• My top atheistic and agnostic songs

    I have decided to compile a list of my favourite atheistic /agnostic / philosophical songs. There are many on other lists which I do not know and feel I would like to, but here is my short list. I have made a comment with each and maybe copied the odd lyric to explain why it is in the list. I will also try to list any YouTube links or videos to the songs.

    Please add your own selections in the comments below and if I don’t know them, I am sure to want to check them out. Ed at Incredulous has written a great post about Billy Joel.

    1)      Ring the Bells – James

    This is a classic song from my youth. I saw James last year in Bournemouth and they played this song. Before this song, Tim Booth, the lead singer, stated that they were playing a Greenpeace gig and after the song a group of 5 kids came up to him, telling him they were all in a Christian cult and found that this song helped them escape. Nice.

    The pertinent lyric is:

    “Got to keep awake to what is happening.
    I can’t see a thing through my ambitions,
    I no longer feel like God is watching over me
    Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming

    This is not the end, a new beginning
    I no longer feel my God is watching over me.”

    2)      Retreat! – Cursive

    The album Happy Hollow by Cursive was an great find. Some interesting musical arrangements and some fantastic lyrics. The whole album is an intelligent statement against religion, from songs like Bad Science, Big Bang and Hymns for the Heathen.

    The pertinent lyric in this excellent song – sod it, the whole lot:

    They took the shrine to the temple,
    But he wasn’t there.
    They checked the mosque and the chapel,
    No, not there.
    Since you’ve been away on holiday,
    The natives are all nightmares.
    Since you’ve been away on holiday,
    I did dream you’d disappear.
    You keep us on a leash we can’t conceive,
    But still must adhere to.
    The natives are whipping each other,
    Over which god they prefer.
    I wish you’d do us all a favor,
    And just defer

    Since you’ve been away on holiday,
    We don’t know which god is which.
    And since you’ve been on holiday,
    It’s been harder to give a shit.
    So if you stayed away on holiday,
    We could get on with this.
    I mean we could evolve like this,
    If you’d just call it quits.
    Since you’ve been away on holiday,
    We’ve stomached your archaic rule.
    And Since you’ve been away on holiday,
    We’ve hosted some wars over you.
    So stay away on holiday – my friend,
    We don’t need your services;
    Your excuses —
    Your mysterious ways
    What a mysterious way to behave.
    What a mysterious way to just go away.

    Lord let us go

    3)      Hard Believer – First Aid Box

     These Swedish ladies hard crafted a sugar-sweet folksy composition with an acid-sharp set of lyrics. Great.

    The pertinent lyric is:

    “Well I see you’ve got your bible

    Your delusion imagery
    Well I don’t need your eternity
    Or your meaning to feel free
    I just live because I love to
    And that’s enough you see
    So don’t come preach about morality
    That’s just human sense to me”

    4)      One of the Three – James

    Another James song – the result of them being my favourite band, I suppose! This song talks of the Holy Trinity. It’s a mournfully touching song.

    The pertinent lyric is:

    You were one, one of the three
    I need proof before belief
    Oh, well, you just knew they’d come for you
    So it was suicide, suicide
    Oh, well, now you got just what you want
    I hope you’re satisfied

    I need proof before belief
    Oh, well, I guess you’re not to blame for what they’ve
    Done in your name, in your name
    Oh, well, it’s a shame you got so famous for a sacrifice

    5)      This is a Lie – The Cure

     Robert Smith is fairly well known as an atheist. This song is a lilting ode to the lie of religion, and ia actually a plea for agnosticism, it seems.

    The pertinent lyric is:

    But this isn’t truth, this isn’t right
    This isn’t love, this isn’t life, this isn’t real
    This is a lie

    How each of us believes
    I’ve never really known
    In heaven unseen and hell unknown
    How each of us dreams to understand anything at all
    Why each of decides
    I’ve never been sure

    SO now it’s over to you. Any suggestions that are worthy will be linked here. For starters, here is sir_russ’ suggestion:

    Life Don’t Have To Mean Nothing At All – Tom T. Hall

    And others to mention:

    Eternal Life – Jeff Buckley

    There Goes God – Crowded House

    Why I Don’t Believe in God – Everclear

    Glory Hallelujah – Frank Turner:

    The Only Way (Hymn)  – Emerson, Lake & Palmer

    Category: Music


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce