Hit Songs That Express Spiritual Truths

February, 2001
One of my guilty pleasures is watching infomercials for CD compilations. There have been all sorts of compilations over the years, covering every era and subject matter imaginable. A favorite of mine is "The Great Hair Bands of the 80s: They taught us how to live; they taught us how to love!" One compilation I would love to see would be "Hit Songs That Express Spiritual Truths". Now before you totally write me off on this one, stop and think about it. There are more of these than you think! Over the years, a number of popular songs have inspired me spiritually, even in ways that the composer may not have intended. The following is a partial list of songs that would appear on my dream compilation. They are in no particular order.

1.  "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas-  The verses chronicle the plight of a restless seeker who is searching for wisdom and understanding, stumbling along the way.  The chorus encourages him to rest in knowing that there will be peace at the end of his long journey.  What a beautiful dialogue!

2.  "Bargain" by The Who-  " I'd gladly lose me to find you.  I'd gladly give up all I had.  To find you, I'd suffer anything and be glad". Every word of this song speaks loud and clear of a sacrificial love, a love that would give up anything, even one's own life, in order to win the beloved.  Sound Familiar?

3.  "All You Zombies" by the Hooters-  This is a masterpiece, weaving in stories of Moses and Noah together with an urgent call to the indifferent masses to wake up from their apathy or face the wrath of God.  You've gotta love it when glittery 80s pop gets together with the Old Testament. 

4.  "Shine" by Collective Soul-  A modern rock prayer that simply asks God to shine his light down on us and help us to live and love as he would will.

5.  "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" by Noel Paul Stookey-  Yes, this song was beaten to death by being played at nearly every wedding in the 70s, but take a fresh listen.  Not only does the song offer insight on the awesome concept of two becoming one, it asks some poignant questions that go even deeper: "If loving is the answer, than who's the giving for?  Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?"  

6.  "I Still Believe" by The Call-  An anthem for all those who have endured heartache, suffering, struggles, and doubt with their faith not only intact, but strengthened.  

7.  "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks-  Admittedly, I am not a fan of mainstream country, but this is a message that always seems to hit home. So often we pray for something but we don't realize at the time that ultimately it's not what is best for us.  Someone else knows, though. "Just because he doesn't listen doesn't mean he don't care.  Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers".

8.  "Turn Turn Turn" by The Byrds-  Taken from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, this song plainly states that there is a time and a season for everything.  It particularly refers to peace, and is thought of by many as an anti-war protest song, but it is so much more.

9.  "Higher" by Creed-  The singer describes a recurring dream he has of another world, a better place, and prays to be taken to that higher place where "blind men see".  He realizes the imperfections of the world we live in, but it only makes him grateful for the ideal world of his dreams.  He states that he would gladly give up his dreams if they somehow could become united with this present world.  This is a very noble song that reflects the importance of believing in heaven and living out that belief here on earth.

10.  "Beautiful Day" by U2-  Two lines sum it all up:  "It's a beautiful day; don't let it get away" and "What you don't have, you don't need it now".  If their hit song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is the question, than this song is the answer.  It took awhile to get there but it was worth the wait!

Well, I could go on. There is plenty of room for more songs and there are some great ones I haven't mentioned, but this is a start. Feel free to e-mail me with your suggestions! Who knows? Maybe somebody will actually release this compilation someday! Woah, I've gotta run! There's an infomercial on for an 8 CD set of the all-time greatest romantic ballads sung by wimpy men! "Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much..." Oh yeah baby!


Brian Fife

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