Saturday 4 July 2009

Music for Enlightened Free Thinkers

Ever since Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for his sublime mastery of the blues, we godless types have had the best music.

As I now have a relatively large iTunes music library I frequently compile playlists for journeys or parties. Inspired by Daniel Loxton’s recent Skeptics Mix Tape, I though I’d compile a playlist of a songs that have a more rational and freethinking view of the universe.

I’ve included my favourite lyric from each song along with the album or single the song was taken from and the original release year in case you wish to source some of the songs to compile a similar list.

Rock On Atheist dudes….

Roy Harper: “The Death of God”
Taken from “The Death of God” (Single) 2005
“Welcome to heaven. I'm your creator. I bid you welcome. To the promised land. Sorry I made you. Bomb all those children. They were all warned. And they fully understand”

Patti Smith: “Gloria”
Taken from “Horses” 1975
“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”

XTC: “Dear God”
Taken from “Skylarking” 1986
“but all the people that you made in your image, see them starving on their feet 'cause they don't get enough to eat from God, I can't believe in you”

Peter Hammill: “Four Pails”
Taken from “Skin” 1986
“Four pails of water and a bagfull of salts. That is all we are, that is all a man comprises, chemicals alone, with no spirit, soul or ghost”

R.E.M.: “Loosing My Religion”
Taken from “Out Of Time” 1991
“The slip that brought me, To my knees failed, What if all these fantasies, Come flailing around”

The Boomtown Rats: “Nice ‘n Neat”
Taken from “The Fine Art of Surfacing” 1979
“Through tunnel vision watch him rant and rave. He says there's life beyond the grave”

Ziggy Marley: “In the name of God”
From the Album “Dragonfly” 2003
“All religion should be wiped out, so that people may just live, what divides us is an illusion, made up by men in their confusion”

Motorhead: “God Was Never On Your Side”
Taken from “Kiss of Death” 2006
“Let the sword of reason shine, Let us be free of prayer and shrine, God's face is hidden, turned away, He never has a word to say”

Skunk Anansie: “Selling Jesus”
Taken from “Paranoid and Sunburnt” 1995
“They made him up then wrote a book to keep you on your knees”

Bill Callahan: “Faith/Void”
Taken from “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle” 2009
“Damin’ the children. Makin’ the ill just a little more sick. It’s time to put God away (I put God away)"

Rush: “Freewill”
Taken from “Permanent Waves” 1980
“Each of us, A cell of awareness, Imperfect and incomplete. Genetic blends, With uncertain ends, On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.”

John Lennon: “Imagine”
Taken from “Imagine” 1971
“Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people. Living for today…”

Roger Waters: What God Wants Part II”
Taken from “Amused To Death” 1992
“God wants dollars. God wants cents. God wants pounds, shillings, and pence. God wants guilders. God wants Kroner. God wants Swiss francs And God wants French francs. God wants escudos. God wants pesetas. Don't send lira. God don't want small potatoes”

Jethro Tull: Hymn 43
Taken from “Aqualung” 1971
“If Jesus saves. Well, He’d better save himself. From the gory glory seekers. Who use his name in death”

Grinderman: “Go Tell The Women”
Taken from “Grinderman” 2007
“We done out thing. We have evolved. We're up on our hind legs. The problems solved”

Nick Drake: “River Man”
Taken from “Five Leaves Left” 1969
“Betty said she prayed today. For the sky to blow away. Or maybe stay. She wasn’t sure”

Tori Amos: “God”
Taken from “Under The Pink” 1994
“God sometimes you just don't come through. Do you need a woman to look after you?”

Frank Zappa: “Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk”
Taken from “Broadway The Hardway” 1988
Conviced they are 'The Chosen Ones' And all their parents carry guns, And hold them cards in the N.R.A. (With their fingers on the triggers, When they kneel and pray)

Pink Floyd: “Keep Talking”
Taken from “The Division Bell” 1994

“For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk”

Cake: “Comfort Eagle”
Taken from “Comfort Eagle” 2001
“We are building a religion. We are making a brand. We're the only ones to turn to. When your castles turn to sand”

U2: “God Part II”
Taken from “Rattle and Hum” 1988
“Don't believe the devil. I don't believe his book. But the truth is not the same. Without the lies he made up”

Red Hot Chilli Peppers: “Shallow Be thy Game”
Taken from “One Hot Minute” 1995
“Shallow be thy game. 2000 years looking in the mirror. You play the game of shame. And tell your people live in fear”

Metallica: “Leper Messiah”
Taken from “Master of Puppets” 1986
“Marvel at his tricks, need your Sunday fix. blind devotion came, rotting your brain”

Anthrax: “Think About An End”
Taken from “Weve Come For You All” 2003
“Your god is dead and doesn't care. Tell me which one's worst. An uncaring god or knowing that you're alone on this earth?”

The Beatles: “Think For Yourself”
Taken from “Rubber Soul” 1965
“Do what you want to do. And go where you're going to. Think for yourself. 'Cause I won't be there with you”

Tom Waites: “Chocolate Jesus”
Taken from “Mule Variations” 1999
“Dont go to church on Sunday. Dont get on my knees to pray. Dont memorize the books of the bible. I got my own special way”

James: “One Of The Three”
Taken from “Laid” 1993
I need proof before belief. Oh, well, I guess you're not to blame for what they've done in your name, in your name”

Billy Joel: “Only The Good Die Young”
Taken from “The Stranger” 1977
“They showed you a statue, told you to pray. They built you a temple and locked you away. But they never told you the price that you pay. For things that you might have done.....”

Greydon Square: “Pandora’s Box”
Taken from “The Compton Effect” 2008
“You've been spoon fed belief and you don't even see it. You just absorbed the religion that's native to your region. You can't believe it so you won't believe it. Because the church has taught you that faith belongs in the place of reason”
Nine Inch Nails: “Heresy”
Taken from “The Downward Spiral” 1994
“His perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain. Demands devotion atrocities done in his name. Your God is dead and no one cares. Drowning in his own hypocrisy”

Ten Years After: “Religion”
Taken from “Rock & Ro
ll Music to the World” 1972
“I never really understood religion. Exce
pt it seems a good excuse to kill. I never really could make a decision. I don't suppose I ever really will”

Marilyn Manson: “The Fight Song”
Taken from “Holy Wood (In The Shadow of the Valley of Death)” 2000
“But I'm not a slave to god that doesn't e
xist. And I'm not a slave to world that doesn't give a shit”

10,000 Maniacs: “Let The Mystery Be”
Taken from “Few and Far Between” 1993
“Eveybody’s wonderin’ what and where, They all came from, Everybody’s worryin’ ‘bout where they’re gonna go, When the whole things done, But no one knows for certain so it’s all the same to me, I think I’ll just let the mystery be”

The Moody Blues: “It Aint Necessarily So” (George & Ira Gershwin)
Taken from “The Magn
ificent Moodies” 1965
“I said, ain't necessarily so. No, ain't necessarily so. The things you're liable. To read in a bible. Ain't necessarily so. Ain't necessarily so. No, it ain't necessarily so.”

Holly Near: “I Ain’t Afraid”
Taken from “Edge” 2000
“I ain't afraid of your Yahwe
h. I ain't afraid of your Allah. I ain't afraid of your Jesus. I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God”

Queensryche: “Spreading the Disease”
Taken from “Operation: Mindcrime” 1988
“Religion and sex are power plays. Manipulate the people for the money they pay. Selling skin, selling God. The numbers look the same on their credit cards”


The Association: “On a Quiet Night”
Taken from “Inside Out” 1967
“Are we all minstrels. Playing in a three-ring circus. Searching for a purpose that's not there?”

Ani Difranco: “What if No ones Watching”
Taken from “Imperfectly” 1992
“I mean wh
at, what if no one's watching, what if when we're dead, we're just dead, what if it's just us down here, what if god is just an idea, someone put in your head”

Bad Religion: “Faith Alone”
Taken from “Against the Grain” 1990
“Heard a sermon from a c
reaky pul pit with no one in the nave. I paid a visit to the synagogue and I left there feeling blame. No one could tell me what to do, they had not the capacity to answer me.”

Landscape: “Einstein A Go Go”
Taken from “From the Tea-rooms of Mars …” 1981
“Bible says we must
pay. I am the judge for the judgement day. There'll be no warning no alarm. I'll be the one who's saved. Einstein A Go Go”

Crosby Stills and Nash: “Cathedral”
Taken from “CSN” 1977
“I'm flying in Winchester cathedral. All religion has to have its day. Expressions on the face of the Saviour. Made me say. I can't stay.”

Adam & The Ants: “The Idea”
Taken from “Dirk Wears White Sox” 1979
“I could be religious if didn't have to kneel down. I could be religious if ...a god would say ‘hello’. I could be religious if angel touched my shoulder”

Dead Kennedys: “Religious Vomit”
Taken from “In God We Trust, Inc.” 1981
“They all claim that they have 'the Answer'. When they don't even know the Question. They're just a bunch of liars. They just want your money. They just want your consciousness”

Meshuggah: Terminal Illusions
Taken from “Destroy Erase Improve” 1995
“you surrender, under mass hypn
osis, bound to illusions, produced by your god”

Lily Allen: “Him”
Taken from “It’s Not Me, Its You” 2009
“Ever since he can remember. People have died in his good name. Long before that September. Long before hijacking planes”

David Gilmour: “This Heaven”
Taken from “On an Island” 2006
“All the pieces fall into place. When we walk these fields. And I reach out to touch your face. This earthly heaven is enough for me”

Bright Eyes: "A Scale, a Mirror and Those Indifferent Clocks"
Taken from “Fevers and Mirrors” 2000
"Here is a scale. Weigh it out and you will find, easily, more than sufficient doubt that these colours you see, were picked in advance by some careful hand, with an absolute concept of beauty."

Kenna: “New Sacred Cow”
Taken from “New Sacred Cow” 2003
“Crucify yourself for them. Does it make you feel any better? Religion as the crutch, all warped and delirious, and I swear I cant take it anymore”

Jack Johnson: “It’s All Understood”
Taken from “Brushfire Fairytales” 2000
“Suggestions on where to place faith. Suggestions on what to believe. But I read somewhere. That you've got to beware. You can't believe anything you read. But the good Book is good. And it's all understood. So don't even question. If you know what I mean”

Accept: “Protectors of Terror
Taken from “O
bjection Overruled” 1993
“They are protectors - will you pray - will you cry. Of terror - when brothers in faith turn to brothers in arms. They are protectors - how many more have to die”

Iron Maiden: “For the Greater Good of God”
Taken from “A Matter Of Life and Death” 2006
“It brings upon us more, A famine, dea
th and war, You Know Religion has, A lot to answer for”

Toad the Wet Sprocket: “Pray Your Gods”
Taken from “Fear” 1991

“I feel my body weakened by the years. As people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain, of death. Or could it be they fear the joy of life”


The Police: “Oh My God”
Taken fro
m “Synchronicity” 1983
“The fat man in his garden. The thin man at his gate. My God you must be sleeping. Wake up, it's much too late.”

Public Image Limited: “Religion II”
Taken from “First Issue” 1978
“Stained glass windows keep the cold outside. While the hypocrites hide inside. With the lies of statues in their minds. Where the Christian religion made them blind”


Pearl Jam: “Marker in The Sand”
Taken from “Pearl Jam” 2006

“Those undecided. Needn't have faith to be free. And those misguided, There was a plan for them to be...Now you got both sides. Claiming 'killing in god's name'. But god is nowhere. To be found, conveniently...”

OMD “Universal”
Taken from “Universal 1996
“We all bleed
the same blood, We all need the same love. And when we die there's no heaven above. It's universal, it's universal”

Oasis “Carry Us All”
Taken from “Sunda
y Morning Call” Single 2000
“Everybody's go
ne for quick sure fire solution. But faith in any god is gonna bury us all. No-one's gonna fight in a ten-bob revolution. Have faith in what you've got and it will carry us all”

Nick Cave: “Into My Arms”
Taken from “The Boatmans Call” 1997

“I don't believe in an interventionist God. But I know, darling, that you do But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him. Not to intervene when it came to you”

Muse: “Knights of Cydonia”
Taken from “Black Hol
es and Revelations” 2006
“Come ride with me. Through the veins of history. I’ll show you
how god. Falls asleep on the job”


Gary Numan: “The Angel Wars”
Taken from “
Exile” 1997
“I don't bel
ieve, In the angel wars (Oh Lord). I don't believe, in the Virgin birth (Father). I don't believe, in the cross on the hill (Jesus). I don't believe, In the kindness of God to man.


Lou Reed: “Busload of Faith”
Taken from “New York
” 1989
“You can’t depend on any churche
s. Unless there’s real estate you want to buy. You can’t depend on a lot of things. You need a busload of faith to get by, who”

Elvis Costello: “From Monkey To Man”
Taken fro
m “The Delivery Man” 2004
“He hangs up
flowers and bells and rhymes. Hoping to hell someone's forgiven his crimes. Fills up the air with his pride and praise. He's a big disgrace to our beastly ways”

Del Amitri: “I’m An Unbeliever”
Taken from “Just Before You Leave” Single 2002
“I was on m
y knees, yeah. I was sinking deeper. I was praying ‘Please bring me some relief", yeah. My mind was dead, erased. I was flesh and blood asking to be saved. I was ripe for the grip of some phony holy fellowship”

David Bowie: “Quicksand”
Taken from “Hunky D
ory” 1971
“I'm not a prophet, or a s
tone age man. Just a mortal, with the potential of a superman. I'm living on, I'm tethered to the logic, of Homo Sapien. Can't take my eyes, from the great salvation. Of bullshit faith”

Björk - It's In Our hands
Taken from “It’
s In Our Hands” Single 2002
all here in our hands. Well now aren't we scaring ourselves? Unnecessarily. Aren't we trying too hard? 'Cause it's in our hands”


Alice Cooper: “Stolen Prayer”
Taken from “The La
st Temptation” 1994
“You showed me your
paradise, And your carnival of souls, But my heart keeps telling me, That ain't the place to go, Well, I'm not invincible, So I want you to leave, Well, I'm so convincible, But have I been deceived?”

Kaiser Chiefs: “Time Honoured Tradition”
Taken from “Emp
loyment” 2005
“It's time honoured tradition, To get enough nutrition, Stay alive until you die, And that is the end of you”


Paul Weller: “Porcelain Gods”
Taken fr
om “Stanley Road” 1995
“Beware false prophets - take a stand! My fortune cookie cracked up in my hand, More advice t
o fill up your head, More empty words from the living dead”


The Divine Comedy: “Life On Earth”
Taken from “Fin
de Siècle” 1998
“Build your coffin of balsa
wood. Spend all that you earn. When you go you are gone for good. Never to return”

The Damned: “Amen”
Taken from “Grave Di
sorder” 2001
“Who says these people are insane, It's only brainwash, quite humane, A thousand channels take your pick, Another mystic lunatic, Amen”


The Housemartins: “Sheep”
Taken from “London 0 Hull 4” 1986
“Sometimes I get so angr
y with the simple life they lead. The shepherds smile seems to confirm my fears. They've never questioned anything, They've never disagreed Sometimes I think they must have wool in their ears”


Porcupine Tree: “Halo”
Taken from “Deadwing” 2005
“God is in my fingers. God is in my head. God is in the trigge
r. God is in the lead”


Extreme: “There is no God”
Taken from “Waiting for the Punchline” 1995
“So you're a self proclaimed messiah, or maybe a blasphemes liar, a clever hypnotic hoax, a hallowed heretic coax”


Echo & The Bunnymen: “All In Your Mind”
Taken from “Echo & The Bunnymen” 1987
“I pray, and nothing happens. Jesus, it's all in my mind. You say, Stop looking for answers, and reasons, they're all in your mind”


Liam Proven said...

Oi, hippy, you can't spell "losing". Which loses, dude.

And you could've saved us a lot of effort and put in Youtube links instead of cover art... :¬)

(So far, it's rather too folky for my tastes, but it's an interesting selection.)

Liam Proven said...

You've just given me a new favourite Motorhead track, though. Kudos!

Crispian Jago said...

Liam, There's quite a few to choose from for Motorhead, but I opted for that one as it is one of my all time favourite Motorhead tracks.
I tried to concentrate on content and mix up the genres a bit, hence there's folk, rock, metal, punk, pop and all sorts in there.

Anonymous said...

Some great songs on there no doubt, but this being the internet and all, I must have something to nitpick :) Freethinking is a whole lot more than just lamenting the damages done by religions or openly denying deities (although it does take fortitiude to do that in a world where such a statement can have such negative effects) Its the baseline for considering other ways of thinking and greater possibilities within the reality we can observe. Don't let the freedom that comes with the tradition of the Enlightenment get mired in constant opposition wherein the prisoner and the prison guard switch places, does not yelling about the faults misdeeds and contradictions of religion make one almost as beholden to its concepts and precepts as its adherents are? Id like to see songs about astronomy for example :) I would also recommend Chemical Calisthenics by Blackaliscious, Kings Vision by Grand Buffet, and Anything by Choking Victim

Crispian Jago said...

Perhaps I erroneously titled this post, The playlist I put together was intended as a collection of songs that explored some of the absurdities of religion and presented alternative viewpoints. You are however quite right, that the term free thinker is much wider than that. Maybe another playlist is required to celebrate the scientific method, philosophy, critical thinking, free speech, logic and reason.

Anonymous said...

Most music cannot be considered as free-thinking because most musicians are told what to write, including lyrics that contain satanic information. The musicians themselves have actually sold their souls for fame and fortune. That is not a joke.
Musicians including 2Pac and Michael Jackson were killed for true free-thinking

anarchic teapot said...

"Most music cannot be considered as free-thinking because most musicians are told what to write, including lyrics that contain satanic information."

OH NOES I'M A SATANIST!!! And probably amnesiac too, since I don't remember anyone dictating what I should write for that primary school play all those years ago.

I agree with you, however, that what you write, though nonsense, is not a joke. It is extremely sad and delusional, and I would advise you to seek psychological help immediately as you are clearly a vulnerable and overly credulous person.