Do they know what they are singing?
I can think of two hymns that are popular with the general public who have little idea of what they are about.
Judy Collins in 1970 recorded a version of "Amazing Grace," that reached number 5 in the U.K charts and spent remarkably 75 weeks in the charts. It has also been covered by well known popular singers such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Joan Baez, Destiny's child, U2, Michael Ball and others. However few who sang and heard the song knew what John Newton who wrote it was writing about. He was a rude, profane, slave trading sailor who rejected his mother's teaching of God's word. When he was struggling at sea in a severe storm in 1748, his thoughts began to turn to Christ. The hymn "Amazing Grace," expressed his heartfelt thanks to God for saving him by His grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
In 1927 "Abide with me," was sung at the cup final for the first time and has been sung at every cup final since. How few football fans have any idea what Henry Lyte was writing about. He became an Anglican minister because he thought he would be able to do good. Some years later he came to faith in Christ and began to study the bible and preach in another manner. He wrote "Abide with me," based on the request by two men for the risen Lord Jesus to abide with them in Luke chapter 24 v 25. It is a hymn requesting God's presence through faith in Christ, to abide with us in every stage and condition of life.
"Amazing grace ! how sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me !"
"In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."