Favorite Secular songs with God, Jesus, Mary, or Bible references


Over the years I’ve noticed that Jesus, Mary and/or other Bible or Christian themes appear in a lot of secular songs that aren’t church music or “Christian rock”. Do you have any favorite popular songs, or songs by popular artists, with God, Jesus, Bible verses or people, Mary etc in them?

Here’s some of mine:
“Fire and Rain” - James Taylor

“Dust in the Wind” - Kansas (this was constantly used as an after-communion reflection when I was in high school)

“When I Pray” - Todd Rundgren

“Let It Be” - Beatles (I know this was written about Paul McCartney’s late mother Mary, who was I believe Catholic, but it could easily be about Mary our mother also )

“One Toke Over the Line” - Brewer and Shipley (This was not intended as a religious song, but again can easily be taken that way especially if you’ve ever overindulged with alcohol or other substance…plus it was performed on the Lawrence Welk show as a “modern spiritual” by people who didn’t know what a “toke” was)

“Jesus Was a Cross Maker” and "The Lamb Ran Away With the Crown " - Judee Sill

“Missa Brevis” - Malignus Youth (this is an entire Latin Mass composed and arranged in punk style by a punk band, from all reports with a respectful intent)


Is Ariel Ramirez ’ s Missa Criolla secular? The verses are all pieces of liturgies, the Creed, and the music is just divine. I like the original version with Los Frontizeros (hope that is correct) and Mercedes Sossa’s best.


If this counts “I Can Only Imagine”.


Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

especially the way it has been adapted.


I love Kansas, their songs usually are so meaningful.
I also love Halelujah, like you can feel it.

Maybe America Pie in some senses


The Bells of St. Mary’s - Bing Crosby
Every Grain of Sand - Bob Dylan
God Bless America - Irving Berlin
Ring Them Bells - Bob Dylan
Shelter From the Storm - Bob Dylan



I’m fond of The Wedding Song" by Peter Paul and Mary.
And “Jesus Take The Wheel”


I swear I heard this at every wedding of a cousin in my mom’s large family, and a couple people outside the family, for the 10 years 1970-1980. It may have gotten played as the overture at my own wedding too, but I can’t recall as I was in the back room of the church getting into my massive dress at the time.


For the Greater Good of God by Iron Maiden


Ah yes, it was very popular then–I first heard it at a wedding in 1980…


Good one.

I also forgot “Psalm 9” by Trouble

and “Jesus” by Velvet Underground


No one mentioned Turn, turn, turn yet.


I’m not sure if you would necessarily call this secular music but Berlioz’s Witch’s Sabbath has an awesome entry of the Dies Irae. Of course, that’s not necessarily biblical. But it’s pretty cool.


In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly

The title was supposed to be “In The Garden Of Eden.”

the simple lyrics could be God calling you to walk with him


Waitin’/Jesus Just Left Chicago-ZZ Top Yes
“Jesus just left Chicago….muddy water turned to wine” “You might not see Him in person but He’ll see you just the same”

My Sweet Lord ByGeorge Harrison
Longing for a personal experience: “My sweet Lord, Hm, my Lord with God Hm, my Lord, I really want to see you Really want to be with you, Really want to see you lord, But it takes so long, my Lord…”

“When Jesus Left Birmingham” By John Mellencamp


I didn’t put My Sweet Lord because it was supposed to be about Krishna, but when I was a child and that song was a big hit, I always thought it was about Jesus. They sing “Hare Krishna” in the background, but I didn’t know who Krishna was then, and I thought it was another way of saying Christ.


LOL I thought it was a Jesus song


Does anybody remember

“Put your hand in the hand of the Man
Who stilled the water…”

Anne Murray sang it, and other people covered it…


By a group called “Ocean.”

“Why me, Lord?” by Kris Kristofferson.
“Spirit in the sky” - Norman Greenbaum
"Last kiss" J. Frank Wilson


I love Kris’s version because he has such an ‘interesting’ but very authentic voice. However, I really love Elvis’ version live with J. D. Sumner.

Speaking of Elvis ‘Miracle of the Rosary’ is a great song.

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