May 17, 2010

"Christian" Music II

Welcome to the soundtrack edition of "Christian" Music. In my last post about "Christian" music I wrote about some songs that are not intentionally Christian but carried a sense of Christian perspective. This time I'm looking at a couple songs that are intentionally Christian, but are contextually not so. Here's what I mean ...

Civilization 4 Soundtrack: "Baba Yetu" by Christopher Tin.

When you first fire up the Civilization 4 video game, you hear this song and it's pretty powerful. Mark, Matt and I loved this song from the first time we got Civilization 4 home for what would be many all-night Civ sessions. We never knew until years later(?) that it is a Swahili adaptation of the Lord's Prayer by Chris Kiagiri.

I remember reflecting on it later as one of those powerful times we experience God in the world where we don't expect Him. A personal example of "finding God in all things" as in Ignatian spirituality.

Gladiator Soundtrack: "Now We Are Free" by Lisa Gerrard.

Lisa herself said about the lyrics: "I sing in the language of the Heart. Its an invented language that I've had for a very long time. I believe I started singing in it when I was about 12. Roughly that time. And I believed that I was speaking to God when I sang in that language. Now I am filled with the Holy Ghost, that is the promise in the Bible the Church will not talk about, because this secret would mean the fall of the religion."
There's some anti-(Catholic)-church attitude in her words - fair enough; I have my own dissent with the Church at times too. In my experience, the Church has a somewhat open mind about this though - at least here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I've tempered my fervor over "speaking in tongues" as empowered by the Holy Spirit from my more pro-Pentecostal upbringing, but I don't know that I've lost all my faith in the experience. Paul cautions against preaching "in tongues" in the assembly without interpretation, and for good reason - it can be wacky and disorderly.

But when I hear this song I don't get the sense that it's the kind of "infantile babbling", "incoherent exclamations", or "pythonic utterances" the Church obliges us to reject. Do you? I came across someone's personal interpretation which I thought was really cool. Breathed straight by the Holy Spirit? I dunno. But I think it captures a lot of the essence of this song. Gladiator itself has some strong messages that fit the Christian perspective, and I think almost everyone who hears this song feels at least something real and stirring in it.

What other soundtrack songs am I missing?


Monk-in-Training said...

I first heard Baba Yetu on the Jesuit site, pray as you go. Are you aware that the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are given each year at the Church of the Madelene?

I went through them and they have profoundly affected my reading of Scripture.

They last nine months and are called the 'Retreat in Daily Life'

Br. James Patrick

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Saint said...

I actually knew about Baba Yetu right after I first heard it. I immediately googled that one. Awesome song.