Sure, we could likely find the 10 best songs about God where "God" was used as a curse word. Rock and roll can be so profane. Instead, these songs look at how God's name is used in many different ways for popular songs. Most of these are pop or rock songs, and not intended to be evangelistic for any particular religion. Instead, they're actually radio songs that concern God and religion.
- "Gloria" by U2. Bono, that sly devil, used a Latin term to slip a praise and worship song on the radio. It still stands up well today because the Edge's guitar work rings out in such a way as to distinguish this band from everybody else.
"Dear God" by XTC. It's an age old argument: why does God let bad things happen to good people? And while the argument may be old, this gripping, emotional recording will make you think twice concerning your assumptions about God.
- "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC. Just to show you XTC isn't a total hater on God, this song speaks about a Christ-like figure; one willing to lay down his life for others. It's also an upbeat pop song which will have you tapping your toes.
"The Cross" by Prince. Prince is a practicing Jehovah's Witness, thank you very much. But this is a song that gospel quartets have covered. It's good enough to be a hymn, so long as people don't have trouble with hymns written by dudes in purple jumpsuits.
- "One of Us" by Joan Osborne. This song asks the question, "What if God was one of us?" Well, Christians would answer that Jesus was/is God in human form, and knows what it's like to be one of us. This lyric may apply to other religions not quite so down to Earth, so to speak.
"My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison. A lot of Christians thought this was finally a Christian song by a former Beatle. But when Harrison started repeating the Hare Krishna chant, that sort of threw that theory out the window. It's a cool melody, however. Sing it the next time you walk through an airport.
"God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. This is not specifically about God. Nevertheless, the Beach Boys' harmonies are sometimes the closest thing to heaven on earth. God only knows what we'd do without Brian Wilson.
"Lord of the Starfields" by Bruce Cockburn. This one may be a little obscure for some, but it's too doggone pretty to leave off the list. It's a praise song without sounding like a guy leading a pep rally.
"Slow Train Coming" by Bob Dylan. The second coming of Christ is compared to a slow arriving train. This is like the best of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan combined into one song. Dylan took a lot of grief over his religious songs. But like everything else he did, Dylan had the Midas touch with gospel music.
- "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum. This was another one that people thought was Jesus music on pop radio. Instead, it was little more than a really cool guitar riff. And that's not such a bad thing, really.
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