Augustine in Pop Music
Augustinian themes have been prominent whether explicitly or implicitly in a handful of songs in the past few years, to the ignorance of many fans of Augustine, so I thought it valuable to highlight a few of those songs here. So be sure to click on the links to hear the song on Youtube. It should be noted, Augustine is MORE RELEVANT THEN EVER among this generation, but it is a shame, because most people don’t know much about him. This should be proof.
Restless by Switchfoot. Jon Foreman, and his band Switchfoot, have always dealt with the theme of Restlessness, since the days of Something More. It is clear, that much of Jon Foreman’s songwriting is directly influenced by Augustine’s Confessions. So picked up their new album Vice Verses, excited to find a song titled Restless. This is perhaps, the least explicitly Augustinian song I will show, but if you know Augustine, he is all over this.
Restless by Audrey Assad. This song captures much of the introduction to Augustine’s Confessions, in our relationship with God, defined by our unquenchable longing for God that cannot and WILL NOT be satisfied without God.
Alive Again by Matt Maher. Matt Maher is perhaps one of the most talented composers of contemporary liturgical music. I was excited, certainly, to see that Matt Maher would quote Augustine here directly (as the previous one, which he co-wrote): “Late Have I Loved You…” Augustine writes in that famous prayer about coming to life again in God’s grace. The prayer is very spiritual, and sensual, making it alluring on so many levels. The song captures the vigor in the prayer brilliantly.
Late Have I Loved You by Gungor. I have recently come across Gungor, as so many of my Tumblr friends have been posting their music. I decided to go look them up, and instantly listened to this song, precisely because this quote is directly Augustinian. This band, Gungor, seems to be popular for their innovative use of deep Christian Tradition to inspire their lyrics. This prayer, still resonates, that it is used by two musicians unbeknown to one another. This one also has a more reflective feel, but again captures the vigor in a very romantic way.
The Ballad of St. Augustine by Disciple. Hard Rock band Disciple took St. Augustine in the title of the track. They admit in creating this piece, they didn’t initally have St. Augustine in mind, but he became a part of it as they were working on it. The song deals with the theme of innocence, and the return, or rebirth into innocence that happens through a conversion. The song is reflective as well, which inspired them to use St. Augustine’s name here. This one is hard, and a whole different form then the previous. I like it, and you might. However, I warn you because there is a lot more screaming and loud drums here.
And then me… Well eventually. If I can finally finish this album I am working on I might start writing more Augustinian themes into Hip Hop. Be sure to look these songs up, and download them. If you play music, add this to your repertoire. They are awesome, nuff said.