Stop misusing our songs!
The leadership of the Church of Pentecost has advised it members especially musicians and even non members who use their hymns to desist from the habit of using the Church's popular hymns or songs be it praises or worship in a manner which do not conform to their style or what has been laid down by their founding fathers.
This was made public on an Accra-based Christian radio station Channel 'R' on their entertainment discursion program - code name 205 last Wednesday.
Breaking the news, the host DJ Abio who had this information from a close source in the church said the church body has advised anyone who has any intentions of using or has already used any of their songs for commercial purposes to contact the church administration.
This is to foster a cordial meeting with a committee set to take them through the original lyrics or words of song as written by the rightful composers.
He added that according to the information, the church will also demand some amount of money from the intended users before he or she is allowed to use works The reason for necessitating this action according to the information gathered is the frequent misuse of incorrect words and expression by the musicians and the fact that most of these musicians use the songs without even giving credit to the writer or composer of the Pentecostal Hymns.
Abio said on air that he confirmed this from the General Secretary of the Church, Apostle Appeadu, who was not ready to speak on air. This brings to mind Pentecostal oriented gospel artistes like Elder Mireku, Comfort Annor, Kwaku Gyasi, Andy Frimpong Mansong, Francis Agyei, Wonder Zartey and others.
In an air interview with Wonder Zartey, he confirmed that yes the leaders of the church only want to make sure nobody uses their song and especially change words of the song to differ from what is known in their books.
To him there is nothing wrong if the church body has observed something wrong about the usage their property and they are trying to protect it. On the other hand Andy Frimpong Manson, a gospel musician and a Church of Pentecost member in an interview with this reporter said he is not yet aware of any such directive from the church in recent times.
Meanwhile he also confirmed that the church has this arrangement long ago and even recalls in his last album he had about three songs which were all old Pentecostal songs. So he had to go through this same process of meeting the music committee for them to get access to the words and made every necessary correction before he was allowed to use them.
Though Andy didn't pay any money for the songs, he thinks there is nothing wrong with it if you are asked to pay money especially when it is going to be used for commercial purpose because that money will be used to compensate the writers or their families since most are not alive.
"I think this will go a long way to force all those lazy musicians who can not write their own song to start writing their own songs and encourage other churches who do not have their own hymns to start creating new songs". Andy told Weekly Fylla
Finally he said these songs also inspire people when they listen to them at the comfort of their homes or offices.
He therefore advises that the names of the composers should be made available for anybody who uses the songs to be able give them credit where it is due.