Reading the Bible, although of great interest, is also an unsettling experience as you discover prohibitions that you did not know and that may have already condemned your soul without remedy: you cannot hurt your slaves in the eyes, nor eat owls, nor cook the kid in its mother’s milk, or sleep with your mother-in-law, among many other things. The part of the exhortations is more pleasant, however, as it recommends replacing water with wine and, above all, singing. The authors of the holy book were inveterate music lovers and in Genesis itself an illustrious lineage is attributed to musicians, no less than that of Cain … which explains quite a few things.
This art matters to such an extent that, if they heed the visions of the Apocalypse, those who obtain salvation are distinguished because they “sang a new song before the throne, and before the four living beings, and the old men; and no one could learn the song but those one hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from among those on earth. In conclusion, it is not surprising that so many musicians throughout history have felt concerned by the Bible, finding inspiration in her and even quoting her verses in the lyrics. There are countless examples, so we will select the best known ones and whoever wants can add their favorites in the comments section.
” Sinnerman”, by Nina Simone
” Get into the rock, hide in the dust, from the awesome presence of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty” (Isaiah 2:10). From this passage and a similar one from Revelation 6: 15-17, this black spiritual spoke of a sinner who tried to hide from the wrath of God. In later years, he had adaptations to popular music that were quite well known, such as this one by The Seekers or this one by Sixteen Horsepower , or in our country that of the group Nuestro Pequeno Mundo , who performed this version on TVE . But the best known and most successful of all was undoubtedly that of Nina Simone, who was already familiar with her since childhood as the daughter of a Methodist minister.
“Creeping Death” by Metallica
The song summarizes the second book of the Bible, Exodus, more specifically chapter twelve, telling us about the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt and the plagues that Jehovah sent to subdue Pharaoh. As we see in this compilation and in the video on these lines of their recent performance in Madrid, it is a tradition of each concert that while they play this song the audience chooses “DEATH!”, From the context we understand that of the Egyptian firstborn.
“Awake my Soul” by Mumford and Sons
As in the two previous cases, Marcus Mumford grew up in a home of strong religious convictions, since his parents, John and Eleanor Mumford , are the top representatives in the United Kingdom of an evangelistic church called Vineyard. However, he denies the label of “Christian rock” and that is why we include him in this list of music aimed at a general public.
“Rivers of Babylon” by Boney M
Of the one hundred and eighty-five songs that can be found in the Bible, that is, those parts that are explicitly made to have a musical accompaniment, one hundred and fifty belong to the Psalms. It is not by chance, since the Greek word from which it comes, psalmos , means “instrumental music” or also “songs that accompany the music.” Consequently many groups have found the job half done here. This is the case of the Rastafarians of The Melodians in ” Rivers of Babylon ” , although the version of Psalms 137 that made a dent in posterity was that of Boney M.