Ten Songs About God

A Tag From Marko

Far out. A list of ten songs.. let alone a top ten of songs about God is probably one of the greater ‘High Fidelity’ challenges. However, after a night’s sleep on it, in no particular order…

1. Water Into Wine by Bruce Cockburn. First released in 1976 on ‘In The Falling Dark’. It’s an instrumental piece that is foundational in the Cockburn back catalogue. It’s a moment to lose yourself.

2. Roll Away by Dave Dobbyn. From the album ‘Accustomed to the Light’. Post his own spiritual awakening, Dobbyn writes “Roll Away is about rolling back anything that may be getting in the way with you. In my case pleading with God that obstacles be removed so that I can get on without them. It comes from a yearning that’s been around a while. This song brings me back to the hymns & solemn harmonies – simple harmony singing that the Latin masses had back when I was a small boy.”

3. Not Dark Yet by Bob Dylan. First released on the 1997 project ‘Time Out Of Mind’. This isn’t directly about God, and yet the words about humanity and the absence of a prayer, the falling darkness.. they invoke a sense of God in me. So it counts.

4. I was going to choose Hallelujah by Cohen, recorded by Kd Lang for the album “Hymns Of the 49th Parallel”, a tribute to Canadian songwriters. No doubt this tune will appear on several lists, but this version is covered in the emotions of the constant human/divine battle. Again, it’s not necessarily about God, but it’s still a God song. BUT… instead I am choosing from the same album Simple written by kd lang and David Pitch.

Flawless light in a darkening air
Alone…and shining there
Love will not elude you

Love is simple
I worship this tenacity
And the beautiful struggle we’re in
Love will not elude us

Love is simple
Be sure to know that

All in love
Is ours
And love, as a philosophy
Is simple

I am calm in oblivion
Calm, as I ever have been
Love will not elude me
Love is simple
Be sure to know that
All in love
Is ours…
Is ours…

That all in love
Is ours
And love, as philosophy
Is simple…
And ours…

5. St Matthew Passion by Bach.

6. There By The Grace Of God by Manic Street Preachers. Released in 2002 and a strange throwback to the eighties, there are glimpses of hard synth here. Musically it’s lacklustre but the lyrics and compassion are the gripper of this track and make it a worthy placing in this list.

7. ágætis byrjun by Sigur Ros. The title track of the 1999 release is the first track that I ever heard and it remains my favourite. I’ve used it as the soundtrack to a number of deep worship moments in my own private life as well as in corporate gatherings. Hence it’s become a God song.

8. Sky Flashings by Earthsuit, followed by You are Mine by rebirthed Mutemath. These are stunning tapestries of sound where lyrics, ideas and musical soundscape both point toward and draw the Spirit close to wherever you are.

9. Surely We Can Change by David Crowder Band.

10. The Lords Prayer performed by Mahalia Jackson, at the 1958 Newport Jazz festival and seen in the doco-film “Jazz on a Summers Day”. The first time and every time I see this, it brings tears to my eyes, even after all this time.

I’m passing on the tag now… to Sam, Danielle, Stu. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments. Also – I would have included Leeland’s Opposite Way too, but I ran out of numbers.

UPDATE: How could I neglect the Etnobofin… I’m a fool. In fact, I suspect that Richard’s list will be worth downloading for myself..

What do you think?