Top Ten Spiritual Rock-n-Roll Songs of All-time
by Alan Steinfeld
As we slide into the wake of another year, another decade, another millennium it is good to remember our roots. Rock n Roll informed our consciousness long before we heard of crystals, healing and metaphysics. Many of us baby boomers feel that listening to the classic rock songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s set our spiritual foundations.
What makes these songs and many others so powerful is the captivating sound of their melodies and the profound wisdom of their poetry. In this sense they can be considered “immortal” in the way Robert Frost meant in his introduction to the anthology of Immortal poems of the English Language. I repeat Frost’s sentiment
with a few slight modification: “It is absurd to think that the only way to tell if a song* is lasting is to wait and see if it lasts. The [person who hears] a classic song can tell the moment it strikes them that they have taken an immortal wound - that they will never get over it. That is to say, permanence in music, as is in love, is perceived instantly. It hasn’t to await the test of time. The proof of a song is not that we have never forgotten it, but we knew, we could never forget it.”*
While these are only a few of the multitudinous unforgettable songs in the
Rock cannon, I find this list has left a unique legacy of values upon our
generation. They have become a part of our psyches and still act as living
mantras, activating us to higher levels of consciousness upon hearing them.
And this is only my opinion, I sure everyone will come-up with their own
unique selections. Nevertheless, I present here portions of each song -
to revitalize our youth, gain awareness of perception and to connect us
to our roots. Long love rock and roll!
10) Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
(composed by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant).
This original heavy metal band got it right in a tribute to the Divine
Feminine. It is the most played song on FM radio stations, despite never
having been released as a single there. Going from the material world to a
pure abstract, its essence gives us a sense of higher consciousness:
And as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to
show how everything still turns to gold. And if you listen very hard,
the tune will come to you at last. When all are one and one is all;
to be a rock and not to roll…and she's buying a stairway to heaven.
9) Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys - while Brian Wilson
wrote songs mostly about girls and surfing this melody hit a new
frequeuicy and “good vibrations” became part of our spiritual vocabulary.
Wilson told Rolling Stone magazine: "My mother used to tell me about vibrations.
I didn't really understand too much of what she meant when I was a boy.
It scared me, the word 'vibrations' - to think that invisible feelings existed.”
Close my eyes she’s somehow closer now, softly smile, I know she
must be kind. When I look in her eyes she goes with me to a blossom
world. I’m picking up good vibrations; she’s giving me excitations.
I’m pickin up good vibrations. She’s giving me excitations. Good,
good, good, good vibrations!
8) Aquarius from Hair: Despite its long established history of mainstream
entertainment it was this Broadway song that opened up many to the relevance
of astrology and a new age of thought: When the moon is in the Seventh
House and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planets
and love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the Age of
Aquarius…Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust
abounding. No more falsehoods or derisions. Golden living
dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelation and the mind's
true liberation, Aquarius!
7) Something by George Harrison - Considered by some to be the
all-time most beautiful tribute to a lover; Harrison tunes into that indescribable
something that is the essence and spirit of the woman he loved, Patti Boyd.
This upstart Beatle can be credited with introducing a generation to the world of
Eastern spirituality and mediation. Something in the way she moves
attracts me like no other lover. Something in the way she woos me.
Somewhere in her smile she knows that I don't need no other lover.
Something in her style that shows me. I don't want to leave her now.
You know I believe and how…
6) Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. Written by Simon in the
aftermath of the JFK assassination, it was the first hit of the iconoclastic New York duo.
This tale of urban alienation ignited a call to action: to rise above the apathy that
afflicted the pervious generation beat youths.
And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, ‘the words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.’
And whispered in the sounds of silence.
5) Both, Sides Now by Joni Mitchell: Although Judy Collins made this a hit -
the genius of Joni is the simplicity of her poetry, the beauty of her melody
and the wisdom of her words. This song weaves a child’s confusion about
clouds with a teenager’s bewilderment of love and an adult’s illusions with life.
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds I’ve looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange.
They shake their heads they say I’ve changed.
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained in living every day.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now from win and lose and still somehow
it’s life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all.
4) Moondance by Van Morrison: He has had many hits but none
topped this anthem to the mystery of love’s magic. With one of the
most hypnotic and mystical melody of all times, it is a tribute to the
pagan’s rites of autumn:
Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
with the stars up above in your eyes.
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘neath the cover of October skies.
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
to the sound of the breezes that blow
and I’m trying to please to the calling
of your heart-strings that play soft and low.
And all the nights’ magic seems to whisper and hush
and all the soft moonlight seem to shine in your blush.
3) Across The Universe by the Beatles: Combining Hindu mantras
and the wonders of space, the Beatles get really quantum here.
Lennon and McCarthy predict the coming of the age of science and
cosmic consciousness. This was also the first-ever song NASA
beamed across the universe to Polaris, the North Star. Sir Paul’s
response was, “Amazing! Well done NASA. Send my love to the aliens.”
Sounds of laughter, shades of life, are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me:
Limitless undying love, which shines around me
like a million suns, it calls me on and on across the universe.
Jai guru deva, om! Nothing's gonna change my world.
2) In the Year 2525 written by Denny Zager and Rick Evans:
Nearly 40 year since its commercial release this song still holds a
contemporary vision of what could be human’s possible future.
In an odd twist of fate - this song was number 1 on the charts when
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969. It stayed there for
six weeks and has forever remained in the public’s awareness.
Here are the words of the last verse, which comments on the 10 preceding millenniums.
Now it's been ten thousand years.
Man has cried a billion tears for what he never knew;
now man's reign is through.
But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight.
So very far away maybe it's only yesterday.
1) Imagine by John Lennon: This has become the anthem of the
spiritual movement. It remains the potential that the world can remind
itself of until it attains its utopian vision. The inspiration for a New Life
can be found in this passion and vision of Lennon. John did credit Yoko
as a big help in creating the song:
Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger; a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people sharing the entire world.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one...
--- Where this great mind and talent would be today, we can only imagine.
*I changed some of Frost's wording like “song” for Frost’s word “poem”.
Alan Steinfeld is the founder of www.NewRealities.com a portal of holistic
activity in the New York area. He is also the host of New realities television
seen every week on Time Warner cable in Manhattan, ch. 57, 9:00pm.
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bout your favorite spiritual rock songs of all time.