Music Monday: Songs About God

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Today, Scott's chosen a topic many don't associate with popular music: songs about God. After all, there are as many different ways to worship as there are people, so why can't some rock stars get in on it too? Here's a classic to start us off:

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

 

George had a reputation as the nicest Beatle, so it was pretty naturally he'd fall into religion. And, truthfully, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has met with some controversy over the years. But the idea behind this simple love song is as pure as any Sunday hymn, and much prettier than many. Ultimately, this is just one guy using his gifts to thank his God for everything He has done. You might not agree with the specifics, but you can certainly understand the reasoning.

We've got four more after the jump, and last week's Spotify playlist as well. Then we want YOU to add some tunes! Please remember, we're happy to see songs about all faiths represented in the comments, but we don't want anyone acting like a jerk. It's about sharing great music together, not scoring theology points. Okay? Okay. See you inside…

Before we head inside, remember our Spotify playlist will be featuring a great selection from last week's Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is Funk-ay Music and you best go over there and get down! But before you start reminiscing, check out our current Music Monday below.

Doobie Brothers - Jesus Is Just All Right

 

A very simple song that was written by a gospel group to specifically praise Jesus, then got adopted as a Top 40 standard by some non-religious musicians. I think this version still counts, though, because even if the Doobie Brothers weren't at church every Sunday, they're still making it clear: Jesus seems like he'd be a nice enough guy to hang out with. He was probably an all right kinda guy. And who can disagree with that sentiment, even if it comes from some guys named Doobie?

A Tribe Called Quest (feat. Common) - The Remedy NSFW for hip hop talk

 

There's a solid message in this one, one that a lot of radio favorites don't consider. Despite the language, this song very intelligently says "You were made by a higher power with love, stop being a fool all the time, because it's disrespectful." Maybe that's a slightly more street version of "Do unto others…" but you've got to admit, it comes from the same place.

U2 - Gloria

 

One of the earliest hits for these Irish Catholic rock stars, Gloria pulls the Latin praising God and turns it into a love song. Bono himself says it's simultaneously about a woman and about God, something that seems pretty clear in his delivery. Maybe this is the rock version of a Sufi prayer? Or maybe it's just a young man's hope after seeing a pretty girl in church.

Joan Osborne - One Of Us

 

I wish the Prince cover of this was online, because that's my personal favorite version, but the original's not to shabby either. Joan Osborne's song reminds us that God might be everywhere, and sort of implicit is the message that maybe we should be more polite to each other just in case.

We've only got room for five each week, so if we missed your favorite song/faith, don't feel left out! Instead, jump in the comments and add to our mediations. And please remember: we're all grown-ups and we're all friends. Then, afterwards, feel free to visit our Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, let us just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.