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Songs inspired by Jesus

Jesus is an inspiration for many artists in popular music. Here you find a collection of songs that are inspired by the Bible, by a saying of Jesus or by the person of Jesus.

  • All my trials (Paul McCartney)

    This song offers a message of hope that, however bad the trial anyone faces, there is a promise of liberty and freedom in the afterlife.

  • American Soul (U2)

    The song starts with a spoken word segment by Kendrick Lamar inspired by the Beatitudes, eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

     
     
  • Awake and Alive (Skillet)

    This guitar anthem is the title track from Christian rock band Skillet's eighth studio album, Awake.

     
     
     
  • Be One (Natalie Grant)

    The Be One album was recorded by Natalie Grant after she battled for 18 months with depression: "With all that's happening in our culture today, it's easy to panic..."

     
  • Crowning of the Poor (Ian Brown)

    This song appears to be inspired by the Beatitudes, Jesus' directions of how to be blessed quoted in St. Matthew's Gospel.

     
     
  • Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)

    Nick Cave explained: "Ever since I can remember hearing the Lazarus story when I was a kid, you know, back in church, I was disturbed and worried by it. Traumatized, actually..."

  • Famous Blue Raincoat (Jennifer Warnes)

    This is one of three new songs Leonard Cohen wrote for Famous Blue Raincoat, his 1986 collaboration with Jennifer Warnes.

     
  • Gabriel's Message (Sting)

    This is a Basque Christmas folk carol about the revelation to Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. 

     
  • Get Out of Your Own Way (U2)

    The song is inspired by the Beatitudes, a series of eight blessings for the downtrodden that Jesus preached in Matthew 5:3-11.

     
  • He Turned the Water Into Wine (Johnny Cash)

    According to Johnny Cash, he wrote the music and words to this song during a 1968 tour he and his wife June Carter Cash did in Israel. On the way to Tiberius in the car, in just a few minutes, he wrote this song.

     
  • How Great Thou Art (Elvis Presley)

    This song started out as a hymn written in 1885 by the Rev. Carl Boberg, a Swedish evangelist, who set it to a Swedish folk melody. 

     
  • I Alone (Live)

    The lyrics tell of the story in the Bible, in Luke 8:22-25, in which Jesus calms a storm while he and his disciples are at sea. This song (like the story) proves the power of love.

     
  • Jesus Christ (Woody Guthrie)

    Woody Guthrie had a talent for taking historical events and turning them into thought-provoking songs. Here, he sings about how Jesus Christ stood up for the poor and downtrodden.

     
  • Jesus Wept (Ralph McTell)

    This is what might be called a modern, arpeggiated folk hymn. The phrase, from John, 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Christian Bible but regarded by scholars as one of the most profound.

     
  • Lazarus (David Bowie)

    Lazarus is a character in the Gospel of John that was restored to life four days after his death by Jesus Christ. It is not clear why Bowie referenced the Biblical name in the song title (the word "Lazarus" doesn't appear in the lyrics).

     
  • Let it Rock (Kevin Rudolf)

    It's a song about the hypocrisy in the world, and I'm saying that when I come through, I'm bringing the truth.

     
  • Millennium Prayer (Cliff Richard)

    This was a hit despite being ignored by radio stations as they deemed the song to be uncool. 

     
  • New Friend Jesus (Craig Finn)

    This song finds Finn exploring his Catholic upbringing and the Christian concept of having Jesus as a friend.

  • One Love (The Stone Roses)

    Like many of The Stone Roses songs, this contains biblical references. For instance, the line "You feel my flow and you flood my brain" has its origin in John's Gospel.

  • Plastic Jesus (The Stone Roses)

    Some people are offended by the lyrics and fail to realize that the song is not meant to be sacrilegious but is actually aimed at those who cheapen the image of Jesus by selling plastic gee-gaws, cheap little trinkets in His image and other religious kitsch.

  • Prodigal Son (Rolling Stones)

    The Prodigal Son is a story told in the Bible about a father who has two sons. The younger son asks for his inheritance early and goes off to spend the money on hedonistic pursuits.

  • Revenge (Jon Foreman)

    Foreman, who is the lead singer of Switchfoot, wrote this song about Jesus and his death on the cross, but from the perspective of one of the thieves that died with Him.

  • Sheep go to heaven (Cake)

    This song is about acceptance. Those who follow blindly (sheep) are accepted or go to heaven, and those who form their own opinions are goats and are not accepted or go to hell.

  • Take up thy stethoscope and walk (Pink Floyd)

    This song takes place in a hospital setting where the patient is in a great deal of pain. The lyrics don't make much sense, which could simulate the delirious condition of the patient.

  • The Callers (The Killers)

    The song starts with Woody Harrelson reading from Matthew 9:10-12, which describes the calling of St. Matthew. The Hunger Games actor recorded his contribution in a trailer while on location in Italy.

  • The King will come (Wishbone Ash)

    Wishbone Ash bass player Martin Turner researched this song by studying The Bible. It's about the Christian idea that when the world ends, those who believe will be saved.

  • The River (Good Charlotte)

    This song is about sin and redemption that traverses the dark side of Los Angeles. It refers to Christ's parable of the prodigal son, who after running away and squandering his share of his father's inheritance, returns and is welcomed back by his forgiving dad.

  • Thomas (A Prefect Circle)

    This is about Doubting Thomas from the Bible, who's begging for forgiveness because he didn't believe until he saw Jesus resurrected and alive.

  • Until the End of the World (U2)

    Bono sang this as Judas in a biblical setting. It contains sexual imagery between Judas and Jesus that is open for interpretation.

  • When the Music's over (The Doors)

    The theme is music being the fire of life. When it stops, so does life's spirit. Arguably, one of the most beautifully intense moments of any rock song is when Morrison screams, "Persian Night! See the Light! Save Us! Jesus! Save Us!"

  • Yahweh (U2)

    The title of this song means "God." When you individually translate the letters to Hebrew letters, it spells out God's name as it appears in The Bible.