Secular Songs

Album: Into the Blues (2007)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by visits Armatrading made to two very different churches. The first is a very ornate church in Oxford, England - the kind with lots of stained glass and other decoration. This church felt cold, however, and she noticed that they were playing secular music: French songs with no relation to God.

    The other church was in the Caribbean, and while it was old and unadorned, the preacher was full of passion and the place had an energy and spirituality that was missing from the church in Oxford. Armatrading evokes this church at the end of the song, when the choir comes in with chants of "pray" and she exclaims, "Hallelujah."
  • Regarding the line, "Hear those heartfelt lieder coming from that deep bass voice," "lieder" is the German word for "songs." In her Songfacts interview, Armatrading explained that she is always looking for unusual words and different ways to express her thoughts, which is why she didn't sing "heartfelt songs."

    "It's just what you do with your songwriting," she said. "You need to come up with things that are kind of interesting."

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