This 'old hallelujah with a new melody' has us smiling and singing along

Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music’s ‘Old Church Basement’ album collab

Ever been listening to a new worship song and gotten the feeling that it was a new version of some old song you have been singing for years? Well, you’re in good company this week – with the worship teams from Elevation Worship and Maverick City Worship.

These two Grammy-nominated and Billboard #1 worship teams have collaborated on a new album called Old Church Basement – a 13-song collection penned over several days spent together. Recorded in Charlotte, in the US state of North Carolina, in January, the project features worship leaders from both teams.

“Before any lights and a stage, for a lot of us it was just a few chords on an acoustic guitar or piano in a youth room with a few of our friends. This collection of songs is so special to us as it’s reminiscent of when we first fell in love with worshipping God,” says Chris Brown from Elevation Worship about the album.

Jonathan Jay, co-founder of Maverick City says it’s the “joining of family” that had him excited about the project.

“It’s a celebration of this amazing collaboration but also a reminder of what is most important. I hope these songs touch hearts and minds like they’ve touched mine,” he says.

As great as all that sounds, it’s the album’s title track that really got our Eternity team smiling today.

And it’s not just because it makes those of us who grew up as church kids feel a bit nostalgic with lyrics like: “We got together every Wednesday night, about thirty teenagers / My friend Josh bought a cheap guitar and barеly knew how to play it /He wasn’t putting on a show, wasn’t well known, wasn’t trying to bе famous / But we sure touched Heaven in that old church basement.

Although, who doesn’t remember a worship team of some kind starting with a kid who owned an instrument they could barely play?

It’s not even the way that the song’s chorus is a clarifying call to the worship basics that have united Christians across generations and denominations for thousands of years. Although, many of us would agree that “it can get a little complicated” and, when it does, it helps to “remember when I was in that old church basement, singing …

[Chorus]
Hallelujah is all I need
When I think of your goodness and your love for me
Oh, the joy of my salvation, is coming back to me
It’s just an old hallelujah with a new melody

But it’s the bridge that is the track’s real triumph – delivering a worthy shout-out to a handful of history’s greatest worship anthems that are paired with the song’s central theme.

Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me
It’s just an old hallelujah with a new melody
And I once was blind but now I can see
It’s just an old hallelujah with a new melody
Oh, over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me
An old hallelujah with a new melody
Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing
It’s just an old hallelujah with a new melody

This is one of those magical music moments when a song’s musical method communicates the song’s lyrical message. And as a result, Elevation Worship and Maverick City Worship humbly invite worshippers to take their place in “the great cloud of witnesses” of Christians who have worshipped God in song – whether that sounds like Great is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace, Over the Mountains and the Sea, Shout to the Lord or even Old Church Basement.

And those who are not a fans of these new, contemporary worship antics, can relax and stick with the golden oldies. After all, this is just an old hallelujah with a new melody.

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