Sing!

Sing joyfullly to the Lord, all you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
(Psalm 33:1)

When I first became a Christian, I tried really hard to like Christian music. I bought Christian CDs, listened to Christian radio stations, went to Christian concerts and even tried writing some Christian songs myself. What I found, though, was that for some reason approximately 99.3% of Christian music (and 100% of the songs I wrote) gave me gastrointestinal difficulty.

Over the years, I’ve managed to overcome my musical snobbery enough to discover several Christian-y songs that don’t upset my delicate musical sensibilities. So, without further ado, here are my . . .

ALL-TIME-TOP-TEN-DESERT-ISLAND-TURN-‘EM-UP-TO-ELEVEN SONGS

1.   Get Down by Audio Adrenaline
2.   40 (Live) by U2
3.   It Is You by Newsboys
4.   Amazing Grace (Live) by Tree63
5.   Every Grain of Sand by Bob Dylan
6.   Blood of Jesus by Rock ‘n Roll Worship Circus
7.   I Need More Love by Robert Randolph
8.   Super Good Feeling by Bleach
9.   Life is Good (Eternal Life is Better) by Stellar Kart
10. In the Sun by Michael Stipe and Chris Martin

On the way to work the other day, I was singing along rather loudly (and badly) to Song #1 on the list. I love the lyrics:

GET DOWN
(By Audio Adrenaline)

Lavishly our lives are wasted
Humbleness is left untasted
You can’t live your life to please yourself
That’s a tip from my mistakes
Exactly what it doesn’t take
To win you gotta come in last place
To live your life you’ve got to lose it
And all the losers get a crown

(Chorus)
I get down, He lifts me up
I get down, He lifts me up
I get down, He lifts me up
I get down

All I need’s another day
Where I can’t seem to get away
From the many things that drag me down
I’m sure you’ve had a day like me
Where nothing seems to set you free
From burdens you can’t carry all alone
In your weakness He is stronger
In the darkness He shines through
When you’re crying He’s your comfort
When you’re all alone He’s carrying you

(Chorus)

This valley is so deep
I can barely see the sun
I cry out for mercy Lord
And you lift me up again

(Chorus)

Every Grain of Sand

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid . . .  Matthew 10:29-30

Every Grain of Sand
By Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession
In the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet
Floods every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me
Reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and
The morals of despair

Don’t have the inclination to
Look back on any mistake
Like Cain I now behold this chain of events
That I must break

In the fury of the moment
I can see the Master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles
In every grain of sand

Oh the flowers of indulgence
And the weeds of yesteryear
Like criminals they have choked the breath
Of conscience and good cheer
The sun beat down upon the steps
Of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness
And the memory of decay

I gaze into the doorway
Of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always hear my name

Then onward in my journey
I come to understand
That every hair is numbered
Like every grain of sand

I have gone from rags to riches
In the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer’s dream
In the chill of a wintry light
In the bitter dance of loneliness
Fading into space
In the broken mirror of innocence
On each forgotten face

I hear the ancient footsteps
Like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn and someone’s there
Other times it’s only me

I am hanging in the balance
Of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling
Like every grain of sand

Sing!

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.  Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.  Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.  Psalm 33:1

When I first became a Christian, I tried really hard to like Christian music.  I bought Christian CDs, went to Christian concerts, listened to Christian radio stations and even tried to write some Christian songs myself.  What I found, though, was that approximately 99.23% of Christian music (and 100% of the songs I wrote) for some reason gave me gastrointestinal difficulty.

The problem is that I’m a musical snob.  I have a narrow and impossible-to-explain sense of what constitutes good tune-age and what doesn’t.  No matter how hard I try to fake it, my mind just won’t let me enjoy music that offends my delicate sensibilities.

Over the years, though, I’ve managed to overcome my musical snobbery enough to discover a plethora of Christian-y songs that don’t upset my duodenum.  So, without further ado, here in no particular order are . . .

16 SONGS THAT DON’T MAKE ME PHYSICALLY OR SPIRITUALLY NAUSEOUS

  1. I Need More Love by Robert Randolph Family Band
  2. Blood of Jesus by Rock ‘n’ Roll Worship Circus
  3. 40 (Live) by U2
  4. Amazing Grace (Live) by Tree63
  5. God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash
  6. Super Good Feeling by Bleach
  7. A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
  8. Get Down by Audio Adrenaline
  9. Life is Good by Stellar Kart
  10. Every Grain of Sand by Bob Dylan
  11. Welcome Home by O.C. Supertones
  12. Be My Escape by Relient K
  13. Beautiful Thing by All Star United
  14. Wait by Everyday Sunday
  15. In the Sun by Michael Stipe
  16. He Reigns by Newsboys

Some of the songs may not seem overtly Christian-ish or be from traditional “Christian” artists, but for some reason each one of ’em helps me feel closer to God in some way.  Turn ’em up to 11 and may they bless you as much as they’ve blessed me.

SING IT LOUD!