On a self-fashioned holiday, I spent half of today listening to music, and thought there might be something useful there for someone else. These are some of my favourite ‘faith laced’ songs, that met both of these somewhat cheesy criteria.
1. Force me to reflect
2. Inspire me to change, either internal or external
I’ve called them ‘faith laced’ and not ‘Christian’ songs because…
“It is possible for music to be labeled Christian and be terrible music. It could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled clichés. That “Christian” band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name… Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective” – Rob Bell
These are definitely not the best songs ever written, but they do hit the spot. They’re all catchy, easy listening and range from from indy-folk to rock. Most are pretty mainstream and often some of the biggest hits of the respective artists. Four were top 10 hits in at least one country. I’m also a product of my time and place, so there’s nothing from the last 5 years. Music enthusiasts feel free to roll your eyes. Click the title to hear the song!
Switchfoot – Dare you to move
This pick-me-up softrock anthem hit top 10 in the USA. If you fancy it, Switchfoot have a lot more where this came from.
“The tension is here, between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be”
Vertigo – U2
One of the few songs that describes what it’s like to touch darkness, and hint the way out. It even quotes the Devil. And all in a 3 minute chart-topping banger.
“It’s that woozy, sick feeling of realizing that here we are, drinking, eating, polluting, robbing ourselves to death. And in the middle of the club, there’s this girl. She has crimson nails. I don’t even know if she’s beautiful, it doesn’t matter but she has a cross around her neck, and the character in this stares at the cross just to steady himself.” –
Bono, about Vertigo
Babylon and Zion – Josh Garrels
A clever song of 2 halves. First, the world as it too often is. Second, the world as it should be.
“Misappropriation of funds. Protect my ninety percent with my guns.
Whose side am I on? Well who’s winning?”
“First will be last when the true world comes. Livin’ like a humble fool to overcome”
Albertine – Brooke Fraser
An incredible reflection on her experience meeting ‘Albertine’, a girl orphaned in the Rwandan Genocide.
“Now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead”
My life be like – Gritz
Made famous (surprisingly) by the Fast and the Furious Tokyo drift, this silky smooth rap track hits the spot. The first 20 seconds might be one of the catchiest intros ever.
“The joy of new birth, and the pain of growing up
The bliss between giving my all, and giving up”
After the storm – Mumford and Sons
This addresses our fragility, evokes eternity, and helps us look to a better future.
“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair”
Oceans – Hillsong
Although it pains me a bit to include a somewhat cliche church song, it’s a gorgeous, evocative song and now a standard at church services across the world. This acoustic version is a gem.
“You call me out upon the waters. The great unknown, where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery”