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In Christ Alone

posted Apr 13, 2013, 1:05 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 24, 2015, 8:30 AM ]
Stuart Townend grew up the youngest of four kids in West Yorkshire, England, where his father was vicar. Keith Getty is from Northern Ireland, and as Stuart explains, “Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs.”

Keith describes the inspiration for their very first song, In Christ Alone. “I had a strong Irish melody that I could imagine a large crowd singing. I wanted it to become a hymn that would declare the whole life of Christ and what it meant. Something that could teach people the foundations of what we believed in.” Stuart continues, “I immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out.”

They are motivated by the idea of capturing biblical truth in songs not just for church worship, but songs that will build people up in their Christian lives.

Since its composition in 2001, several versions have been recorded by artists around the world. “‘The Newsboys’ version is really fresh and exciting, and the one done by Alan Asbury is superb,” Stuart says. Adam Young covered it in 2010 for his electronic project Owl City, saying "I'm twenty four years old, yet something about this song makes me bawl like a baby. The way the melodies and lyrics swirl together is so poignant and beautiful. If I were to count on one hand, the number of songs that have ever deeply moved me, this one would take the cake."