As a popular music historian (of a sort), I am constantly banging head first into hit songs about people's imaginary friends. And, as such, I mourn for the nation and the world.

So ...

Question 1). Which are your most hated god-centric popular songs? (Mine are, in order, "God Bless The U.S.A." (Lee Greenwood), "Jesus Take The Wheel" (Carrie Underwood) and "Jesus Walks" (Kanye West).

Question 2). Do you have any god-centric popular songs that you rather like, despite their theme? (I'll only admit to "Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum, though there are one or two others.)

Question 3). This one is going to be a stumper, I fear. Aside from "Imagine" by John Lennon, is there/are there another/other popular song(s) which are expressly atheistic/humanistic and specifically don't call upon an invisible friend? (I say "popular," in that there are probably many by a variety of indie artists, but those don't necessarily swim in the mainstream where everyone would have heard it on the radio.)

There are a million reasons why there wouldn't be -- not the least of which it's hard to sing about a negative of something (belief), but maybe I'm overlooking something.

Tags: Atheism, Culture, Music, Pop

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Billy Joel's lyrics were a major source of inspiration for me as a young teen. I lived by the line:

"They will tell you, you can't sleep alone in a strange place
Then they'll tell you, you can't sleep with somebody else
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it's okay to wake up with yourself"

 

Either way you wake up with yourself is one of my mantras in life. :)

I recently started listening to Echoes of Eternity. Of course, the song "Letalis Deus" from their most recent album, As Shadows Burn, caught my attention:

 

From the void,
Nothingness becomes aware of itself
Consciousness is born
Self realization through creation
And so the universe is born

Lost inside the human maze
Through your mind, you create
Only way to the other side
Is to live and to die

Eons pass by,
Alone with all this power
Sure makes for a stagnant existence
The solution?
Divide into pieces
The immortal ones, long to be flesh

Organized religion
A distortion of the truth
Make your own decision
Ignorance will undo you

I, I am the game
I, I am the player
I'm the creator
I'm the destroyer

 

1. Most all of them for me.

2. Nusrat Feta Ali Khan. He is a Pakistani quali singer. I cannot understand a word he is singing, but as quali is described as inspirational devotional music I figure plenty of it is about how his ecstasy is inspired by his imaginary friend. I don't understand this at all. On one hand, I understand Islam prohibits music somehow. Yet on t other hand, there is plenty of music out of the Islamic world. I like plenty of it precisely because it is exotic and foreign to my ears. And I suspect that if I could understand the lyrics, I would probably like most of this a lot less.

3. Besides "Imagine", Mr. Lennon has a song called "God" that is explicitly atheists. I stopped being a big Rush fan when I instead got into the Ramones. However quit a few or their songs are slanted against both god and government. John Prine has "Plastic Jesus" which is pretty cool. There are plenty others. But those are all that are coming to mind presently.

In his 1973 hit song "Superstition" Stevie Wonder sings: "If you believe in things you don't understand then you suffer...Super-stition aint the way."

 

Indeed Stevie!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64skK_0olU8

I absolutely love Skillet's work. Really religious elements in a song doesn't bother me much as long as it's not brainwashing. I don't know if they're atheist or not, but voltaire's :"God thinks" is delightful.

Sabaton - Burn your Crosses

Clearly an anti-Christian song. The band is popular for a Swedish Power Metal band, but the song is one of their lesser known tracks.

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