ya know? hehe :)

  9. So funny. Been there. Everytime I hear the bridge to blessed be your name I want to sing “you give yourself away” from with or without you. That was great.

  10. Hey, Jed! haha Yep, I do the same thing on Blessed Be Your Name! And Came to my Rescue. And Majesty. hehe So many of them use that one…it’s crazy!

  11. Our lead worship minister is in the band that I lead. At our last rehearsal we were working on a cool/different arrangement for “Center” by Charlie Hall. You know something that starts kind of simple and then layers together, kind of create the atmosphere.
    So, by the time we get to the solo, the band is rocking (as much as you can with Center), the lead worship minister, who was also playing electric starts to play a solo that is similar to the melody of the chorus (Oh Christ, be the center of our lives….). He didn’t really know where to end the solo so he gets pretty high on the neck and is playing a little melody which sounds different but kind of cool, until he realized that he was playing the solo from GNR Every Rose Has Its Thorn… ha ha..

  12. anything by David crowder can easily be replaced with green day on accident lol. Also crowders No One Like You is the chords to the Office theme song…

  13. I know this is an old thread but this past Sunday we were playing Hillsong’s “To Know Your Name” and stringing out the chorus at the end and another melody started ringing in my head. Then it hit me… “See the stone set in her eyes…”

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