Friday, April 22, 2011

Jive (Easter) Bunny

As regular readers might know, I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. It was an era when Christianity was a fact of life and Religious Education was a compulsory subject at GCSE. Although I'm not a regular church-goer now, I remain fond of those Bible teachings that haven't been distorted into a demented manifesto for small-minded intolerance.

At it's best, religion taught me to look at the world with a sense of awe and gratitude and compassion. That is perfectly alright by me.

I could never get to grips with the music, though. Hymns were tolerable - the bad ones have been filtered out over hundreds of years, after all. It was all that drippy "Jesus is a sunbeam" bollocks that made me want to impale myself on a candelabra like a macabre Marilyn Manson wannabe.

So, just in time for Easter, here are five songs with a religious theme that are 100% not rubbish. I bet they wouldn't play any of them in St Paul's Cathedral, mind.

1) Regina Spektor - Laughing With

Because God has a sense of humour, even if you don't (cf the Duck Billed Platypus).

2) Kanye West - Jesus Walks

Because you can't get Prince's back catalogue on YouTube. if you could, this video would either be The Cross (from Sign O'The Times) or Eye Know (from Lovesexy). They're both amazing.

3) U2 - Until End Of The World

In which Bono plays the character of Judas, betraying Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Alternatively, it's about fighting with your wife at a party thrown by The Great Gastby. From the brief "good period" in U2's career.

4) Nerina Pallot - God Of Small Things

I particularly like the lyrics of this one. Nerina has doubts about God's existence, but has a few ideas of what her "ideal" creator would be like. In honesty, most church-goers are exactly like this, and I prefer them to the staunch, immovable fundamentalists. To quote Kevin Smith's film, Dogma: "Having belief is a bad thing. It's better to have ideas... You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier."

5) The Headhunters - God Made Me Funky


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