Methinks Thou Shouldst Take Heed When Using “Thou”

I just heard a new worship song, and the lyrics display one of my biggest CCM pet peeves. Part of me hesitates in publicizing this rant, because I don’t want to be ungracious and because I know that these worship musicians genuinely love the Lord. However, Christian artists should strive for Christ-exalting excellence. After all, Psalm 33:3 says “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts” (emphasis mine). While our hearts are supremely important, we should not use heart as excuse for laziness. We should not think that because our heart is right, we do not need to cultivate excellence in our craft. I think this is especially important for worship musicians/leaders, and even more so for those with major platforms.

You’re probably wondering what this pet peeve is. I’ve seen this before in modern worship, and it bugs me every time. This particular peeve is the malapropism of Elizabethan pronouns. Don’t get me wrong – I love that language; it’s beautiful, it’s majestic, and it’s one reason why I love singing traditional hymns. But a trend in modern worship seems to be that of using one or two of these pronouns at whim just for the sake of rhyming. I’m talking about songs that are entirely in modern English except for one or two scattered thee’s or thou’s whose sole purpose is to make a rhyme (while “you”, etc. are used in other parts of the song). Example: “thee” and “glory”.

Am I the only one a little bothered by this writing phenomenon?

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