Opposition and Joy

from by Ali McLachlan

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This song is about the twin themes of opposition and joy that ran through the life of Paul, drawing particularly from 2 Cor 4.

Of the songs Ali wrote for this album, this one ranks as one of my favourites. He seems to consider me to have helped with his composition, although all I did was work out the chords from his singing of the song. Musically it is quite interesting as it is 6/8 with occasional bars of 3/8, and starts in Bb, with a bridge in Ab and the final chorus in C.

I actually had two cracks at arranging and mixing this one. This second version is a big improvement, although possibly ended up a little too bright sounding in the end.


They say that I’ve turned traitor.
They said I’d be dead within a year.
They said I’d never succeed in my quest,
And they tried to intimidate me with fear.

We proclaim him, Christ crucified.
We proclaim him, Christ given for sin.
We proclaim him, Christ risen in glory.
Peace with the Father found only in him.

It’s true that I’ve been beaten,
And worked till my strength is all gone.
But I realise now as I sit in these chains,
They can take the man down but the gospel goes on.

We’re pressured, but we are not crushed.
Persecuted, but never alone.
We’re frustrated, but never despairing.
We’re jars of clay for Christ’s treasure to show.

This gospel’s bearing fruit in all the earth.
This gospel’s turned the world upside down.
Empires fall, their rulers shaken;
The earth is rocked to its foundation;
Cause this mighty Christ has taken our sins away.

They’ve resisted my gospel all over.
They’ve dogged my every step.
They’ve tried to ruin the work of God,
And they come to me like a thorn in the flesh.

They’ve shouted me down in the courtyards.
They’ve stoned me and left me for dead.
They’ve tried to poison the converts I’ve had
And they’ve criticised all that I ever said

He’s returning, the conquering King.
He’s returning to redeem all he made.
When Christ leads his triumphal procession,
I’m overjoyed I’ll be in the parade.


from From Jerusalem to Rome, released February 16, 2013


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Mark Heath Southampton, UK

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