Gospel: Andraé Crouch and the Disciples – Take Me Back vs. Karen Clark Sheard – God is Here

Take Me Back

  • This song was released in 1975 with the label, “Light Records” and was written by the prolific gospel artist, Andrae Crouch, whose gospel records were very popular during the time period. Many of his songs hold considerable popularity and notoriety today. The song is a part of the gospel album, of the same name, released at the same time.
  • In general, this song has a very traditional gospel sound.


“Take me back, take me back dear Lord

To the place where I first received you

Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I

First believed


I feel that I’m so far from you Lord

But still I hear you calling me

Those simple things that I once knew

Their memories keep drawing me


I must confess, Lord I’ve been blessed

But yet my soul’s not satisfied

Renew my faith, restore my joy

And dry my weeping eyes


I tried so hard

To make it all alone

I need your help

Just to make it home”

God is Here

  • This song was released in 2003 with the label Elektra and was written by the popular 21st-century gospel composer and performer, Israel Houghton and Martha Munizzi, Meleasa Houghton. The height of Karen Clark Sheard’s popularity was in the early and mid-2000s. Nevertheless, she is a very accomplished Gospel artist.
  • Upon release, the song “God is Here” was marketed to a more contemporary Gospel audience. This helped Clark gain fans from a new audience but it simultaneously alienated much of her traditional fan base. Furthermore, this was Sheard’s first attempt to reach a new audience and crossover into a more contemporary Gospel sound.


“There is a sweet anointing in the sanctuary

There is a stillness in the atmosphere

O come and lay down the burdens you have carried

For in the sanctuary God is here


He is here, He is here

To break the yoke and lift the heavy burden

He is here, He is here

To heal the hopeless heart and bless the broken


O come and lay down the burdens you have carried

For in the sanctuary God is here


Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord

Speak Lord, Speak Lord


O come and lay down the burdens you have carried

For in the sanctuary God is here”

Similarities Between the Two Songs

  • Both songs include ad-libbing and repetition.
  • The lyrics of both songs clearly speak about religious themes. Many contemporary Gospel songs today are mistaken or could be interpreted as secular songs because they refer to God, or religious themes themselves in a very ambiguous way.
  • For example, in the music video for Kim Burrell’s song, “Sweeter” she is dressed in lingerie for much of the video and the lyrics are:

    “You really really know me

    I get to know ya, I know that you’re so good for me

    You’ve been so good to me

    Every day is sweeter, sweeter than the day before

    Every day’s sweeter, learning how to love you more”

    The message is, at the very least, confusing, and this is considered a gospel song.

Differences Between the Two Songs

  • While the choral sections of “Take Me Back” have several different voice parts and harmony, the choral sections of “God is Here” are sung in unison. There are no different parts and no harmony.  
    • This is a common difference between contemporary Gospel music and traditional Gospel music. I am not sure why this change has occurred but in most popular Gospel music released in the 21st century, the choir (if there is one) is typically singing in unison, or there is very little harmony in the voice parts.
  • In “God is Here” there is not much emphasis on or change in vocal dynamics in the choral sections, but in “Take Me Back”, even from the beginning of the song there is a clear emphasis on the dynamic elements of the choral parts of the song.
  • “Take Me Back” utilizes live instruments while “God is Here” uses technologically produced sounds and synthesized instruments.
Alexis Prescott

Alexis Prescott

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