Discussion: Favorite Religious Songs

963351_18428837.jpgHappy Easter!

During mass today, I thought about how much enjoyment I get out of spiritual songs. Most of my favorite religious songs are by country artists. More than any other artist, it’s Kathy Mattea who has produced the music in that vein that I love the most. Her work tends to emphasize the gospel values of peacemaking, forgiveness and social justice. Some of my favorites from Mattea include:

  • There Were Roses
  • God Ain’t No Stained Glass Window
  • Give it Away
  • That’s All the Lumber You Sent
  • Junkyard
  • Mary, Did You Know?
  • Beautiful Fool
  • Sending Me Angels
  • Love Travels
  • Guns of Love
  • Unto Us a Child is Born
  • There’s Still My Joy
  • Seeds
  • Ashes in the Wind

Most of the rest of my favorite religious songs are scattered among other artists. Some are recent, while others are decades old:

  • Donna Fargo, “You Can’t Be a Beacon (If Your Light Don’t Shine)”
  • Big & Rich, “Live This Life”
  • Dixie Chicks, “I Hope” and “Top of the World”
  • Pam Tillis, “Morning Has Broken” and “‘Till All the Lonely’s Gone”
  • Trisha Yearwood, “It Wasn’t His Child”
  • Rosanne Cash, “I Was Watching You”
  • Johnny Cash, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” and “No Earthly Good”
  • Wynonna, “Rescue Me”
  • Dolly Parton, “Welcome Home” and “Hello God”
  • Olivia Newton-John, “Let Go Let God” and “Serenity”
  • Emmylou Harris, “Cup of Kindness”, “I Hear a Call” and “Prayer in Open D”
  • George Strait, “You’ll Be There”
  • Patty Loveless, “Someday I Will Lead the Parade”, “When the Fallen Angels Fly” and “A Handful of Dust”
  • Randy Travis, “Three Wooden Crosses”
  • Sawyer Brown, “The Walk”
  • Vince Gill, “Worlds Apart” and “What You Give Away”
  • Willie Nelson, “The Troublemaker”
  • Ceili Rain, “You Then Me Then You Then Me”
  • Alison Krauss, “A Living Prayer”, “Simple Love” and “Away Down the River”

I could keep on going, but I better leave some for the rest of you. What are your favorite religious songs?


  1. I really loved the hymn How Great Thou Art when I was singing at a church choir growing up, and there’s several versions by country artists I really like, including Carrie Underwood’s.

  2. Hey, I was thinking about this very subject in church today too! I like a lot on your list, including the two Vince songs and “LIve This Life.”

    Here are some others off the top of my head:
    Johnny Cash, “When The Man Comes Around”
    Don Williams, “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good”
    Vince Gill, “Give Me Jesus”
    Randy Travis, “He’s My Rock, My Sword, My Shield”
    Ryan Shupe And The Rubberband, “Walk The Walk”
    Brad Paisley’s version of “When We All Get To Heaven”
    Josh Turner/ Ralph Stanley, “Me And God”

    And the list goes on…

  3. Don’t know if this would count but “Come To Jesus” by Mindy Smith, because some people don’t count her as country.

  4. Because I’m listening to it right now, I really like “I’ve Got Friends That Do” by Tim McGraw. Speaking of Tim’s song and “Prodigal Sons Prayer” Corey, I also like “The Heaven I’m Headed to” by Dierks Bentley.

  5. As a clarification, I don’t like the Tim song because I’m listening to it right now, the fact that I’m listening to it right now is what made me think of it.:)

  6. Here are some that come to mind…

    Alan Jackson (Alison Krauss) “The Angels Cried”
    Johnny Cash “No Earthly Good”
    Johnny Cash, “When The Man Comes Around”
    Josh Turner/ Ralph Stanley, “Me And God”
    Randy Travis, “He’s My Rock, My Sword, My Shield”

    And some more (not quite the right genre, but I figured I would include them anyway)…
    Nickel Creek “The Hand Song”
    Nickel Creek “Doubting Thomas”
    Ralph Stanley “King Of All Kings”

  7. “That’s Just the Way He Was Raised” by Josh Turner off his most recent album is really, really good as well … Josh is good at having one or two really nice spiritual/religious songs on each album (in addition to covers, which apparently was addressed in the comments of that post).

  8. there have been quite a few that i’ve liked:
    “All In Good Time” – Marcus Hummon (in the conversation for greatest story songs).
    “The Lucky” – Warren Brothers (One of my all-time favorite songs)
    “She Must Be So Happy” – Jeffrey Steele (it’s on iTunes as “So Happy”)
    “Hey God” – Jeffrey Steele
    “The Eleventh Commandment” (About child abuse) – Collin Raye
    “What if Jesus Came Back Like That” – Collin Raye
    “A Bible and a Bus Ticket Home” – Collin Raye
    “Love Remains” – Collin Raye
    “She’s Gonna Fly” Collin Raye
    I Can Only Imagine – Emerson Drive or Jeff Carson
    “Nobody Loves Me” – Derek Webb
    “Awaiting Redemption” – Hal Ketchum
    “That’s What I Love About Sunday” – Craig Morgan
    “On A Cloud” – Cross Canadian Ragweed
    “Distant Shore” – Dierks Bentley
    “The Carpenter’s Way” – Hal Ketchum
    “Jesus In LA” – Marcus Hummon
    “Stand Up (Song For Jesus)” – Marcus Hummon (his wife is a minster)
    “Life is a Church” – Marcus Hummon
    “Oh What A Piece Of Work Is Man” (an interpretation of the Shakespere sonnet) – Marcus Hummon (It’s probably his best vocal ever too).

    I know there are lot more but thats what I have for now.

  9. Time to look through Leeann’s CDs and see what is on here I might enjoy. Need to make a new mix CD and Leeann’s massive CD collection has to have most of what is on this list. Best part of threads like this is finding something you missed.

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