several days ago, a friend and i were talking about how ubiquitous religion is. obviously, we didn’t stumble upon some kind of shocking revelation, but we certainly affirmed that—even more than what we may realize—the concepts of good and evil, gods and devils, dark and light are broadly washed across the expanse of global cultures. certainly, across ages and timezones, the ways that these things are expressed are varying, but nevertheless, the sentiments are consistent.
if you narrow the conversation down to just our country, you can hear this kind of language and sentiment every single day. our money speaks of god. our pledge references god. several common idioms reference both god and the devil. many movies explore themes of deities. people who have no religious connections at all regularly say things like “god bless you” or even “oh my god”. truly, it’s everywhere.
one of the most predominant areas is in music. this friend and i began naming off songs that don’t just reference god or the devil, but explicitly include it in the title. it was a fun exercise, so i thought i’d gather many that we named (and some we didn’t) and create a mix.
below is the lineup that i/we came up with. it’s 2 “discs”, one featuring ‘god’ and the other featuring the ‘devil’. i’ve narrowed a relatively extensive list down to 12 of each. why 12? why not? i mean, it is a holy number after all. i tried to pick stuff that i actually like, as opposed to stuff that simply fits the criterion or is just crap (i.e. motley crue’s shout at the devil or pretty much any other hair metal song that gratuitously references satan…). but, i’m open to some good songs that i’ve missed. what can you recommend?
here’s the list:
1. god bless this mess / sheryl crow
2. oh my god / mark ronson ft. lily allen
3. you’re a god / vertical horizon
4. me and god / the avett brothers
5. guess god thinks i’m abel / oasis
6. god only knows / the beach boys
7. god’s got it / the black crowes
8. why i don’t believe in god / everclear
9. you’re no god / laura marling
10. godspell / the cardigans
11. the lord god bird / sufjan stevens
12. godspeed / jenny lewis
1. run devil run / jenny lewis
2. beat the devil’s tattoo / black rebel motorcycle club
3. devil / beast
4. devil’s haircut / beck
5. devil in you / the watson twins
6. devil’s in boston / samantha crain & the midnight shivers
7. devil’s food / fleming & john
8. satan is my motor / cake
9. (you’re the) devil in disguise / elvis presley
10. devil’s waitin’ / black rebel motorcycle club
11. devil knows you’re dead / delta spirit
12. friends of the devil / counting crows
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