Okay folks! It's audience participation time.

What I want to do is compile a definitive list of the greatest songs of all time that have some kind of religious content. And I need your suggestions. They can be from any genre and any religion. They most certainly don't have to be restricted to just the Christian music business but suggestions of Christian music that is actually not painful to listen to would be interesting.

There are some rules which will be applied strictly:

1) There must be words (instrumentals will not be accepted).

2) Songs written to be hymns or worship songs are excluded (but not songs that have been later adopted as such).

3) No settings of previously written texts will be accepted (e.g. a classical composer's setting of a latin mass).

Here are four (off the top of my head) suggestions from me.

"In The Garden" - Van Morrison
"In The Falling Dark" - Bruce Cockburn
"Redemption Song" - Bob Marley And The Wailers
"Good News" - The Waterboys

Now it's your turn. I will try and post audios of as many of your suggestions as possible. The more interesting they are, the more likely they will feature on the jukebox.

Off you go then!



  1. Also from Cockburn’s “In the Falling Dark” album, “Lord of the Starfields.” And I feel sure you’ll hate this one, but I do enjoy Joan Osborne’s “One of Us.” Carrie Newcomer, “Holy as the Day is Spent”, Oliver Mtukudzi’s “Hear me, Lord”. And let me be the first to truly annoy you by adding U2’s “Yahweh”.

  2. Two slightly tangential ones – “Outside of the Inside” by Richard Thompson (from The Old Kit Bag) and “Stand Up For Judas” by Leon Rosselson and Roy Bailey (from Love, Loneliness and Laundry). They are actually highly critical of organised religion but they definitely have religious content!

  3. Excellent, Justin. You have obviously played this game before and now exactly how to get my attention.

    Interesting, folks! I’m after interesting.

  4. Paul Heaton’s “If”
    Frankie Armstrong’s rendition of John Pole’s Anti-Carol

    You can tell what sort of mood I woke up in, eh?

  5. “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas

    “My God” by Jethro Tull

    “Hymn 43” by Jethro Tull

    “Beltane” and “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow” and “Solstice Bells” and “Cold Wind to Valhalla” all by Jethro Tull (you did say it didn’t have to be Christian)

    “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin

    “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac

    “Waking the Witch” by Kate Bush (which, as you can guess, is quite weird)

    “Lily” by Kate Bush (I mean, come on – any song that includes lines like “Gabriel before me – Raphael behind me – Michael to my right – Uriel on my left side” has to count)

    “Song of Solomon” by Kate Bush (very sexy!)

    geez…I know there’s a lot more…


  6. “Spirit in the Sky” by….I forget who, you can Google it. It used to be NASA’s theme song.

    “Unforgiven” by Metallica

    “Nothing Else Matters” also by Metallica, but it might be a bit of a stretch

    There are a couple of songs I could suggest but they were poems set to music and you indicated those don’t count…”Dark Night of the Soul” by Loreena McKennitt and “Oak & Ash & Thorn” by many people.

    Joe thinks that the Beatles’ “Let It Be” counts, because it talks about “Mother Mary” but I think Paul is singing about his own mother there, as her name was Mary. So I’m not sure if it counts.

    John Lennon’s song “God”

    Tori Amos also did a song called “God.” Look that one up. She went to high school near my area of Maryland, and she’s the daughter of a preacher-man, and she went rebellious and wrote a bunch of piano-centered songs around religion and all that.

    “Forgiven” by Alanis Morrisette (from “Jagged Little Pill”) talks about her Catholic life.


  7. If you want harsh, you could try “Die MF Die” by Dope, but it’s excessively rude. Yes, the lyrics do talk about religion but in a really aggressive, angry way.

    However, it’s great when one needs catharsis.


  8. Jonathan’s going to kill me for all these suggestions.

    “She Talks To Angels” by the Black Crowes. Kick-ass bluesy-southern-rocky band.


  9. As the Lone Post-Evangelical, it is left to me to make two suggestions from the Christian music industry. The choices likely reveal my current state of mind.

    “I Will Bring You Home” by Michael Card

    “Innocence Lost” by Amy Grant

  10. Not “interesting” in the way I think you mean, but I’m fond of the Judy Collins version of “Morning Has Broken” and George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”

  11. Yes, gumbiecat, because it is a cover of a traditional song not a setting of a text. Also it was never written to be sung in church. In fact, it’s probably heretical anyway.

  12. I had to look it up because I thought it was probably a poem first, but I’m afraid, That Other Jean, that “Morning Has Broken” was written as a hymn. But George gets in. He may have nicked the tune but the words were original.

  13. Wouldn’t be proper. You’ve forgotten my British DNA.

    BTW, on a much happier note, I have posted Feast of St. Francis photos over at Chin Wag.

  14. To be truly boring:

    Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2

    Angel – Sarah McLachlan

    My Sweet Lord – George Harrison (I love that 70s Evangelicals adopted this . . . even though they’re singing “Hare Krishna” in the background! LOL)

    Is “Kyrie” by Mister Mister too Latin to qualify?

    Again showing my “Stuck in the 80s”-ness: “Lay Your Hands on Me”, by the Thompson Twins. Perfect song for Confirmation! 😉

    One of my faves: Love is The Answer – England Dan (RIP) and John Ford Coley. [I think they were Baha’i, like (Dan’s brother) Seals & Crofts…whom I misremembered this song was by!]

    That’s my first batch…

  15. Army of Lovers – Crucified
    Boy George – Bow Down Mister
    Hair – Hari Krishna
    Jane Sibery/k d lang – Calling All Angels

  16. Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer
    Arrested Development – Fishin 4 Religion
    Marvin Gaye – Can I Get A Witness
    Bethany & Rufus – Isn’t That So?

  17. “Is it like today?” by World Party is a great progression about the search for meaning through the ages.
    Prince did a pretty decent cover of “One of Us” if you like that sort of thing.