Best religious songs?

Pretty much anything by Neal Morse since 2002, when he became a born-again Christian. He decided to focus on religious lyrics from that point forward, but his music still kicks ass.

I dislike it because the music is so beautiful, and it sets itself up to be a Christian song, but then from the second verse equates God with sex.

I really don’t see how it can be debated that it is a religious song, though. It uses religious symbolism to glorify sex as a god. How can it not be religious?

So, do you really not even like the first verse/chorus? Could you like it if the words were changed?

First, who is the singer-songwriter? Leonard COHEN? I think the Jews have first claim to the word “Hallelujah”.

Second, the blending of religious & sexual symbolism isn’t the same as using “religious symbolism to glorify sex as a god.”

Is it a religious song? Maybe the same way the Song of Solomon is. It’s a spiritual AND carnal song both.

Mary, by Patty Griffin

Jesus said, “Mother I couldn’t stay another day longer”
Flys right by me and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels are singing his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

We always called that song “Rise and Shine.”

"The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies . . . "

Thanks for that. Gonna be singing this all week, now.

I also like Me & God. Also catchy for some reason.

I’ll second the earlier mention of “Mary Did you Know”. And of songs we routinely sing in church, my favorite is probably “What Wondrous Love is This”.

I also have some fond memories of my dad singing us spirituals as a kid-- He has the perfect voice for them, rich and deep. Two in particular that stand out are “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”.

Then, for old classics, of course, there are plenty of good options. Just about anything from Handel’s Messiah is good, especially the Hallelujah Chorus, and many of the old Latin carols.

Leaving aside all the glorious hymns that would take a day to list, a folky one Pete Seeger made popular:

How Can I Keep From Singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am His!
How can I keep from singing?

Oh, and Blow Gabriel Blow by Cole Porter, to be played at my funeral:

Oh, blow, Gabriel, blow,
Go on and blow, Gabriel, blow!
I’ve been a sinner, I’ve been a scamp,
But now I’m willin’ to trim my lamp,
So blow, Gabriel, blow!

And now I’m all ready to fly,
Yes, to fly higher and higher!
'Cause I’ve gone through brimstone
And I’ve been through the fire,
And I purged my soul
And my heart too,
So climb up the mountaintop
And start to blow, Gabriel, blow

The Call - *I Still Believe*

For Christian songs:
Seconded on Hank Williams’ ‘I saw the light’
‘Abide with Me’ (played at my grandma’s funeral)
‘I’ll Fly Away’

Jewish songs:
‘Shnirele, Perele’ (Klezmatics rule!)
‘Adon Olam’ (in some versions anyway)
‘Adir Hu’

Gigi, I’m a fan of ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’ too!

I like me some U2:

40 (lyrics from the psalm)
When Love come to town (with BB King)


Sunday, Bloody Sunday

(ignoring the fact that the victory and the bloody bits were on the Friday, but still)

Mr Mister: Kyrie and Broken Wings

I love Hallelujah, musically and for the self-referential nature of the first verse, but the religious imagery and biblical errors (Cohen conflates David/Bathsheeba and Sampson/Delilah) really, really annoy me.


New York hedonists do Jesus:

Ave Maria, the Schubert version.
Ave Maria, sung by Denyce Graves.

In that order.

I like U2’s Gloria and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, as well. Lots to choose from with them.