New Music: “Give Thanks to God” by Housefires
Whether you have heard of Housefires or not, I can almost guarantee that you have sung their music. As the worship band for Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta, Housefires keeps their sound simple and stripped down, making it easier for churches to replicate.
Their most well-known song is “Good Good Father” (you’ll be forgiven for assuming Chris Tomlin wrote it). Another great one that you should check out if you haven’t already is “Build My Life.”
Ironically, the song featured in this post was actually written by Scottish worship leader Allan McKinlay, but, as with Tomlin and “Good Good Father,” Housefires is helping to amplify a song that deserves to be heard and sung. Perhaps it is this unique origin that makes it such a refreshing entry into the modern worship landscape.
“Give Thanks to God” is a new song that feels really old. Lyrically, it pulls various themes and phrases from all over the Psalms. Instead of setting one particular passage to music, it is a wide-ranging testimony to the faithfulness of God. Structurally, the bulk of the song is a call and response between the leader and the people.
It is this call-to-worship quality that makes it feel at home in both modern and traditional settings (for example, McKinlay’s original version is accompanied by a harp). The leader describes facets or actions of God, and the congregation responds with praise. Because the responses are repeated throughout the song, your congregation can pick it up quickly. Housefires added an extended ending that can be shortened or dropped if its a little much for your church.
This simple, singable song is a great addition to your worship rotation. It can bring a touch of tradition to your modern service, or vice versa.
Housefires provides free chords on their website, but due to the recent release of the new album on which this song appears, they are not currently available. Look for them soon, or check out this unofficial version.