Praise music vs. hymns
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended a big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. "Well," said the farmer, "It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."
"Praise choruses?" said his wife. "What are those?"
"They're sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.
"What's the difference?" asked the wife.
The farmer said, "Well, if I said, 'Martha, the cows are in the corn,' that
would be a hymn. But if I said, 'Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,' that would be a praise chorus."
Hymns from a praise perspective
A young Christian went to his local church usually, but one weekend attended a small-town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
"Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."
"Hymns," said his wife, "What are those?"
"Oh, they're okay. They're sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.
"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.
The young man said, "Well it's like this: If I were to say to you, 'Martha, the cows are in the corn,' well that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:
Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry.
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by,
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.
For the way of the animals who can explain?
There in their heads is no shadow of sense.
Hearkenest they in God's sun or His rain,
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.
Yea, those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.
So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn.
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.
"Then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."
—from an anonymously circulating email.