from Josh Wigdahl
A few weeks ago, at the end of advent, I played “In Christ Alone (My Hope is Found),” a song that I associate with Christian music from the early 2000s (which is generally not a good thing). The second verse set up advent nicely (starting out, “In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe”), but I wanted to keep the advent theme going, so I wrote a different version of that verse. (Plus there was that whole awkwardness of the lines “Till on that cross, as Jesus died / The wrath of God was satisfied,” which I can kind of accept theologically, but always makes me feel a little Calvinistic and dirty when I say it, like I need to take a bath.) Someone asked me to post these lyrics recently, so I thought I’d put a blog post together to explain a bit more about why this song has been on my mind recently.
STEREOGUM: What is the sample at the end of “Go Home”?
BAKER: Oh my god. That is the craziest story in the world. Well, maybe not the craziest…
STEREOGUM: No, tell it.
BAKER: We were recording that track, and the end is the piano arrangement from this hymn called “In Christ Alone.” It holds a lot of memories for me — being young in church, and the lyrics hold a lot of meaning when you analyze them. It’s nostalgic, and as I was recording the end of that we had these two directional mics set up while I played piano into the pre-amp. And then I hear this like, crackly TV noise and the dialogue happening through my headphones. Well, it wasn’t dialogue but the guy was talking. I just finish off the thing, the arrangement and everyone tells me that the pre-amp was picking up church radio, as I was playing.
In Christ Alone, who took on fleshFullness of God in helpless babe.This gift of love and righteousnessBorn to the ones he came to save.Of shepherds known, and star foretold,The power of kings is losing holdFor in the manger lies a child,Promised Messiah, soft and mild.