The Temptation Song

life-is-temptationAs is my habit I’ve written a worship song on our Hervey Bay holidays. Been reflecting on the Narrative Lectionary gospel for this Sunday (Matthew 4:1-17) … RCL usually early in Lent … the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. This started off as a children’s song; it’s turned out a bit broader than that.  Maybe a bit of refining still in the lyrics.  For me, it needed to be in a minor key and it needed to take on board the variance in theologies on evil/temptation/devil, and so on.

You can judge whether this is me being too-clever-by-half, but in the intro and between verses, there’s a repeated ooh-wah! ooh-wah! sequence.  Always some cheekiness and fun when temptation’s around the corner, surely!   All of this while I’m away from my keyboard, so the best I can offer at this stage is a basic leadsheet and the lyrics below. When home from holidays in a few days, I’ll put together a piano score … think something with a definite jazz-styled swing. Definitely.

All suggestions for improvement welcomed!
Blessings, David

The Temptation Song    leadsheet

Life is like one big temptation
Tempted ev-e-ry which way
When we’re faced with big temptations
Time to heed what Jesus say:
Bread alone – it just won’t feed us
We must feast on God’s own word
Take the word of God to heart each day
Finding life in God’s own word

ooh-wah,  ooh-wah,  ooh-wah, ooh-wah

For temptation keeps on tempting
Always subtle, in disguise
Who’s the one in life we live for?
Who’s the one with whom we’ll side?
Come and worship God completely
God alone be whom we serve
Take the word of God to heart each day
God alone be whom we serve

ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah

For temptation holds its power:
“Come and put me to the test
Come and see who’s wrong and who is right
Who is better than the rest!”
“Never put me to the test”, says God
My commands are for your best
Take the word of God to heart each day
never put it to the test

ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah

So in all of life’s temptations
When we’re tempted to go astray
May we take on board God’s word to us
Jesus’ truth, his life, his way
Like a road map for our living
When the path seems far from clear
Take the word of God to heart each day
Live in joy, in hope, not fear.

ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah, ooh-wah (repeated ad-lib)

David MacGregor
© 2015 Willow Publishing

2 Responses to “The Temptation Song”

  1. 1 davidwpowell January 22, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I like it. I’ve got no problems with the style, but wondering whether the message might be ‘it’s fun, so it must be bad’! ? Hey, man, jazz ain’t no sin! No, seriously, my main feeling was that I’d either fix the grammar in verse 1 with ‘say’, or recast the other verses so they don’t sound so straight (‘whom’ is very useful and correct, but it doesn’t sound like the same street voice). I vote for reasonable grammar throughout. In general, I like ‘heed’ – it’s very useful; I’ve used it more than once myself – but here, I wonder if it could just be “hear” with an adjective for Jesus: “hear [ol’|our|…] Jesus say”. My other question was with the last lines that sometimes introduce new text or rhyme, sometimes repeat a previous line. But the style allows for that; it’s probably just a matter of conditioning my expectations. A productive holiday!

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