Sunday, December 20, 2009

Give Thanks and Go West

Henry Smith wrote ‘Give thanks with a Grateful Heart’ and published it in 1978, although it didn’t become a staple in Christian worship until after 1986 when it was recorded by Don Moen. Here it is, a fairly soporific version by the Maranatha singers (couldn't find a decent version of it on YouTube), but the similarity to another song is obvious:

In 1979, the Village People released ‘Go West’, more than a year after Smith’s worship song. I wonder if Smith was paid anything for it, as the similarities in the choruses are immediately striking:

The irony is that most people probably think the worship song was filched from the Village People. On some Internet sites, ‘Give Thanks’ is dated as 1986, but that was the Don Moen album release date. It was definitely first published and recorded in 1978 and I have the music in front of me to prove it. Not that I’d want a legal action against the Village People or whoever wrote ‘Go West’ because the VP appear to me to be having a great time in this video.

No comments: