The staff at Country Club Christian Church has curated this list of meaningful music for you. Listen by clicking the Spotify or Apple Music playlists links below, or click into the YouTube links to each song within the description. Let us know what your favorites are!
“Rewind” by Sylvan Esso (Tyler Heston) — This song comes at the end of Sylvan Esso’s sophomore album What Now, which was released a few years after their first album, responds to the unexpected fame of its predecessor, and was nominated for a Grammy Itself. “Rewind” captures the magic and mystery of growing up and making sense of the big steps we take in our own journeys.
“The Greatest Gift” by Sufjan Stevens (Tyler Heston) — There are a number of songs by the prolific Sufjan Stevens that I thought about including; this one is an odd choice with its brevity and simplicity. Much of Sufjan’s music is layered, long, and complex; but this song’s simple exhortation to “abide in peace” makes it one of his sweetest and perhaps most timely songs.
“Baba Yetu” by Christopher Tin (April Booth) — I played this in my community band in MN and instantly loved it. This song is the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili – it is also the first song composed for a video game to win a grammy.
“You’ve Got a Friend” and “Shower the People” by James Taylor (Carla Aday) — James Taylor’s Greatest Hits is the most played album I own; these two songs mean so much to me. “You’ve Got a Friend” is such a comforting and hopeful song, no matter what is happening in life.
“Shower the People” is a reminder to actively reach out and show people how much you love them! It seems like the gospel message to me!
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Anne Haraughty) — It’s a simple, hopeful song with great appreciation for the beauty of the world and humanity.
“Amen” (from Messiah) (link recorded by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir on YouTube) written by George Frideric Handel (Mike Graves) — I have two favorites, one is classical and the other a classic. The first is from Handel’s Messiah, not the “Hallelujah Chorus,” although who doesn’t love that, but rather the “Amen.” If I’m ever stuck when working on a sermon, Handel’s Messiah always works.
“Let It Be” by The Beatles (Mike Graves) — This is the song of my childhood, and I could listen to it any time. But in a time of pandemic, letting it be seems like good advice.
“Lonesome Dreams” by Lord Huron (Leslie Tenjack) — Lord Huron and their beautiful album, Lonesome Dreams, were introduced to me years ago by one of my favorite humans and adventure buddies: my sister-in-law, Kyrstin. My lock-down life is full of children, interruptions, and chaos so there’s something romantic about the idea of slipping away into the solitude of a wide-open space.
“Mado Kara Mieru” by Christopher Tin — (Paul Cutelli) Sung in Japanese, it is a song of the seasons of the world and life. Underrated, poetic, powerful in under 5 minutes.
“Wings of Kynareth” by Jeremy Soule (Paul Cutelli) — From The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (a video game). This is very classical in its style and I find it very relaxing and centering. The flute has an air of hope and the strings paint a lovely imagery of wind over hills and mountains.
“Geology” by FlyByNo (Paul Cutelli) —The beginning opens very atmospheric, then opens up into this flowing moment of strings with hints of discovery. Again, from a video game.
“Blackbird” by The Beatles (Alex Goering) — During this time, finding beauty and meaning in this situation is tough – but the difficulty makes it all the more rewarding. If you can find peace now, imagine what you can accomplish in more typical circumstances.
“What a Wonderful World” by Ray Charles (Alex Goering) — This song is full of wonderful things that we take for granted most of the time, but during the stay-at-home orders I’ve come away with a rejuvenated appreciation for nature, and even the ability to shake hands as an “I love you.”
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens (Lara Schopp) — I’m not sure if this was my favorite hymn before I heard this Sufjan Stevens version but it certainly was after. The folksy guitar introduction pulls me into this song in a visceral way, and Stevens’ haunting voice coupled with the hymn’s beautiful lyrics offer a bit of hope in an uncertain world.
“One Particular Harbor” by Jimmy Buffett (Joe Walker) — Like so many of his “secular” songs, “One Particular Harbor” comes out of his profound spirituality. The lyrics speak of life’s flow toward a place of peace in our hearts and our world, “where the children play on the shore each day, and all are safe within.”
“All Are Welcome” by Marty Haugen (Joe Walker) — This is a rousing anthem proclaiming exactly what I believe a faith community ought to be. In a stone church or a store front, around a campfire or a kitchen table, the “house” is where Christ’s love is experienced as real, healing, and empowering. I love this version because it is what a school Mass really looks and sounds like. (Nostalgic whimper.) I love this version because toward the end, they have mic feedback problems. That’s so really what happens.
“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas (Lisa McCleish) — Regardless of my mood, I instantly feel better when this song comes on, “ It’s gonna be a good night…”
“For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder (Lisa Tang) —
I love to listen to music when I cook – especially on the weekends, when I’m not rushing so much. I’m old – so I still listen to CDs and one of my favorites is a best of Stevie Wonder. So many of his songs just make you feel good – and this one always lifts my spirits. It’s virtually impossible to feel down (and not dance around the kitchen) when this song comes on!
“Token Angels” by Wendy Matthews (Lisa Tang) — She’s actually Canadian but has lived in Australia for many, many years, so we Aussies claim her as one of our own. She has such a unique sound, which I love— and listening to her music always makes me think of home. My youngest son, Noah, who will be 24 in August and who is autistic, loves music. One of his favorite things to do is to listen to my iPod— and to my delight, he discovered and fell in love with Wendy Matthews all on his own!
“Such a Simple Thing” by Ray LaMontagne (Barbara George) — This song and the two above from The Head and the Heart are generally the type I listen to especially while planting in the garden or just being outside in the yard. Peaceful and easy.
“The Luckiest” by Ben Folds (Rachel Wymore) — I LOVE Ben Folds and we played this at our wedding. I’ve always just loved the song.
“Hang on Little Tomato” by Pink Martini (Carla Rauth) —
I love Pink Martini; they are one of my very favorite groups. “Hang on Little Tomato” is probably the one that gives me a little lift at this time. A little whimsical, retro, uplifting.