Spiritual Meaning in Secular Songs

Starting on June 14, the congregation of St. Andrew’s Hespeler will be making an exploration of various secular songs that may belong to many different genres to discover how and why we sometimes find deep spiritual meaning in songs that are written for a secular audience and context.
The following secular songs have been nominated by people in the congregation. They are songs have often helped people though dark or difficult times. Though we will make efforts to relate our explorations to all of the songs that have been named, we would like to identify a few that resonate with the most people. Therefore over the coming weeks we will be voting on the most meaningful secular songs on Sunday mornings.

To allow people to listen to all the songs, we would like to provide the following links that will allow you to hear the songs and review the lyrics.

Better Way by Ben Harper (Lyrics)

Imagine by John Lennon. (Lyrics)

Let it Be by the Beatles (Lyrics)

Live Like you are were dying, by Tim McGraw. (Lyrics)

Pacing the Cage by Bruce Cockburn (Lyrics)

Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2. (Lyrics)

Samson by Regina Spektor (Lyrics)

Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver (Lyrics)

The Climb by Miley Cyrus (Lyrics)

The Great Mandala by Peter, Paul & Mary (Lyrics)

The Remedy (I won’t worry) by Jason Mraz  (Lyrics)

The River of Dreams by Billy Joel (Lyrics)

The Rose by Bette Midler (Lyrics)

Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds (Lyrics)

Wondering where the Lions are by Bruce Cockburn (Lyrics)

You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (Lyrics)

Please note that there are some songs that were nominated that we have not included in this list.

Some of the nominated songs were really what must be labelled sacred songs (even if they are sometimes performed by secular artists). We are not rejecting these songs, especially as they were often nominated because they had been deeply helpful to people. We will include these songs in our discussions and include performances of them when and as possible. We will just not include them in the voting process.

A few nominated songs we have decided will be performed and explored anyways. These also will not be included in the voting, but they will be included in our discussions.

Please come out over the upcoming Sundays to learn how we will be voting for these songs.

And finally, here are a couple of nominated songs that we would have loved to include but cannot because we cannot secure permission to perform or sing them in church.

For the Day by Tanglefoot (Song begins at the 3 minute mark).

Rise up with Fists by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins