The 2011 Dove Awards Song of the Year Nominees

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The Dove Awards celebrate the best of Christian and gospel music and are presented each year by the Gospel Music Association (GMA). This year, the GMA will be celebrating its 42nd year of the Dove Awards which will be presented during a ceremony on April 20, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. For a song to be eligible for a Dove Award the lyrics must:

  • Substantially be based upon historically orthodox Christian truth contained in or derived from the Holy Bible
  • Have an expression of worship of God or praise for His works; and /or
  • Contain testimony of relationship with God through Christ; and/or
  • Obviously be prompted and informed by a Christian world view.

*(Source: GMA press release, 1998).

There are many different genres of Christian music that are represented at the Dove Awards. These genres include: Rap/Hip Hop, Contemporary, Rock, Southern Gospel, Traditional Gospel, Bluegrass, Inspirational, Country, Urban, Spanish Language, Praise and Worship and Christmas.

There are so many awards that I decided to focus on just one award given out: That of Song of the Year. And in no particular order, the nominees are:

"All of Creation" gives God glory for all that He has created.
"All of Creation" gives God glory for all that He has created.

"All of Creation" by MercyMe

Written by: Bart Millard, Robby Shaffer, Jim Bryson, Mike Scheuchzer of MercyMe and Barry Graul.

From the Album: The Generous Mr. Lovewell

Chorus:

and all of creation sing with me now
lift up your voice and lay your burden down
and all of creation sing with me now
fill up the heavens let his glory resound

According to Bart Millard, the song, All of Creation was written on the premise that "we love because He (Jesus) first loved us." In writing the song, Millard set out to write a sort of confessional that discussed the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Two of MercyMe's songs have won Dove Awards in the past. They include "I Can Only Imagine" in 2002 and "Word of God Speak" in 2004.

The song "Starry Night" gives praise that we can give our lives to Him, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The song "Starry Night" gives praise that we can give our lives to Him, the Maker of heaven and earth.

"Starry Night" by Chris August

Written by: Chris August and Ed Cash.

From the Album: No Far Away

Chorus:

I'm giving my life to the only One who makes the moon reflect the sun.
Every starry night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only Son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause He is everything

On January 18, 2009 Chris August wrote "Starry Night" as a part of his re-dedication of his music and his life to Jesus.

August says, " I hope that when someone listens to my music, they learn something about me, something about themselves, and most importantly about the God who creates starry nights."

"Sometimes I Cry" isn't a feel-good song meant to entertain it is a song for hurting people.
"Sometimes I Cry" isn't a feel-good song meant to entertain it is a song for hurting people.

"Sometimes I Cry" by Jason Crabb

Written by: Gerald Crabb (Jason Crabb's father).

From the album: Jason Crabb

Chorus:

But sometimes I hurt and sometimes I cry
sometimes I can't get it right
no matter how hard I seem to try
sometimes I fall down
stumble over my own disguise
I try to look strong
as the whole world looks on
but sometimes alone I cry

Jason Crabb says, “‘Sometimes I Cry" is different from 98% of everything I’ve sung before. It’s a slow song. There’s no modulation at the end, no rousing note at the end; but the first time we did it live, people stood to their feet. They needed to hear it, to be reminded that’s it’s okay to be honest about where they are.”

He also says that people in this world are hurting and times are tough and we need to remember we're human and we can't always live up to everything we want to be.

"Our God" is a song that praises Him for all that He is.
"Our God" is a song that praises Him for all that He is.

"Our God" by Chris Tomlin

Written by: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves and Chris Tomlin.

From the album: And if Our God is For Us and Passion: Awakening

Chorus:

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God, our God

The song "Our God" was part of some new music that was released on the live worship album, Passion: Awakening. The song then became the source of the title for Chris Tomlin's studio album, "And if God is For Us."

In writing "Our God," songwriters tried to capture everything they believed God to be. The result was a powerful anthem sung in churches all over the world.

In 2006 the song "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin won the Dove Award for Song of the Year.

"Beautiful, Beautiful" is a song that talks about the beauty of a merciful God reaching out to us.
"Beautiful, Beautiful" is a song that talks about the beauty of a merciful God reaching out to us.

"Beautiful, Beautiful" by Francesca Battistelli

Written by: Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin and Andrew Fromm

From the album: My Paper Heart

Chorus:

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me, all that I need
You are so beautiful

Battistelli says the song "Beautiful, Beautiful" is about second chances and the beauty of God's mercy and grace. She also says that whenever she performs the song someone comes up to her and says, "Thank you. I really needed to her that song and be reminded that every day is a day to start over."

It is her desire that this song means something to everyone who hears it.

In 2009, her song, "I'm Letting Go" received a Dove Award nomination for Song of the Year.

The song "Get Back Up' reminds us we don't have to be knocked down forever.
The song "Get Back Up' reminds us we don't have to be knocked down forever.

"Get Back Up" by tobyMac

Written by: Toby McKeehan (aka tobyMac), Cary Barlowe, Jamie Moore and Aaron Rice.

From the album: Tonight

Chorus:

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever

TobyMac says that he tries to write honest songs - songs that talk about what we all go through in life and how faith plays a role in that.

He says that "Get Back Up Again" was inspired by a friend who was going through some tough things. TobyMac wanted to remind his friend that we all go through things in life at one time or another and the most important part of that journey is the ability to get back up.

In 1996 the song "Jesus Freak" which was co-written by tobyMac and performed by DC Talk (of which tobyMac was a part of) won the Dove Award for Song of The Year.

The song "Lead Me" is an honest song about the struggles of marriage.
The song "Lead Me" is an honest song about the struggles of marriage.

"Lead Me" by Sanctus Real

Written by: Matt Hammitt and Chris Rohman of Sanctus Real and Jason Ingram

From the album: Pieces of a Real Heart

Chorus:

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?

The song "Lead Me" was written after lead singer, Matt Hammitt's wife told him that she wanted him to be a better spiritual leader. He said he accepted the challenge with humility because he knew it was true.

Hammitt says, “My wife and I aren’t shy about sharing that we’ve had some pretty major struggles with me being on the road so much. Every marriage has its struggles, and we’re committed until death do us part. But we actively have to work through our issues.”

"Hold My Heart" by Tenth Avenue North

Written by: Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North, Jason Ingram and Phillip LaRue

From the album: Over and Underneath

Chorus:

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

The song "Hold my Heart" is about the struggle to continue to trust in God when there doesn't seem to be any answers. Lead singer and one of the writers of the song, Mike Donehey says it is also a song about needing to hurt when others hurt just as Jesus wept alongside those who were suffering.

Tenth Avenue North's Song, "By Your Side" won the Song of the Year at the 2009 Dove Awards.

The song "Let the Waters Rise" is a song about continuing to follow God even through the hard times.
The song "Let the Waters Rise" is a song about continuing to follow God even through the hard times.

"Let the Waters Rise" by MIKESCHAIR

Written by: Sam Tinnesz and Mike Grayson of MIKESCHAIR and Ben Glover

From the album: MIKESCHAIR

Chorus:

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

According to lead singer Mike Grayson, the song "Let the Waters Rise" started out as a song about the struggles of teen pregnancy but ended up making it a general song about hardship. The band says that the song is based on the "response we should have to God in any situation"

After finishing a show at a venue in Missouri, a man came up to them and said this song literally saved his life. He was thinking about committing suicide but when this song came on the radio he decided not to end his life. The man told the members of MIKESCHAIR, "My kids still have a father thanks to your song."

Jesus calls us with His love no matter who we are or where we're at.
Jesus calls us with His love no matter who we are or where we're at.

"Love Came Calling" by Triumphant Quartet

Written by: Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey

From the album: Love Came Calling

Chorus:

Love came calling like a warm embrace

every doubt and fear erased

He was calling

Love came calling like a faithful friend

Never be the same again

He was calling

Oh love came calling

With a mission to spread the Word through song and share the good news of Christ with other believers, the Southern Gospel group, Triumphant Quartet" does just that when singing about the love of Jesus in their song "Love Came Calling." The group proclaims that "Christ is the reason we sing."

In the song "Love Came Calling," Jesus calls to people such as Peter and Lazarus during Biblical times and also to those living in sin in today's world.

What is your vote for Song of The Year?

  • All of Creation
  • Starry Night
  • Sometimes I Cry
  • Our God
  • Beautiful, Beautiful
  • Get Back Up
  • Lead Me
  • Hold My Heart
  • Let the Waters Rise
  • Love Came Calling
See results without voting

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Comments 11 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I love this article. It is well researched and laid out. Also, of course it contains my favorite subject-our God. Thanks for al lthe videos and links. I can see you spent a lot of time on this one and it is appreciated very much.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This was a terrific hub and it was very difficult to choose just one song when they are all fantastic. I love to hear Christian music and you lay this out very nicely. Voted/rated beautiful.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Hyphenbird - thank you so much for your comment. Yes, this one was pretty time-consuming but I'm happy with how it turned out!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Pamela - Thank you so much for your comment and for voting it up! I'm also having a hard time picking just one! They are all amazing songs and it was fun to learn the stories behind each one of them.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for the pleasure to read such a wonderful hub.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Hello, hello, - thanks! It is always nice to hear from you.


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

Haven't been listening to my favorite college station that plays this type of Christian music in about a year. Plus, I missed the awards again this year. So thanks updating me on the current tunes.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

trusouldj - thanks for your comment. Do you have a KLOVE Station in your area? That's where I listen to Christian music - also AirOne is great too!


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

I don't think so. But I've heard snippets of KLOVE on the internet.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Cari, I missed this hub, when you wrote it, but excellent hub! I want to bookmark this, and come back to listen to all these videos. The song is "All of Creation" is beautiful!

Definitely coming back. Thank you!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

prairieprincess - thanks for your comment. My favorite song on the list is probably Beautiful, Beautiful but I love All of Creation too. And just so you know, Sometimes I Cry was the surprise dove award winner for song of the year.

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