The 2011 Dove Awards Song of the Year Nominees
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" by MercyMe
Written by: Bart Millard, Robby Shaffer, Jim Bryson, Mike Scheuchzer of MercyMe and Barry Graul.
From the Album: The Generous Mr. Lovewell
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.
"Starry Night" by Chris August
Written by: Chris August and Ed Cash.
From the Album: No Far Away
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" by Jason Crabb
Written by: Gerald Crabb (Jason Crabb's father).
From the album: Jason Crabb
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" 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
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" by Francesca Battistelli
Written by: Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin and Andrew Fromm
From the album: My Paper Heart
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.
"Get Back Up" by tobyMac
Written by: Toby McKeehan (aka tobyMac), Cary Barlowe, Jamie Moore and Aaron Rice.
From the album: Tonight
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.
"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
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
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.
"Let the Waters Rise" by MIKESCHAIR
Written by: Sam Tinnesz and Mike Grayson of MIKESCHAIR and Ben Glover
From the album: MIKESCHAIR
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."
"Love Came Calling" by Triumphant Quartet
Written by: Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey
From the album: Love Came Calling
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?
Song of the Year Dove Award winners from 1969-2010
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