In visiting Ty-Anna over at Let’s See if This Works the other day, I found she was writing about one of my favourite topics as she was prompted to do by Magpie Girl. Magpie Girl asks:
So, what *8 Songs connect you to the Divine? Songs that aren’t classically “religious” or “church music” but create a harmonic bridge to all things holy. Songs that soothe the soul. Songs that encourage and shore you up. Songs that connect you to something bigger and beyond, or more deeply and truly to the here/now. What songs are just Good Medicine? Do tell…and if you have time link us to online versions and youtube videos, just for fun.
Well, I could pick 8 songs from my Joni Mitchell Collection alone (another list for another day!) but since this list is specifically about songs that connect us to the divine, I COULD choose Shadows and Light. This song makes reference to our society’s preoccupation with judging things as good or bad, wrong or right (a common Joni theme). Or I could choose Joni’s popular environmental anthem Big Yellow Taxi(you know, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot) But, instead I choose Woodstock in which she writes …”We are stardust. We are golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”. I love this song. Incidentally, Joni didn’t even get to play at Woodstock. It was a vicariously written song.
Okay, here are a few more significant songs with soulful impact for me.
Don’t Give Up, Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush. The So cassette lived in my car for years and this song was blasted loudly through my many stages of life, love, loss and it always pulled me through. In Your Eyes is another great song which also impacts me spiritually.
One Love, Bob Marley. The Man was a Living Legend, need I say more.
Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls. Another song that I played over and over again in fact the whole album was quite inspirational… and oh so very fun to sing along to!
Across the Universe, The Beatles. This song got me through the death of a very close relative and friend who left us far too young. And it is a wonderful anthem for Simply Being. Other uplifting Beatles songs include Let It Be, Here Comes the Sun, Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds….. just to name a few.
Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Hard to pick just one food-for-soul song from this cd. To Zion is very touching and funky (Carlos Santana on rocking guitar!!) In the title track however, Miss Hill states “every time I try to be what some one else thought of me, so caught up I was unable to achieve. But deep in my heart, I knew the answer it was in me. And I made up my mind to define my own destiny!” Woot woot, what a wild woman!
I have to say the same thing about 3years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the life of… Arrested Development. It is one of my all time best “put-it-on-and-get-things-done-because-it-makes-me-feel-so-good” cds. Children Play with Earth (play in the fields, climb a tree, eat of the earth, grow an apple tree, eat rhubarb, eat fruit from the vine, children, it is the earth’s time!) Other great tracks include Mama’s Always on Stage and Mr. Wendle (Mr. Wendle is homeless..he gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes, he has a freedom that you and I think is dumb,… I just saw him eat off the food we waste).
Wassabi Collective is an awesome Indie band out of Nelson B.C whose lyrics and energy spread a message of peace and positivity. The song Simplicity off their Cato recording is a soulfully inspiring tune with the opening lyrics “Yeah express what ya got to give and affect the life you live by thinking positive, bliss out now”. Another song, Flowers (“every single day I ask the Goddess how to get along, she say, feel with your heart not your mind your wings are spread you’re doing fine”) is filled with totally funky rhythms and drums. Their second Album Stories Not Forgotten, is also amazing.
I really must list another Joni song though. My list of inspirational music just wouldn’t be complete without the uplifting Chelsea Morning. I wrote a post about it here.
Oops, is that 9?