Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: God Songs

buddy_christ You don’t have to look to gospel for songs with “God” in the title. I’m not a religious guy, and I have 9 hours of God songs just in my digital playlist and another two hours of Jesus cuts.

On the other hand, I am a fan of sex and somehow I only have four hours worth of songs with “SEX” in the title. Go figure.

I don’t really know what to do with this information. Maybe it points to the word “god” as a common exclamation, or perhaps songwriters have a penchant for mythology.

Or maybe musicians just dig God, I don’t know. Anyway, God songs, here we go:

“Dear God,” XTC. Maybe the best song ever written about grappling with faith.

“God’s Away On Business,” Tom Waits. Waits is one of those artists whose entire catalog I’ve kept up with. The early stuff isn’t great, but once he hit his stride with Swordfishtrombones he never made another bad album.

“God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” Johnny Cash. Opinions are divided on Cash’s albums with Rick Rubin. Some feel that his last albums catch Johnny in both mood and voice atypical of his career; others think they catch the Man In Black reflecting on a life lived hard and sometimes regretfully. I’m firmly in the latter camp — these are must have records.

“God Knows I’m Good,” David Bowie. This is probably my favorite track from Bowie’s first album, which is actually his second album. The Bowie discography is a bit confusing.

“God Is Love,” Lenny Kravitz. I think Circus was the last Lenny Kravitz album I bought. Not bad by any means, but not as good as those first couple. This is a great cut, though.

“God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys. Achingly beautiful and deeper than a 7 layer cake.

“O My God,” The Police. Sting in his blow-dried mullet phase. Who am I kidding, I love everything the Police did.

“My God,” Jethro Tull. These poor guys became the butt of jokes after winning the inaugural Best Hard Rock/Metal Grammy in 1989, but the fact of the matter is that Jethro Tull has made some brilliant albums. Sure, they made a few duds, too, but Aqualung, Heavy Horses and Songs From the Wood all belong in your stacks, and that’s just a start.

“God Give Me Strength,” Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach. Of all Costello’s many collaborations, his album with Burt Bacharach remains my favorite.

“God Bless the Child,” Richie Havens. The hero of Woodstock, or the first of many. Havens set the tone for the festival with his acoustic opening set, none of which has anything to do with this cut, but isn’t it tasty?

Well, the Queen remains unsaved and America remains unblessed. There are still plenty of God songs out there, so lay them on me. I’m listening.

4 replies »

  1. “I Do Believe” – Waylon Jennings
    “The Lord” – Bee Gees
    “One of Us” – Joan Osborne
    “Wings of a Dove” – Ferlin Husky
    “My God” – Alice Cooper
    “Bigger Hands” – John Anderson
    “I Saw God Today” – George Strait
    “God” – John Lennon
    “Dear Lord” – Thin Lizzy
    “In God’s Eyes” – Willie Nelson

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