Saturday, March 01, 2008

Jesus Songs

So today I was looking for a Bruce Springsteen song called “Jesus Was an Only Son.” I had forgotten the words, and wondered if Bruce's acoustic musings would be helpful as I look for ways to reflect on the season of Lent. To speed things up, I typed “Jesus” in the iTunes search box.

To my utter shock, 15 songs filled up the screen in front of me, from a musically and culturally diverse group of artists – everybody from Jars of Clay to Kanye West, from Sam Cooke to Wilco, from Genesis to Mavis Staples. Here, in front of my face for the first time all in one place: my musical Christology.

Let me be clear: I have yet to listen to this playlist all the way through, much less to check all the lyrics for potential heresies. In other words: The views represented by these artists may or may not represent the views of the iMix publisher i.e. me. And this list doesn’t take into account songs where Jesus is not in the title but hides in the lyrics somewhere. Even so, the picture of Jesus created here – the various pieces added gradually, the mosaic itself snapped together in a nanosecond by a computer’s search function – must, on some level, reflect the images of Jesus that have appealed to me over the last couple of years.

So, without further ado, here’s my Jesus Songs playlist. I published it as an iMix on the iTunes music store, so you should be able to search for “Jesus Songs 030108” and obtain any of the songs for yourself there. (No, I don’t get paid to advertise for Apple. If only.)

When Jesus Left Birmingham – John Mellencamp
Jesus, You’ve Been Good to Me – The Gospel Keynotes
Jesus, I’ll Never Forget – Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers
Jesus, I Lift My Eyes – Jars of Clay
Jesus, Etc. – Wilco
Jesus Was A Only Son – Bruce Springsteen
Jesus Was A Crossmaker – The Hollies
Jesus Walks – Kanye West
Jesus Walks (remix) – Kanye West with Common and Mase
Jesus Is On the Main Line – Mavis Staples
Jesus is Love – The Commodores
Jesus He Knows Me – Genesis
Jesus Christ – U2 (Woody Guthrie cover)
Everybody’s Jesus – AM
Come to Jesus – Mindy Smith

So there's mine. What would your playlist look like?

2 comments:

Sam's Neph said...

"Jesus, I'll Never Forget" by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers is a classic, though the true beauty of Sam's voice is most prevalent in "Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles." In my estimation, it would make a better choice for your playlist.

Erik Greene
Author, "Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective"
www.OurUncleSam.com

OleEmmy said...

And the list doesn't even include "Jesus wrote a blank check" by the band Cake. There's one with challenging christology.