Twisted Mixtape, through my friend Jen aka @jenkehl from www.jenkehl.com and wwwraisedontheradio.com, is a really good outlet for expressing music that means a lot to me, and others. A lot of themes runs together because certain songs are like religious experiences to those of us who put so much emphasis on music as emotional connection.
This week’s challenge is “songs that are spiritual in some way”. I’m a Christian, meaning that I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and took my Grace with him to Heaven. But I’m also an open-minded left-wing Christian that knows the Bible is a book, a great book, but not the only book. I also find that most, not all, but most “Christian music” is bad. There are exceptions. Christian rock and praise music has improved over the past twenty years. Groups such as Casting Crowns and Jars of Clay make well-produced records that express their beliefs while not watering down the visceral raw power of music.
My list is part expression of Faith, part reminder that music doesn’t have to mention deities to qualify as spiritual and part tongue in cheek. If you take this seriously, you’re part of the problem not the solution.
Go see Jen, myself and Linda aka www.elleroywashere.com at www.raisedontheradio.com and let’s talk music together. Here’s my list.
My Sweet Lord – George Harrison . I think this was a hit not because it was the most underrated Beatle’s 1st work after the band broke up but because he looked like the Americans view of Jesus back then. It’s a simple song with a great melody. And you can play it in church. Even though it goes on about Hare Krishna, good job, George, the quiet one.
Give A Little Bit – Supertramp . The most underappreciated CD you either don’t own, or do and haven’t listened to in decades, is Supertramp’s Breakfast in America. If this song was on it, and not the album before it, Even In The Quietest Moments, it would be a perfect album. Get both records. Give A Little Bit is about being magnanimous and open-minded. Faith can follow those.
She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult . Work with me, here. I live with a bunch of women and am friends with a bunch more. I admire, and in a way, worship, their beauty and intelligence. Plus, this list has to rock out at some point. This song comes from an album titled Love, I mean, what more can I say? If you don’t yell “thump” when the drums start, you’re doing everything wrong.
Dear God – XTC . If this song offends you, then you’re very dumb and insecure in your Faith and you should be forced to listen to it a hundred times in a row. Atheists have adopted it as their theme, which is unfortunate because it’s really about questioning why we’re all here and figuring stuff out on your own. You can do that and be religious, too. My fellow Christians should know this, but they don’t, always. Sarah MacLachlan’s cover is brilliant.
God Book II – U2 . Bono and the boys started out as a devout Christian act and almost quit when they got successful in the “secular world”. Thank God, they didn’t. This is Bono reaffirming his Faith and dropping lyrics that should make you happy art exists. http://www.atu2.com/lyrics/songinfo.src?SID=181 Again, you can listen to this in church. It’s amazing.
Jars Of Clay – Flood . There’s so much to like about this song. The acoustic guitars are bruising and relentless. The lyrics are uplifting and important. The vocal and harmonies are fist pumping good. Then there’s a strings break that doesn’t make you angry at all. Most of all, it’s made by a band that means it and wasn’t supposed to be successful. This is a Bible lesson I never tire of. Rain rain on my face, it hasn’t stopped raining for days…
Are you looking for something interesting and music driven to read? I have two for you. My books, The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com