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I Really Like Music



Apart from the word of God itself, with the work of the Spirit in a person to inspire the faith to believe, there are certain things amongst the created order, that really serve to prove the existence of God to us and to stimulate devotion to him. These are usually pretty universally appreciated things. We all love music, we all enjoy food and no-one in their right mind can observe the beauty of country or coast with indifference. But again, for most of us, there is usually one thing that captures our imagination more than the other things. You know, the things we turn into hobbies, pursue as professions or vocations and those which become part of our identities and what we are known by.

For me, this is music. Music generally is appreciated from birth. But it takes a little bit of growing up to become a true fan. It takes time for us to develop enough discernment, to be able to define our particular tastes, and to be ready for true appreciation. Yet when we are ready, even though not aware that we are, when we do hear that first song that simply stops us in our tracks and mesmerises us, we do not forget it. Well, that's what it was like for me. A conversion experience, of sorts. I'll never forget the moment. Standing by the sofa in our large living room, no one else present. Top of the Pops (remember that??) innocuously transmitted through our TV. Then all of a sudden, let there be light. A true genesis moment of not insignificant spiritual, emotional, intellectual importance. Only on the rarest of occasions has anything else come close to provoking such a visceral reaction that Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground did to me at that moment. A true soulmate of a song that instantly, joyfully etched itself so deeply into the center of my affections that no other anthem since has been able to dislodge it from its position next to my heart. (I'm not sure the link below is the exact performance I encountered. I'm not convinced it is although it's the right year and if it isn't the one I saw isn't online to my knowledge).

Now that's a rather profuse testimony, right? And, maybe you're reading this and thinking hmmm... And I get it; tell me what a godless man loves and I'll tell you what his idols are. Sure, a godless man only has idols. And may well he speak of them like I speak of my favourite song. And yes, may well a professing God-fearer betray his true allegiance with excessive instinct toward such elaborate displays of affection for that which is not God himself. Yet, for the believer who believes truly that the heavens do indeed declare the glory of God (and there are many who don't really believe this, or don't know how to take pleasure from this in practise), that person is able to worship through the created order the very God who ordered it. And indeed, I say with my hand on my heart, that the affection I profess about that 2 minutes and 30 second long electrically charged manifestation of the divine, betrays my affection not merely for the song itself but for the one to whom its existence depends.

To enjoy things, to enjoy music, is a vitally important design feature, you see. First, it trains us to love. The experiences, like the one I have just described, to varying levels of intensity, happen so frequently, especially in our formative years. They teach us what it is to enjoy, to love, and to be loyal. They also lead us to the one we should love the most. It's a very clever process if you think about it. The only thing that loosens our affection for another thing is the discovery of something even more beautiful and more worthy. Jesus, the word, the one who is God and who was there at the beginning, was preeminent in existence and therefore is qualified for preeminence in our affections. What I mean is, because I believe in Jesus and understand the Bible (by God's grace of course), I'm in a position where the things I love most, especially my favourite songs, do indeed draw out worship from my heart and bring praise from my lips. Not of the songs themselves or the musicians who composed them, but for God. Many a time have I been driving, listening, enjoying, praising, praying, thanking. Worship can and will happen when we know the true first and final cause of everything that is. 

I have wished to compile and share my favourite music for some time. A little sampler of God's good gifts which make me worship. I thought that putting together lists of my top ten favourite bands, albums and songs was a great idea. The lists were 90% complete very quickly, but tinkering around with the final details did prove rather tricky. But I'm very happy to endorse the music below for your own investigation and appreciation. These are subject to change, of course, and don't necessarily reflect pure musical preference. These certainly aren't lists of what I consider to be the 'best' simply what I enjoy the most. There are links to listen on YouTube where applicable. The order of each list is arbitrary. Apart from the song Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground. I will always love that above all others. If you're a Christian reading this little post, note, there is no "Christian" music here. Most of that sucks, let's be honest. But honestly, to the extent that all things are permissible, I find the below to be beneficial. You might not and you don't have to. If you're not a Christian reading this, as I mentioned earlier, the heavens declare the glory of God, and I truly believe that what I enjoy as music is not merely the music itself, but the glory of the one who made is possible and conceived of its existence. Enjoy.

Bands

1. The White Stripes
2. PJ Harvey
3. Sonic Youth
4. The Knife
5. The Raveonettes
6. The National
7. The Kills
8. Bob Dylan
9. Patti Smith
10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Albums

1. Elephant
2. Lust Lust Lust
3. White Chalk
4. Howl
5. Silent Shout
6. Sad Days Lonely Nights
7. John Wesley Harding
8. Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
9. Nights Out
10. The Trials of Van Occupanther

Songs

1. Dead Leaves
2. Spoonful
3. Love in a Trashcan
4. Dropout Boogie (Kills Version)
5. Art Star
6. Slipping Husband
7. The Nature of the Experiment
8. Roscoe
9. The End of You Too
10. The H is O

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