Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To the Divine!

You know how in the Song of Solomon, where the poet writes intense, erotic love poetry, but is really talking about God...? That’s how I tend to hear most songs. No matter what style of music or how secular the song, I inevitably find my mind bringing it back around to the Divine. In the Golden Age, Spaniards called this way of looking at art “a lo divino.” (Here’s the definition Wikkipedia gives: A lo divino is a Spanish phrase meaning “to the divine” or “in a sacred manner.” The phrase is frequently used to describe a secular work, rewritten with a religious overtone, or a secular topic recast in religious terms using metaphors and symbolism.)

Golden Age Spanish
poet St. John of the
Cross – I think this is
a painting of him
listening to The Who.
It’s just a slightly mad way of looking at things that, I think, makes my life just a bit richer. So, here's a playlist of some of my favorite praise and worship songs. You might notice some repetition of artists...like Soul Asylum and Pete Townshend/the Who. I guess some secular artists just have a knack for bringing in something that touches on the Divine for me. You may also notice that I have included secular songs by artists who have written Christian songs (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison)... so maybe they had the right idea all along? Lastly, I have left out songs by U2 because, while I find them to be excellent for worship, they are, I think, intended to be heard that way. 

Born to Run/Bruce Springsteen
Wonderful Tonight/Eric Clapton 
Something/The Beatles
Bargain/The Who
Silver and Gold/Neil Young
Runaway Train/Soul Asylum
My Love Explodes/Dukes of Stratosphere (aka XTC)
I Feel Beautiful/Robyn Hitchcock
Divine Intervention/Matthew Sweet
Swimming in Your Ocean/The Crash Test Dummies
Sweet Release/New Grass Revival
Crazy Love/Van Morrison (or nearly anything off the Moondance album)
Close/Soul Asylum
This Side/Nickel Creek
What Is Life/George Harrison
Not Fade Away/Buddy Holly
Great Balls of Fire/Jerry Lee Lewis
You Wreck Me/Tom Petty
Cradle Chain/Soul Asylum
Maggie’s Farm/Bob Dylan
Somebody Saved Me/Pete Townshend
The Ugly Truth/Matthew Sweet
Message of Love/The Pretenders
Wildflowers/Tom Petty

I could really go on forever, but I won’t  – I’m guessing you get my point! So next time you hear one of these songs – heck, almost ANY song – expand your mind... take it to the next level and see what happens!

(Pictured above: some of my favorite "praise and worship" song songwriters/singers... top to bottom: Bruce Springsteen, Soul Asylum, Tom Petty, Pete Townshend, Matthew Sweet, The Pretenders, Jerry Lee Lewis.)