The Top 30 “Retuned” Hymns

Here is our highly subjective list of the top 30+ favorite/most played congregational re:tuned hymns.  We are also keeping track of every group that has released an album with at least one retuned hymn on it.  You can see our google doc List of Projects here.

From Indelible Grace
(here is their most recent ‘live’ album that is a greatest hits album of sorts)

Arise, My Soul, Arise  – Kevin Twit

O Love that Will Not Let Me Go – Christopher Miner

God Be Merciful to me (Ps 51) – Christopher Miner

The Church’s One Foundation  – Brian Moss

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand – Christopher Miner

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – Bill Moore

Jesus, I Come – Greg Thompson

Father Long Before Creation – Andrew Osenga

All Must Be Well – Matthew Smith

From Red Mountain Music

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts  – Brian T. Murphy

Jesus, Lover of my Soul – Greg Thompson

Help My Unbelief – Clint Wells

God of my Life, to Thee I Call – Clint Wells, Brian T. Murphy and Benj Pocta

All Things New – Clint Wells

From Sojourn Music

In the Shadow of the Glorious Cross

We are Listening

Only Your Blood

From City Hymns

Out of the Depths (Psalm 130)


There is a Fountain

Bifrost Arts

Jesus Savior, Pilot Me


Be Still My Soul

From Sovereign Grace

Before the Throne of God Above – Vikki Cook arr.

From Cardiphonia / Redeemer

Come, Holy Ghost – Bruce Benedict/Ray Mills

Alas, and Did my Savior Bleed – Annie Quick

The Lord is King – Nathan Partain

Come, Thou Everlasting Spirit – Benedict

Praise the Savior, Now and Ever – Benedict arr

I’m hoping I’ve missed 20 or 30 more that you sing regularly.  You can see some more suggestions over at our facebook page – liturgyfellowship

8 thoughts on “The Top 30 “Retuned” Hymns

Add yours

  1. I am both a huge fan of hymn “retuning” and a exacting critic. While most of the above dominates my Ipod, I use only a little of it for worship. The main reason is that although music of it makes great listening, it often isn’t as accessible for congregational singing. When it is, it sometimes is just so foreign that its’ just more expedient to use the original melody since its what people know. I’m all about facilitating maximum participation. Mostly, though, the old melodies are just good. They take you on a journey, and so they’re pretty hard to improve on. One “retune,” however, that I really think is a strong contender for “improvement on the original” is Sovereign Grace’s remake of “Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.” Probably by Kauflin. They add a chorus and really make the new melody match the ethos of the text. The melody is beautiful and quick to catch on to.

  2. Bruce, have you responded to feeback like Miguel’s above somewhere? I’m so very thankful for all that you champion and am finding more spaces to use this kind of material every year, but its tough. I’m working on an essay that is an attempt to argue for a use of more pop/rock idioms with all of the kinds of concerns about it that you might have. I continue to draw largely from the seeming mainstream of CWM because it proves to be singable. I’m still very picky about what I use of course. I hope to continue to learn with you on these things. The list above will be invaluable for me…..don’t know why I haven’t scoured this site more thoroughly and found it sooner? Thanks!

  3. Josh – thanks for the great comment and reminder to respond..on my own blog. Miguel’s comments are good. I heard this from a number of Worship Leaders early on who really wanted to use more of the retuned arr.’s but didn’t find them congregational enough. I think part of the problem is that 1) the movement is still really young 2) A lot of the ground breakers are trying to make the songs sonically interesting (on records) and somewhat less concerned with making the songs ridiculously congregational. Although for most people raised on Indelible Grace they have little problem embracing the songs (esp. list above) as really, decently congregational. There is a conflict for me between the straight quarter/eight note of traditional hymn tunes (which makes them robustly, inter-generationally singable) and the syncopation which is an inherent quality of modern pop/rock and for which singing is troubling for some ages/peoples. So in the end I try hard to straddle these concerns. Sometimes I win but rarely…but then again. Most great songs are rare victories.

    1. As I’ve sat with this question for the last month since our school year began, I’ve also been discerning the fruit of our introduction of “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath” set to a stylized interpretation of Old 113th. I think the risk I’m taking with a more difficult tune/text is similar to the question of singability of retuned hymns. Ultimately it is a question if your congregation has been formed carefully in time to embrace these more substantial songs. We can learn (within in reason) to sing. My trouble in campus ministry, of course, is a revolving congregation. Slowly but surely we keep stretching and deepening our aesthetic though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑