Old Testament pop music mix

Judy Collins, Cat Stevens

Psalm 23
Back in 1996/1997, I was in a Bible study at the home of my then-former girlfriend. She’s now my wife, BTW.

That was the last time I read the Old Testament and New Testament, all sixty-six books in their entirety. As I perused them, I recognized that there were a number of pop songs in my collection that were based on the Scriptures.

I soon made a mixed tape of music I had on vinyl. Then I made another one of songs I had on CD. There’s some overlap.

What I am going to present here are the songs in order of their appearance in the Bible. Some of the references are more oblique. And the second song is all over the place.

Sanctuary – Beaver and Krause.
The First Baseball Game – Nat King Cole. Stories from the Garden of Eden to John the Baptist.
The Garden – Bobby McFerrin. Genesis 2.
Brother’s Keeper – the Neville Brothers. Reference to Cain and Abel in Genesis 4.

Rock Steady – Sting. Noah and the flood in Genesis 6:9-9:17.
The Story of Isaac – Leonard Cohen. Abraham must do what he was told, from Genesis 22. Judy Collins cover.
Wake Up Jacob – Harry Belafonte. Genesis 32.


King David – Judy Collins. Music of 100 harps. Several historic books mention his talents.
The 23rd Psalm – Bobby McFerrin. Which I once sang, all in falsetto, with Tim and the late Bob.
Babylon – Don McLean. Psalm 137:1. My current church choir has sung this, the first time in February 2011.
Rivers Of Babylon – The Melodians. Psalm 137 also.

The Sire of Sorrow (Job’s Sad Song) – Joni Mitchell. Job 10 and onward.
Turn! Turn! Turn! – the Byrds. Ecclesiastes 3.
Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens. Lamentations 3:22-23.

Ezekiel – Harry Belafonte. Ezekiel 37.
Dry Bones – Delta Rhythm Bones. Ezekiel 37. I heard this first on the soundtrack to the movie Rain Man.
Getting Nearer – The Rascals. Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

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