The unique gift of Colin Buchanan

Kids songs to sing in the trenches

Colin Buchanan sat down with Eternity before his National Christmas Concert Tour. You can watch the first, Christmas-themed, video here.

Colin Buchanan isn’t a typical celebrity.

He has all the decorations: six Tamworth Songwriters awards, a handful of ARIA nominations, nine Golden Guitars and ten years as a beloved Play School presenter. Australia’s best-selling Christian artist, Buchanan has more albums than many artists have songs (29 albums in total!).

But, unlike the typical celebrity, he directs all the attention away from himself.

Buchanan instantly connects with people, asking questions with genuine interest. His jokes have a distinct cadence, with a pause and a smile welcoming you in before the punchline.

What keeps his ego from inflating seems to be a conviction that everyone (especially himself!) is much better off looking at Jesus than at Colin Buchanan.

“If it’s good for you, it’ll be good for them.” – Colin Buchanan

When asked about his popular Christian music, he always goes back to “the truth within it”.

Whether these songs capture biblical truths for kids or for grownups is an open question. But Buchanan learned early on that “if it’s good for you, it’ll be good for them.”

In the video above, Colin plays one of these songs for Eternity: ‘Jesus, Strong and Kind’.

The song is designed to benefit all audiences, taking after one of his all-time hits, ‘Be Strong and Courageous’. Buchanan describes its impact: “That song just landed. Over the years it’s gone into very dark and difficult and heartbreaking places. It’s taken me with it sometimes. But the truth within it has been of great comfort.

“It’s got truths that are deep enough to get you through. You can sing that in the trenches and you can sing it in hospital when you’re staring at the fluros, waiting to go in, and you can sing it when you don’t know what to do.”

I can tell you from my own experience that it’s true.

In difficult times, I find his songs stuck in my head, seemingly out of nowhere.

Most of the Scripture that I’ve (accidentally) memorised has soaked in along with the strums of Buchanan’s guitar. In difficult times, I find his songs stuck in my head, seemingly out of nowhere.

There are few words more soothing in the face of fear than, “Be strong and courageous. The Lord of the ages holds all his little ones safe by his side.”

The words are borrowed from Deuteronomy 31:6 and they illustrate Colin Buchanan’s appeal perfectly.

The same truth offers joy and comfort to all, regardless of age or anything else. In Buchanan’s words, writing Christian songs for kids isn’t about dilution, but distillation. Not watering down the word of God but filtering out what’s not essential, so kids can grab hold of what is. He reflects, “That challenge has remained a delight.”

In fact, Buchanan’s songs offer all of us a refreshing simplicity in a complex world. We could do much worse than focusing and refocusing on one thing: Jesus, strong and kind.

Colin Buchanan’s National Christmas Concert Tour is underway and coming to a place near you! Last chance to get your tickets here.