“Lord I Need You” was written a few years ago by Matt Maher, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, and Daniel Carson. I love the words and the message of the song. (My thoughts on using this song with a congregation are at the bottom of this post.)
Lord, I come, I confess.
Bowing here, I find my rest.
And without You, I fall apart.
You’re the one that guides my heart.
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You.
Ev’ry hour I need You.
My one defense, my righteousness;
Oh, God, how I need You.
Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more.
Where grace is found is where You are.
And where You are, Lord, I am free.
Holiness is Christ in me.
So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way.
And when I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You.
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay.
So, a couple of thoughts on using this song with a congregation: Musically, this song is written as a solo — specifically, a male solo. It starts with the verse in a low register and midway through the second verse, it jumps up an octave to a high register with the male worship leader singing in unison with the women. It’s very effective as a moment of drama in the music. But the vocal range in the original key is nearly two octaves and as a worship leader, I have to ask, what do I expect the congregation to do here? Do I expect everyone in my congregation to have this vocal range? Do I expect the congregation to break up into two-part harmony with the men on a high melody and all the women on an alto part? Or do I expect all the women to sing the whole song in the lowest part of their voice? Or make the jump with the men? I’ve seen a couple of guys transpose it to G which makes most of the song more accessible but then the bridge gets awkward — either it is sung way too high or you have to jump down to sing the words “So teach my song to rise to You.” For our congregation, I transposed it to the key of E and skipped the octave jump. Yes, it loses a little of the drama without the jump but it puts the whole song in a key where people can sing expressively.
Grace and peace.