Religious Rock. 30 of the Best Religious Rock Songs, plus 1

I make a regular pilgrimage on my bike to the local Totnes gym in Devon, UK. I take with me my MP3 player.

For seven years, I have been a paid up member of the Church of Gymism, where I bow down to the barbell and lift some modest weights up to Heaven.

A few days ago, I looked at my Most Played List on the MP3. Lots of songs had lyrics with a certain religious/spiritual flavour.

The word ‘religious’ here makes no reference to a religion or religions. A religious/spiritual flavour carries a deep intimation, a sense of the transcendent, beyond the song and its lyrics. We can find such intimations in all the religions. We can experience spiritual sensitivities in music.

Music offers reminders and revelations of the profound nature of human experience and our capacity to respond to reality.

Let’s dance to that. Let’s move to that.

Rock on….

My most played song is God Shuffled his Feet by Crash Test Dummies.

The song asks: “Do you get your hair cut in heaven?” A profound question.

If you say “Yes,” then this is ordinary mind.

If you say “No”, this is ordinary mind.

If you say “I don’t know,” this is also ordinary mind.

Do you get your haircut in heaven? Meditate on it.

My second most played song was Heaven by Emeli Sande.

Emeli sings: “I wait with good intentions. But the day it always lasts too long. Then I’m gone.”

Why does the day last too long? Gone? Gone where? To sleep? Meditate on it.

Sugar Man by Rodriguez took third spot. Rogriguez sings: “Sugar Man. You’re the answer that makes my questions disappear.”

The Sugar Man answers the questions. Sugar disappears and so do the questions. Disappear into what? Meditate on it.

You can find some precious and poetic one liners in these songs. Some songs offer fusion of the romantic and religious.

Listen with the lyrics in front of you.

You can probably find most of the artists singing their song on Youtube or equivalent.

Here are 30 Religious Rock songs plus 1

In Alphabetical order:

  1. All You Need is Love. The Beatles.
  2. Another Brick in the Wall. Pink Floyd
  3. (I’m only) Human. Rag n’ Bone Man
  4. I can’t get no) Satisfaction. Rolling Stones
  5. Candy. Paolo Nutini
  6. Don’t Panic. Coldplay
  7. Gates of Eden. Bob Dylan
  8. Get Up, Stand Up for Your Rights. Bob Marley
  9. God Shuffled His Feet. Crash Test Dummies
  10. Hallelujah. Leonard Cohen
  11. Heaven. Emeli Sande
  12. Imagine. John Lennon
  13. Life in Slow Motion. David Gray
  14. Losing My Religion. REM
  15. Moving on Up. M People
  16. My Sweet Lord. George Harrison
  17. Oh Lord. Johnny Cash
  18. Raoui. Souad Massi
  19. Rolling in the Deep. Adele
  20. Sailing. Rod Stewart
  21. Search for the Hero Inside Yourself. M People
  22. Slow Down. Imany
  23. Sugar Man. Rodriguez
  24. Tears in Heaven. Eric Clapton
  25. Tilted. Christine and the Queens
  26. Times they are a Changing. Bob Dylan
  27. The Rose. Janis Joplin
  28. Things Go Up. Seasick Steve
  29. Why does my heart feels so bad? Moby
  30. Wonderwall. Oasis
  31. Space Oddity. David Bowie





2 thoughts on “Religious Rock. 30 of the Best Religious Rock Songs, plus 1”

  1. Dear Christopher

    …thanks for your post.

    As I’ve gotten older I guess I’ve begun to attune myself more to the religious/spiritual element of the music I like, and in fact somewhat change my preferences towards music that seems to be generally more connected to that.

    After reading your post earlier today I went out and took off listening to my mp3 player from where I’d left off yesterday, which was a ‘best of’ of David Sylvian. Don’t know if you know him, or perhaps more to the point whether his musical/vocal style is to your taste, but one of his songs I would recommend, in terms of what your post was concerned with, is ‘I Surrender’. It’s on his ‘Everything and Nothing’ (part 1) ‘best of’ compilation, though I’m not sure what album it originally appeared on.

    Peace and best wishes

  2. Nice list!!

    We go to the Church of Gymism also. I don’t lift modest weights up to heaven, but I do gently jog on a trail leading nowhere yet everywhere. haha

    I listen to my ipod shuffle, can’t run up my nowhere yet everywhere hill without it.

    Think I’ll augment it with some of your tracks. teehee.

    And the more one moves, the more those tracks sound transcendent! yes! beyond the song and the lyrics.

    The other day I was deeply carried away by the soundtrack to Trainspotting, oh those tracks! I prefer the soundtrack to the film rather than the actual film, and how they took me! I ran for 40 minutes, by mistake, usually do 20, because something took me over.

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