The Cry of the Soul in Pop-Lyrics



I love music of all kinds including secular. I do have convictions and lines I don't cross, but generally speaking my musical selection is pretty diverse. In fact, my Pandora account has seen stations featuring Puerto Rican Jibaro music, Salsa, Celtic Woman, Classical Mozart, Fernando Ortega, Hillsong, CCM, Hymns, Gregorian Chant, The Lumineers, Capital Kings, Owl City, Classical Chinese, Frank Sinatra and nature sounds with music (to name a few). With such an eclectic musical taste I am bound to run into songs that help me, as a Christian, to peek behind the exterior facade of pop-culture and whenever that happens the experience is always both challenging and affirming.

Below are some of my favorite secular songs that help open that curtain to the hearts and minds of those whom, generally speaking, seem to have everything life has to offer and more. Some of these are a bit old and others are more contemporary but they are the tunes I have heard throughout my years that have helped ignite a love within me for my millennial/ secular culture. Give them a listen (don't be too fussed over the language at times) and pay close attention to the bigger picture. In these songs you will find confusion, hope, despair, joy and a search for a greater meaning all wrapped up in one. Some of them are about an inner search, others about social issues, relationships, and life but under the surface they are all rooted in the same soil - the soil of a temporal existence for which there appears to be no real meaning apart from the illusive and self-deceptive meaning we attempt to create for ourselves.

What do these songs reveal about the soul-thirst experienced by those around us. And rather than demonize the culture or run from it, what can we as Jesus-followers, do to influence the culture with his story of healing, redemption, and existential fulfillment?

Finally, what secular songs have you heard that reveal the longing and spiritual search of the culture? Share them below!



















Songs recommended by comments:

The Things that Stop You Dreaming by Passenger (clean)
Show Me What I'm looking for by Carolina Liar
Some Nights by FUN (clean)
Beam Me Up by Pink
Timebomb by Pink
Iodine by Icon for Hire
Hurt by Johnny Cash

9 comments:

  1. We cannot serve God and Satan at the same time. Listen to the testimony of Ivor Myers who left Music Industry to follow Jesus. What happened to all the famous musicians? Michael Jackson, Prince, Elvis Presley, Marylin Monroe? It is not worth it. If we decide to follow Jesus, He wants complete surrender to live for Him and for His glory. May God bless all the young people out there to follow the one who gave His life to save us. If we really understand the love of Jesus for us, we cannot love anything else that comes in between us and Him.

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    1. Amen Moni! If there is one thing that becomes painfully clear through these songs is that having all the world has to offer does not fill the eternal void within the human heart. I have heard Ivor's testimony and am thankful for how God worked in his life to bring him to Christ. One of the challenges we face is that pop-music is full of so much celebration of sin that the youth who hear it think that a life apart from God sounds awesome. But these songs above demonstrate a different side of things. They show, from the very artists themselves, a dissatisfaction and search for something better. So how can we as believers influence the culture with the story of Jesus? I think each and every Jesus-follower needs to answer that question for themselves.

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  2. Good stuff, man! I hear that cry you talk about in Some Nights by Fun, Show Me What I'm looking for by Carolina Liar, and The Things that Stop You Dreaming by Passenger (There is some language. FYI)

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  3. Thanks dude! I have shared the links above! There are also a ton of songs by John Mayer that really open this up. I listed 2 above, but he has a lot of them. If anything, I'd say John Mayer gives us the clearest view into the hearts of the culture more than anyone else. Songs like: Who Says (which sounds like a modern secular version of Ecclesiastes), War of my Life, The Age of Worry, Shadow Days, Speak for Me, Love is a Verb, Walt Grace's Submarine Test - January 1967, and Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey. And those are only his latest ones, his older albums have lots others.

    It's one thing to know people are lost and in search. Its another thing to hear their hearts and souls poured out in their music. Very thought provoking :D

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  4. Marcos, most of the young people today, embrace the world of the devil is because they have no self worth. Many many of them are from broken homes and never been loved and cherished by their own parents. So they enjoy the world to fill the void in their hearts caused by rejection. This is why the story of Chito touched my heart so much. We have to make them realize their worth and show them how precious they are to Jesus. If they want to know how precious they are to Jesus, we have to show them, embrace them, get to know them and love them and then they will follow the Lord. It is the love and compassion of Jesus that drew the outcasts to Him. May we represent Him the right way so people will know that we have been with Jesus. Lord help us to live for you and show your example to everyone who needs our love and compassion. May God bless you Marcos to reach many young people before they perish.

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    1. I love your passion and focus on showing love to others Moni! It truly is the heartbeat of true and undefiled religion. Showing love is the absolute necessary key to reaching the culture. As the old saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

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    2. My passion for the lost came from the deepest hurt. Those who are wounded knows the hurt of others. They know the reason for their rejection of the love of God. Those who are rejected by family, friends and the society in general, will realize their worth only when we make them realize how precious they are to Jesus. The heart of Jesus is close to those who experienced great pain. In the churches, they feel rejected again because we don't take the time to get to know them and heal their wounds. Many times people don't share their sorrows because of rejection. Even princes Diana shared with the world what she was going through as a princes. Pain is pain regardless of who we are. It hurts. Our Lord knows.

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  5. I totally hear this kind of thing in a lot of music i listen to like Beam Me Up and Timebomb by Pink, Iodine by Icon For Hire and Hurt by Johnny Cash (cover). A lot of them are wanting to be healed from pain from abusive love or heartbreak or a sense of unfullfilment.

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    1. Thanks! I'll add links to the songs above :D I think its important to know the cry of the culture because it shows us that we don't have to start from scratch to introduce them to Jesus. Like Paul in Mars Hill we can use their own poetry as a way of introducing the story of Jesus. Thanks for sharing!

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