By Sarah Fallon
Music has always been a large part of religion; it is seen in ritual and prayer across faiths. Music is often considered spiritual in nature and is also commonly thought to pe a personal and emotional experience for the listener as well as the artist. It is therefore unsurprising that religion and spirituality is a common theme running through popular music today.
Cameron Marchant says there's a "growing presence of holiness in commercial Hip Hop." (15). This is true of most genres of popular music. System of a Down is the first band since the Beatles to have two consecutive number one albums in the same year. System of a Down's lyrics often feature religious motifs, such as Chop Suey, "I don't think you trust, in, my, self-righteous suicide... I, cry, when angels deserve to die... Father into your hands I commend my spirit... Why have you forsaken me,". These lyrics comment on Jesus's crucifixion. Many popular artists instil their songs with their own beliefs and opinions about religion and spirituality, such as Sam Sparro and his song Black and Gold, James Blunt and Wiseman, Sarah McLachlan and Angel, and many others.
Religion and popular music are strongly intertwined. You need only look at the thaank you speeches and music awards to see how many people connect God to, and thank God for their musical work. A popular muusic/religion hybrid is Christian Rock, and their have been specifically christian music radio stations for many years.
Religion and music are both integral parts of one another.
Marchant, Cameron. The Emergence of Religion in Mainstream Hip Hop. www.arts.cornell.edu/kinght_institute/publicationsprizes/discoveries/discoveriesspring2006/02marchant.pdf. 22 September 2009.
James Blunt. Back to Bedlam. Atlantic Recording Corp, 2004.
Sam Sparro. Black and Gold. Island UK Records, 2008.
Sarah McLachlan. Surfacing. Pierre Marchand, 1997.
System of a Down. Toxicity. Rick Rubin & Daron Malakian, 2001.