With Scripture Praise Party I seriously got down to putting simple little tunes to Bible verses. My main aim was to help children to learn Scripture. I deliberately wanted the tunes to be annoyingly catchy and would aim to write each song in 10 minutes max. I would then test each song out on an audience and if they were not able to whistle the tune after I’d sung it through twice, i’d drop the song. To this day I still cannot remember what possessed me to put a nagging wife is like a dripping tap on a children’s album!
For many wonderful years I was a member of Gerald Coates Pioneer team along with my good buddy Noel Richards and a few others. I have to say these were fun and very exciting times and we saw God do some amazing things. I wanted to add a bit of finance to help support the team so I released a compilation album called as subtle as a sledgehammer because to be fair, Pioneer was famous for being just that! The songs were totally unsubtle and some of my favourites and the little profit that was made was ploughed back into Pioneer.
Scripture Praise Party 1987
1) I have hidden your word 2) Be merciful to me O God 3) Now the Lord is the Spirit 4) All Scripture is God-breathed 5) To all who received Him 6) He has shown you 7) For the Lamb 8) Wealth and possessions 9) Where O death is your victory 10) A nagging wife 11) Those who belong to Christ Jesus 12) Don’t be afraid 13) Wakey wakey 14) Jehovah Jireh 15) No matter how much you dream 16) There is no darkness 17) The still small voice 18) Jesus said ‘not everyone who says to me’ 19) A backslider gets bored with himself 20) The people cried with their voices loud 21) Beatitudes 22) For if you forgive men 23) Do not store up 24) Praise and glory
As subtle as a sledgehammer (Compilation) 1987
1) Its amazin what praisin can do 2) D is for dynamite 3) I wanna be free 4) Word of wisdom 5) Supernaturally 6) Praise Party 7) Lord you put a tongue 8) The fields are ripe 9) I will pour out my Spirit 10) We will praise, we will praise 11) The sky is filled 12) O Lord You’re great 13) Where oh death is your victory 14) Beatitudes 15) Father God I wonder
I updated the title and cover of ‘Antique Collection’ to Sting in the Tale’ but kept the recording exactly the same. I don’t think I’ve ever had such fun recording an album. I dragged a load of ‘the lads’ from our Church into a recording studio and we recorded lots of the most popular and crazy Ishmael and Andy tongue in cheek, parable songs that had never been recorded before. Far too mad for the rather serious Christian music scene of those days! This is the very best (probably only) Christian ‘Pub’ singalong you’ll ever hear, and of course I had to have the good old ‘honky tonk’ joanna rattling away in the background. Nearly all the vocals were done 1st take, they had to be. My ‘choir’ of working men were never going to be the most patient and want to hang around in a recording studio for too long.I recorded Family Praise Favourites because these were the very best songs of the day, probably the very best songs of any day in my opinion and I was keen that children should sing them and teach the world that they too can be serious worshippers as much as adults. I sneaked ‘Father God’ alongside these classics because it was just beginning to become quite a favourite.
Ishmael’s Antique Collection 1986 But I re-released it and changed the title to A Sting in the Tale in 1993
1) Rum, Gin and Cocktail 2) The Grunting Song 3) Glub Glub 4) Chain Gang 5) Bert’s a Cert-How about you? 6) Major Dee Deedle Dee 7) 2 Timothy 2 (to the lot of you) 8) A Steeple and 10 Veg please 9) Ronald Robot 10) Rumpug the Miser 11) And so the Race goes on 12) Eli the Fly 13) M.O.T 14) Fergusons Mule
Ishmael’s Family Praise Favourites 1986
1) O Lord our God (We will magnify) 2) Praise Him in the Sanctuary 3) Father in heaven how we love you 4) You laid aside Your majesty 5) Showers of blessing 6) Be bold, be strong 7) O Lord You’re beautiful 8) There is a Redeemer 9) We worship and adore You 10) Rejoice 11) Reigning in all splendour 12)God is good 13) We place You on the highest place 14) Let us praise His name with dancing 15) In heavenly armour 16) Father God I wonder
I was now getting more confident in writing praise / worship style songs and on ‘Ishmael’s Children’s Praise party Vol 2’ I decided to risk using mostly my own compositions. At this stage I must make mention of my buddy Mick Gisbey who was later to join me touring. Mick was writing some fantastic songs and I not only included a couple on this album but also included many more of his songs on albums to follow. Ishmael’s Children’s Praise Party Vol 3 was in many ways a breakthrough album for me. Again, the majority of songs were my own and now I had also started to put a few Bible verses to simple tunes which later inspired me to write more and more Scripture Songs. I also had just written a simple little song called ‘Father God I Wonder’ which some of you may have heard of. This was the very first time I recorded it and put it on an album with children singing it. Quite a few of the songs on this album became very popular and some, believe it or not, are still being sung today.
Ishmael’s Children’s Praise party Vol 2 1984
1) We’ll praise Him on the trumpet 2) Lord I ask 3) We give thanks 4) Spirit of God 5) I’m expecting great things 6) As Jesus back was whipped and beaten 7) I am a new creation 8) Create in me9) The fields are ripe 10) I will pour out my Spirit 11) Here for a moment 12) I rejoice in making Jesus happy 13) Taste and see 14) We will praise, we will praise 15) Shout for joy and sing 16) His was the pain 17) No wooden cross 18) Blessed are you 19) May the favour
Ishmael’s Children’s Praise Party Vol 3 1985
1) Creation Song 2) Have you got an appetite 3) The Word of God 4) Salvation is found 5) Hebrews 11 v 6 6) The sky is filled 7) Kiss the hand of Jesus 8) I worship you in holiness 9) As I look at myself 10) The most important thing 11 With the music that I play 12) O Lord you’re great 13) 5000 + hungry folk 14) Put on the sword 15) How beautiful upon the mountains 16) Jesus died to make me whole 17) When you really understand 18) I will show you I’m rejoicing 19) I’m not weary 20) I will wave my hands in praise 21) You give me peace 22) Father God I Wonder 23) I’ve made up my mind
I’m thrilled that many of you seemed to have enjoyed my ‘stuck indoors’ and ‘stay alert’ twice weekly ‘live’ video’s that I posted on Facebook but due to lockdown restrictions being lifted, I feel that it’s right that next Monday (June 1st) I will be posting up my finale on Facebook.
But…as they seemed to have given so many so much pleasure, I have decided to open a Youtube channel called Ishmaels Songs where I am posting up loads of new videos and singing loads & loads of individual songs for you to watch, learn and maybe use in your churches. Please subscribe and tell others so they too can join in the fun.
Here is the link.
As I’ve still plenty of time to spare at the mo I thought we could have a bit more fun together.Each day I will post up 2 albums that I’ve recorded (in order) to remind you (and me) of all the tracks on them and also say a few words about each. Just to remind you that all these albums are still available from our website shop either as whole album downloads, whole album hard copy CDs (which I will post to you) or if you prefer you can download any track individually.
‘Land of Hope and Glories’ was a concept album teaching about salvation, baptism, the normal Christian life and yes, I also included suffering and martyrdom. I wanted the sequel ‘The Power and the Glories’ to be centred around teaching about the Holy Spirit and what happens when one drifts away from God and Church. But, like its predecessor, I wanted it to portray my rather quirky sense of humour both in the lyrics and the musical styles. It was through this album that I thought up the concept of a Praise Party, a time where children could enjoy praising God in a party atmosphere and nearly 40 years on I still use the name ‘Ish’s Praise Party’ today on my tours. I continued to use the Praise Party idea for my next album ‘Ishmael’s
Children’s Praise Party Vol 1.’ I believe at this time some of the best, well definitely the most lively and joyful Christian short songs were being written by others. These songs had very strong melody lines and although they were classed as ‘adult’ songs, I knew children would love singing them, and they certainly did on this album. I was not yet confident in writing praise songs so hence only a couple of my own songs are included on this album but that was soon to change over the next couple of recordings.
The Power and the Glories 1982
1)You need power to be a Glorie 2) Y stop dying-Y start living 3) I wanna be free 4) Like electricity 5) Corinthian Gifts 6) Super-Naturally 7) Galatian Fruit 8) The Glorie Fruit Farm 9) I’m looking up to Jesus 10) That’s life 11) Peoples not Steeples 12) Your love in me 13) Running Round in Circles 14) The Facts of Life 15) Making Amends 16) Praise Party 17) He is Able 18) My Eyes have seen the Glory
Ishmael’s Children’s Praise Party Vol 1 1983
1) Bring a Psalm 2) When the Spirit of the Lord 3) The Holy Spirit set my feet a dancing 4) In the presence of the Lord 5) Let it breathe 6) Let there be glory 7) And now my feet break forth in dance 8) Great and wonderful 9) Through our God 10) I hear the sound of the army 11) Lord you put a tongue 12) I wanna dance, I wanna sing 13) Lord help me to joyfully praise 14) I delight greatly in the Lord 15) O the valleys shall sing 16) Praise and adoration 17) I will rejoice 18) I’m a conqueror 19) You shall go out with joy