There is something powerful about the repetition of a meaningful lyric within the framework of a catchy and memorable melody that allows a focused message to sink in deeper and deeper until competing distractions fade sufficiently to allow the truth to finally take hold of our emotions. It is a technique often employed in church praise and worship choruses. But it also translates surprisingly well to the context of Rocky Dania’s electro-pop gospel song “The Cost“.
The electronica backdrop is beautifully crafted and excellently produced. The first iteration of the verse, bridge and chorus wisely leave room for the arrangement to bloom and grow. Rocky’s first vocal pass lightly bounces from phrase to phrase while remaining restrained enough to carefully establish the melody firmly in the listener’s mind. (Don’t worry… there will be plenty of opportunities for improvisational flourishes as the song unfolds!)
I am a servant but You are King.
I’m always changing Lord but You remain the same.
I’m empty with nothing but You have everything.
I’m only living in a world You have made.
And here I am – I’m just a sinner.
But you are God and my forgiver.
So here I am to pour my oil on You.
And glorify You Lord for your love for me.
I glorify you Jesus – I am not afraid.
I know you know the cost of my praise.
The lead vocal gets a nice doubling for the second iteration, taking the energy level up a notch. An effortlessly floating counter melody gets introduced to keep things musically interesting.
About two minutes into the song, the volume and energy gets temporarily dialed way back for a section of repeated bridges.
And here I am – I’m just a sinner. But you are God and my forgiver.
With each occurrence of this bridge, energy is added, rebuilt and then pushed to new hieights as we reach a crescendo of celebration.
You are my forgiver!
Famous orator and statesman Winston Churchill was reportedly asked the secret to great public speaking. His reply?
- First, tell them what you are going to tell them.
- Second, tell them what you have to tell them.
- Third, tell them what you just told them.
Rocky Dania proves that, when done effectively, praise lyrics can work exactly the same way! Or to put it another way, perhaps I should just say that Winston Churchill ‘don’t got nothin’ on’ Rocky Dania!
The Cost features a beautiful voice riffing on a strong melody supported by an excellent arrangement while presenting a very meaningful message. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foCgd3xdS90.