God Speaking Through Secular Music

Have you ever heard God speak to you through secular music?

This has occured to me a few times. It is usually a love song. But the song should be without sexually explicit lyrics and it helps if there are no implications either. But it doesn’t have to be a love song, just a song that can convey something true about goodness, beauty, etc. Here is an example:


Granted, I don’t know if the theology is 100% perfect (“I’ll have faith in all you do,” “If you should ever find someone new…”), but besides that I think it works.

I have noticed the same thing with certain Motown songs as well. Any thoughts or more examples out there?

It happens frequently. Here’s a good example


If you can’t hear God in this, you must be deaf!

Do you ever go to Fr. Barron’s website? He talks about finding inspiration and connection to Scripture and to Jesus in popular songs and in movies.


Funny you should mention this particular song, Rolypoly. When I was in the 10th grade I had a really strong and beautiful experience with the Holy Spirit and this song was on the radio at the time. Though I’d been a regular churchgoer the reality of a living God didn’t hit home until that experience. So…yes, God speaks through secular music. He spoke through a donkey once (and I’m sure the donkey sounded better than a lot of secular music;) ).

God speaks through a lot of secular music, all the time…
It’s just that a lot of the Christians here are too shallow to realize it,
and they instead choose to boycott anything that doesn’t have Christian or Catholic stamped on it in big bold letters.

I don’t know about others, but for me, it just doesn’t happen to me very often. Most songs I hear are just not good enough or not true enough. Or else I am not in the right state of soul or mind to accept it, which is probably the biggest factor.

Yes I do feel that God can speak through secular music for those open to hear Him through that medium. I remember hearing a (secular) love song that expressed how I felt about God and feeling praise if I sang to it. I can’t remember what it is now.

The song You Light Up My Life is interesting because it was written by Debbie Boone with God in mind and after it was recorded it became popular as a love song. Then there was a movie by the same name that was really cheesy and had nothing to do with God. I guess what happened with this song just goes to show you how many people think of love and fulfillment as coming from another person rather than from God.

There are a couple of Bette Midler songs that make me feel God in the lyrics. Wind Beneath My Wings is one. That last line is great. “Thank you, thank you, thank God for you - the wind beneath my wings.” It makes me think of Jesus.

And, of course, From a Distance. Last Christmas season I heard her Christmas version of this song for the first time and loved it. I remember feeling like the words were a message from God to the world about how he sees us during that time. I found a you tube video. This is Bette on a morning show, but you do have to listen to a little small talk and intro before the song starts.


I know a great deal of secular (mostly love) songs out there that seem to portray Christian messages really well.

Take for example (forgive my ancient taste in music):

Ricky Nelson - I Will Follow You: This song expresses the devotion we’re called to embrace as Catholics.

Bob Dylan - Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35: Look at stoning as it was in Jesus’ time, ignoring drug references. This song also seems to apply to the struggles of modern day Catholics.

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water: I see this song sending two Catholic messages. The first, expressed in the first few verses, is God reassuring us that he’ll be there for us in times of trouble. The second I see coming from the chorus: “Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down”. God literally did just that for us, by sending us his son, Jesus, to help cross the “troubled water” of original sin.

Of course, your interpretations may very, and that is one of the inherent beauties of secular music: there is a message in each song for everyone. Believe it or not, there is good secular music out there, you just need to know where to look.

Debbie Boone did not write the song. It was written by Joe Brooks, who also wrote and directed the cheesy movie with the same title.

Sorry, I must be remembering how much Debby Boone was associated with You LIght Up My Life and how she said publically back when the record was released that singing it was an expression of her feelings about God. Actually, without thinking of God while listening to the song it grates on my nerves! For some reason, love songs where one person seems desparately lost and alone until they meet another and then their live is wonderful get under my skin.

Bridge Over Trouble Water - I have heard the lyrics are from the Bible. Same with song Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is a Season).

Here’s another great religious song from the 1960s, by a secular group, that I ran into tonight:

The Righteous Brothers - He

Not exactly secular music that has religious connotations (well, one can probably interpret it having such), but there are songs that say certain truths which speak to us at one time or another. One song has been my all-time favorite, “The Spirit of '76” by The Alarm. I love the acoustic version of this song especially: youtube.com/watch?v=kimPYBRnq68 Its message is always timely.

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