The saying goes, “Music heals the soul.” If that is the case then this list is a major soul healer! Music and spirituality are an extraordinary partnership, there are millions of hymns, songs, and little diddys with spiritual themes. In fact, some of the most historical bands have some pretty amazing spiritually based songs. You may know the meaning behind some of these songs while others you may be singing along to without even realizing how meaningful and conscious they truly are.
From God, love, heaven, peace, past lives, and everything in between, this list is for anyone who loves beautiful music, likes a side of enlightenment with the their beats, or wants a little “soul music” on their playlist. So turn the volume up to eleven and get ready for you, (and your higher consciousness) to rock out!
1. Spirit in the Sky -Norman Greenbaum
Kicking off the list is possibly one of the most famous spiritual rock songs ever. Spirit In The Sky has a fantastic guitar riff, epic backup vocals, and some pretty meaningful lyrics which has made it a favorite for classic rock lovers and spiritual enthusiast everywhere.
Never been a sinner I never sinned,
I got a friend in Jesus.
So you know that when I die,
he’s gonna set me up with the spirit in the sky
2. Jesus -Queen
I feel like if Jesus would want any band to sing a song about him, he would choose Queen. No one sings like Freddie Mercury and the fact that he’s singing about Jesus just makes it that much better.
And then I saw Him in the crowd
A lot of people had gathered round Him
The beggers shouted and the lepers called Him
The old man said nothing
He just stared about Him
All going down to see the Lord Jesus
3. Take Me To Church -Hozier
What’s great about this song is that it’s tongue in cheek. He’s not saying that “we were born sick” but rather that’s what the church tells us. It’s a great example of how church is not our savior but that we can find salvation, and our love for God, outside of church walls.
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me, “Worship in the bedroom.”
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
4. Into The Void – Black Sabbath
Like most metal bands, Black Sabbath was considered to be devil worshipers but most of their songs were actually deeply metaphysical. In fact, Geezer Butler, the bands bassist and primary lyricist, was interested in the occult before the 1970s and decided to paint his room matte black with pictures of satan on his wall. He was fascinated by other religions and beliefs so Ozzy gave him a book about witchcraft. Butler claims that one night he went to bed reading the book and awoke hours later to a black figure standing at the side of his bed. The figure disappeared and when he went to grab the book it was gone. The next day he painted his room orange, wrote the song Black Sabbath, and started practicing better metaphysics.
Leave the earth – to Satan and his slaves
Leave them to their future in their graves
Make a home where love is there to stay
Peace and happiness in every day.
5. Shine – Collective Soul
During a time of heavy grunge in the 90s with bands like Nirvana singing horribly depressing lyrics, Heaven Let Your Light Shine Down stood out from the crowd. Due to the mention of the word “heaven” they began being marked as a Christian band. During an interview, a journalist mentioned this to lead singer Ed Roland who corrected him and told him they were not a Christian band. The journalist replied, “Well you have the word Heaven in your song” to which Roland replied, “Well, so does Led Zeppelin. I don’t remember anyone saying they were a Christian band.'”
Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to look
Tell me will love be there
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there
Oh, heaven let your light shine down
WARNING: AWFUL 90s VIDEO!
6. Videotape -Radiohead
A litte departure from their usual style, Videotape is a stunning song about going to Heaven and watching the videotape of his life. Referencing Faust, he says, “Mephistopheles is just beneath, and he’s reaching up to grab me” and finishes the song with “No matter what happens now I shouldn’t be afraid because I know today has been the most perfect day I’ve ever seen.” Because in the story of Faust he was allowed to have whatever he wanted as long as he never said “today was the best day”. Tom Yorke’s vocals are on point as always and it’s simply a great song with a beautiful concept.
When I’m at the pearly gates
This’ll be on my videotape
7. Spirit Slips Away – Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott wrote this haunting song about death and how desolate it may feel but “May the angels be watching over you” when the time comes. Thin Lizzy was severely underrated at the time, (and maybe even still are) but Spirit Slips Away is a favorite among Thin Lizzy fans.
And when the music that makes you blue
Unfolds its secrets, the mysteries are told to you
May the angels sing rejoice to you
That fateful day when your spirit slips away.
8. Past Lives -Kesha
Past Lives is an awesome collaboration by Kesha and Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips. It’s a song about recognizing someone lifetime after lifetime after Kesha herself experienced her own past life memories. It’s an unusual love song but is something you can listen to over and over.
Then we made it through the Ice Age,
But I lost you in the crusades,
I build the pyramids for you, babe,
Just to see your face.
But I, I keep on falling for you,
Time after time, time after time.
I’ll make you mine, time after
9. Wear Your Love Like Heaven – Donovan
Released in 1967 by singer/songwriter Donovan, Wear Your Love Like Heaven may not be the most famous song on the list, but it has a special place in pop culture heart and has been sung by various artists including Eartha Kitt, played in commercials and even an episode of The Simpsons.
Lord, kiss me once more
Fill me with song
Allah, kiss me once more
That I may, that I may
Wear my love like heaven
10. Peace Train – Cat Stevens
Before he converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam, Cat Stevens was the heart and mind behind the song Peace Train which made it to #7 on the Billboard charts in October 1971. Due to the fact that Give Peace A Chance was released prior, Peace Train did not get as much recognition and was even criticized because Stevens referenced the world being on a peace train during a time we were at war. The song has become more famous and loved over the years and was even rerecorded by Stevens in 2003.
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Some day it’s going to come
‘Cause out on the edge of darkness
There rides a peace train
11. People Get Ready – Rod Stewart & Jeff Beck
No this is not the original version but the Jeff Beck guitar on this version was too good to leave out.
There ain’t no room
for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just
To save his own
Have pity on those
whose chances are thinner
Cause there’s no hiding place
From the Kingdom’s Throne
12. Gloria – U2
One of the lesser known U2 songs, but is considered a fan favorite, is Gloria. Their first big US hit was about how the band didn’t know how to integrate their faith into their music or if that path would even work for them due to their convictions to God. Most of their music has consisted of deeper meanings such as: Pride, In God’s Country, and a slew of others, but Gloria was their biggest known song which is in a sense, a prayer to God as to how to proceed with their music career while making God their priority.
Oh Lord, if I had anything
Anything at all
I’d give it to you
13. Highwayman -The Highwaymen
Each verse is not only sung by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, or Johnny Cash, but they are also about different lifetimes they lived, who they were and what they did in those particular lifetimes. It ends with Johnny Cash wondering what he’ll be in the next life “Perhaps I may become a highwayman again, or I may simply be a single drop of rain, but I will remain And I’ll be back again,and again and again and again and again.
I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive
14. Instant Karma- John Lennon
Definitely one of John Lennon’s best songs, Instant Karma is not only inspirational but also motivational. Lennon really puts the ball in our court by singing lyrics like,”better get yourself together darling, soon you’re going to be dead” with a nonsensical voice telling us to cut the hogwash and start making the changes in the world that need to be made and that we were meant to be living more enlightened lives.
Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin’ to do
It’s up to you, yeah you!
15. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
This is such a great song that continues to be relevant. Materialism is at an all time high and this song is a wonderful reminder that we cannot buy our stairway to heaven. Just don’t try to play it at the guitar center…
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
16. Heaven -Depeche Mode
Choosing between Depeche Mode songs is like choosing between food and water. They are all so incredibly soul touching, many of them having deep spiritual meaning, that it’s almost impossible. But Heaven is one of their newest hits that is beyond words.
I stand in golden rays radiantly
I burn a fire of love over and over
Reflecting endless light relentlessly
I have embraced the flame forever and ever
I will scream the word
Jump into the void
I will guide the herd
Up to Heaven
17. Heaven Can Wait -Iron Maiden
While bands like Iron Maiden were being accused of devil worship, they were really writing some epically metaphysical songs like Heaven Can Wait which is about dying and not feeling ready to let go of this life yet.
Can’t understand what is happening to me
This isn’t real this is only a dream
But I never have felt, no I never have felt this
I’m looking down on my body below
I lie asleep in the midst of a dream
Is it now could it be the Angel of Death has come for me
I can’t believe that really my time has come
I don’t feel ready there’s so much left undone.
18. Fantasy-Earth, Wind And Fire
Earth Wind and Fire are known for their harmonious lyrics and songs with spiritual meaning but Fantasy is one of my all time favorites. These guys were rock stars on a mission.
You will find, other kind, that has been in search for you,
Many lives has brought you to
Recognize it’s your life, now in review
And as you stay for the play, fantasy, has in store for you,
A glowing light will see you through
It’s your day, shining day, all your dreams come true
19. Parabola – Tool
Lead singer Reverend Maynard James Keenan is an absolute genius and has written about some truly sensitive subjects including religion and spirituality. His vocals and lyrics are powerful to the core and he sheds light on God and the holy experience in one of Tool’s best songs, Parabola.
This holy reality, this holy experience
Choosing to be here in…
This body, this body holding me
Be my reminder here that I am not alone in…
This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal
All this pain is an illusion
20. Hallelujah -Jeff Buckley
There are countless versions of this song but Jeff Buckley’s version is gorgeously angelic.
But baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.
21. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
George Harrison, along with the other Beatles, always had inspiring lyrics and songs devoted to God including: It’s All Too Much, Give Me Love, and the winner on my list, My Sweet Lord. Although it only has a few lyrics, My Sweet Lord is sung with such a deep admiration and respect to God it does an incredible job of conveying it with limited words.
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord
22. You Found Me – The Fray
One of the newer, less Rockish songs on the list, is You Found Me by The Fray. I love this song because it’s sung as if having a conversation with God, and asks a question we ask God frequently in our lives when things seem to be going wrong, “where were you?”
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me
23. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
Kanye gets more press for his antics these days then for his music but in May 2004 the song Jesus Walks was all over our screens and radios. While many religious groups had issue with some of the lyrics, it really is a true testament that rap, rock and roll and everything in between, can get people talking about God.
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryin’ to break me down
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
I want to talk to God, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long, so long
24. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Okay, so this song isn’t actually about Jesus but I had to put it on there. The song is about having someone in your life who acts as your personal Jesus, “someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares” relates more to a friend or person who is a savoir to you. But with the religious subtext and the fact that it’s Depeche Mode, I had to include this gem.
And you’re all alone
Flesh and bone
By the telephone
Lift up the receiver
I’ll make you a believer
I will deliver
You know I’m a forgiver
25. Imagine-John Lennon
You can’t really have a list of spiritual songs without the peace anthem of the world. Imagine has been a song that has been with us through some of the most difficult times in our lives and in our history. It’s a song that when tragedy strikes or we are feeling loss in our lives, it helps us to remember that all that matters is the love and kindness of man.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
26. Jesus Is Just Alright – The Byrds
Remade by The Doobie Brothers, here is the original Jesus Is Just Alright by The Byrds!
I don’t care what they may say
I don’t care what they may do
I don’t care what they may say
Jesus is just all right, oh yeah
Jesus is just all right
27. Love Is The Answer-Todd Rundgren
Originally written and sung by Todd Rundgren in 1977, Love Is The Answer has been remade by numerous bands including many Christian bands. This is a message that’s been sung time and time again but the lyrics and vocals really make this a unique addition to the list.
28. Out From The Deep-Enigma
Enigma is the most famous New Age bands of all time. Their songs and music have been played in countless movies, shows, and commercials, and is played on many mainstream outlets. They also happen to be on the soundtrack of my life since I grew up in a metaphysical bookstore with New Age parents. They have some of the best spiritual lyrics in their songs including Out From The Deep in which they explain, why we are here.
We came out from the deep
To learn to love, to learn how to live
We came out from the deep
To avoid the mistake we made
29. New Soul -Yael Naim
Many of you may remember this song from the iPod commercial some years back which made it a huge hit, but New Soul is a fantastic song about coming here to learn about the world and trying so hard but always making mistakes. I think we can all relate to this one…
I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit ’bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake
30. Light My Way – Audiosoave
From the 2002 album Audiosoave, Light My Way is a song about feeling like he is going astray, or knowing what is right or wrong, and asking God in those moments when he is lost, won’t God light the way for him. Since God blessed Chris Cornell with his ridiculously awesome vocal range, I would say he hears his prayers.
So when I’m lost
Or I’m tired and depraved
Or when my high buller mind
Goes astray won’t you light my way
31. Shambala – Three Dog Night
Based on a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhism, Shambala is a great rock song that sings about the Holy Grail of Buddhist holy land.
Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala
32. State Of Independence
State of Independence was originally released in 1981 by Jon and Vangelis on their album The Friends of Mr Cairo, then remade by Donna Summer in 1982 which became far more popular until Chrissie Hynde remade it in 1992. It has been remade a few other times since but Chrissie Hynde’s version still seems to be the fan favorite.
Time, time again, it is said
We will hear, we will see
See it all-in his wisdom-hear
His truth will abound the land
This truth will abound the land
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/chrissie-hynde/spiritual-high-lyrics/#s5jSYTr5tJZ3qokA.99
33. Spirits In A Material World – The Police
Sting and the Police were always referencing spirituality, literature and random references and this is one of the best examples of that. It was no surprise that years later Sting began doing yoga, and speaking more openly about his spiritual beliefs.
Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way
34. Déjà Vu -Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, said they believed in a more Buddhist type of religion and that they believed in reincarnation and similar concepts which is why they wrote Deja Vu about reincarnation.
If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel
I would probably know just how to deal
With all of you
And I feel
Like I’ve been here before
35. Sowing The Seeds of Love – Tears For Fears
One of my favorite songs for almost thirty years, Tears For Fears had great songs with meaning, but they never hit you over the head with it. This is one of their lesser known hits but is truly one of their best.
Time to eat all your words
Swallow your pride
Open your eyes
36. Closer To The Heart -Rush
It can be difficult sometimes to listen to the message of a song when the music and vocals are just so darn good, but Rush really nailed it with this one. It all comes down to needing to get closer to our hearts and that no change can happen until we begin to operate from our hearts and a place of love.
And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
37. Shining Star -Earth, Wind and Fire
Another Earth, Wind and Fire classic that pretty much makes you feel super awesome, as well as want to dance, even if you look like this when you dance…
You’re a shining star
No matter who you are
Shining bright to see
What you could truly be
Shining star for you to see
What your life can truly be
38. Cosmic dancer-T. Rex
Cosmic Dancer has it all, great strings, gorgeous beat and haunting lyrics about dancing through lifetime after lifetime, thus the name, Cosmic Dancer. It’s especially wonderful because it’s not an “in your face” song about reincarnation. At first listen you might just think “the guy likes to dance” but it’s much deeper than that, as is most rock music when you really listen.
I danced myself out of the womb
I danced myself out of the womb
Is it strange to dance so soon?
I danced myself into the tomb
But then again
39. Lord Is It Mine – Supertramp
From the 1979 album Breakfast in America, Lord Is It Mine is a song written and sung by Roger Hodgson. Not only is it one of my favorites on the list but it’s also a favorite of Roger Hodgson himself. “Lord is it Mine is one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written just because it came from such a deep place in me.”
You know I get so weary from the battles in this life
And as many times it seems that you’re the only hope in sight
Is it mine?
Oh, Lord, is it mine?
40. Don’t Fear The Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult
While death is a scary thing for most of us, Blue Oyster Cult devoted an entire song to letting go of that fear and that essentially everything dies, such as the seasons, and it’s part of the circle of life. Partnered with one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time and you’ve got an epic classic rock song for the spiritually inclined.
All our times have come
Here, but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
(We can be like they are)
Come on baby
(Don’t fear the reaper)
Baby take my hand
(Don’t fear the reaper)
We’ll be able to fly
(Don’t fear the reaper)
Baby I’m your man
Thank you for joining me on this musical journey! Do you have any favorites that didn’t make the list? Comment below and let me know which spiritual song you love or what songs get you into a spiritual state.
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