You Can’t Keep A Good Song Down

“Be Thou My Vision,” that wonderful old Irish (we think) hymn, is one of my favorites. And if I have to explain to you why, then you haven’t been paying very close attention these past 3 years.

I’ve always considered sacred music, well, you know, sacred. So imagine my surprise to hear the strains of Ginny Owens’ hauntingly beautiful rendition of that hymn intermeshed with the trailer for the latest installment of the Saw series, Saw V.

We were waiting for the new X Files movie to start Friday night, and the misdirection totally threw me. I was thinking, hey this looks and sounds interesting. That is, until you get closer up and the dude in the glass helmet-trap starts screaming his head off (so to speak).

I looked at Eyegal and said, “What the…? Can you believe that?” Although I’ve become pretty thick-skinned when it comes to the bastardization of beautiful things in the darker corners of today’s culture (overreacting only gives those who traffic in such trash more power and attention), this one really bothered me.

And then I thought: Wait a minute, wouldn’t Ginny Owens or her record company have had to give the producers of Saw V (Lionsgate) permission to use the music for that trailer?

Well, one would think that anyway. So I did a little research and found out that her record company is Rocketown Records, Michael W. Smith’s company, and that they had indeed been approached by Lionsgate for permission to use the music. And do you know what they said?


The information is here on Ginny Owens’ website.

Apparently, there was some part of “no” that Lionsgate didn’t understand, somebody “didn’t get the memo” or else they just brazenly went ahead and used the music anyway.

I’ll be following this to see how it turns out over the next few days/weeks. The cynic in me feels that Lionsgate knows exactly what they’re doing, that they will attribute it to some “mix up in communication,” and after Rocketown lawyers have issued the obligatory threats, they will promptly withdraw the trailer.

But not before the tussle makes it into the new cycle, causes the predictable outrage and produces the extra publicity that the producers of Saw V were hoping for in the first place.

But I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just (ahem) an “honest” mistake.

So, be on the lookout for this one to make the rounds and remember: you heard it here first.

As for the song, yesterday Eyegal and I snuck off for our every-few-weeks liturgy fix, and one of the first songs we sang was “Be Thou My Vision.” We looked at each other and smiled.

It just goes to show you: You can’t keep a good song down.