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Atheists Don’t Have No Songs: A Freethinker’s Mix

Freethinker's Mix Cover

Cover by A Tribe Called Meuw

I know there already have been many lists of atheist songs; I know because in trying to find songs for my own selection I read quite a few of them. However, I wanted to make something different than a comprehensive list.

I wanted to not only to choose my favourites but also arrange them in some sort of meaningful order that tells a story – at least to my own satisfaction. In short, I wanted to select a mix that can be burned onto a CD and I have endeavoured to keep it under that magical 79 minute mark.

It should also be noted that I know full well that not all of these artists are, in fact, atheists. Some are, some are not, and some I honestly have no idea about. Rather I chose songs based on whether they expressed something an atheist or freethinker would be likely to relate to – though, of course, your mileage may vary. More on odd choices after the track list.

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs: A Freethinker’s Mix

01. Intro (Atheists Don’t Have No Songs) – Steve Martin

02. Pope Song – Tim Minchin

03. Imagine – John Lennon

04. Put Your Faith in Jesus – Mark Silverman

05. Letting Go of God – Jill Sobule

06. A Rational Response – Greydon Square

07. LMAOIH – Mark Silverman

08. Superstition – Stevie Wonder

09. Take My Wife – Tim Minchin

10. Dear God – XTC

11. Science Is Real – They Might Be Giants

12. God Thinks – Voltaire

13. Origin of Species – MC Frontalot

14. One – U2

15. Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis –  Eric Schwartz

16. Monty Python’s Galaxy Song – Clint Black

17. Outro (Storm) – Tim Minchin

Odd Choices

Alternative Freethinker's Mix Cover

Alternative Cover by A Tribe Called Meuw

Some of these are arguably not proper songs. Specifically, ‘Atheists Don’t Have No Songs,’ ‘Take My Wife,’ and ‘Storm.’ I included ‘Atheists Don’t Have No Songs‘ because it started me thinking about this in the first place. Steve Martin says that atheists have nothing and although he jests I thought it would be fun to prove his jest wrong and as such the acapella of Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Riders makes a good intro. ‘Take My Wife‘ (the proper title is too long) likewise makes a great and funny skit. It is a song – sort of. ‘Storm‘ is a beat poem but I thought it was just too beautiful and too meaningful for many atheists not to include.

One‘ by U2 is most likely not about what it sounds like to me. A little bit of Googling informed me that it is about the band nearly breaking up. I shall gladly confess that I don’t know what it’s about. However, it contains phrases that lend themselves to humanistic reinterpretation. We only have “One life” and we ought to use it to “carry each other” etc. I reserve the right to pretend that ‘One‘ is about a positive secular outlook on life – even though I’m wrong.

I’m a bit torn on ‘The Galaxy Song.’ Eric Idle really sings it better but a recording from the film will never be of such a crisp quality as Clint Black’s studio recording. Feel free to substitute one for the other.

Be sure to check out A Tribe Called Meuw’s blog for more great images.

Do you have a better idea for an atheist mix CD? Feel free to leave a comment or join the discussion in the forum.

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9 Responses to “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs: A Freethinker’s Mix”

  1. A-Stein says:

    Great idea!
    I already frequently listen to some of those songs and I thank you for giving me many new songs to check out.

    However, I find it worrying that you didn’t include what is in my opinion one of the greatest ‘atheistic’ songs of all time; A Perfect Circle – Judith. If you haven’t heard it I must insist that you go listen to it asap!

  2. Thanks. I’m glad you liked the idea. No need to worry though. Despite appearances I am not omniscient. I hadn’t actually heard ‘Judith’ before.

    A Tribe Called Meuw suggested A Perfect Circle’s cover of ‘Imagine’ as an alternative to John Lennon’s – I must say I prefer Lennon’s original – but other than that I’m not at all familiar with the band.

    I just took a listen. It’s quite a good song in the anger department. It seems to me though that it’s more about his mother, her suffering, and his anger about her suffering and stubbornness than about addressing religion itself.

    Out of curiosity if I were to add it to my tracklist, where do you think it should go? I’m thinking somewhere at the start – maybe right after Steve Martin though the climb from light-heartedness to anger and dismay might be too steep.

  3. A-Stein says:

    You’re right about the song actually being written about his mother, but the lyrics are general enough as to make me find them quite relatable. Especially the very first lines that go “You’re such an inspiration for the ways I will never ever chose to be” , relating specifically to my perception of many people living in the cesspool of religious hypocrisy that is Klaksvík.

    About where to put it on the list… The song has a very different tone/message from most of the songs on the list which are humorous and satirical. Perhaps right after XTC’s Dear God, since it seems the closest on the emotional spectrum.

  4. A-Stein says:

    choose*

    Damnit :p

  5. Will says:

    Both APC and Tool write atheistic songs. I don’t have them memorized so I can’t point out specifically what songs from tool are atheistic, but they have a lot I think.

  6. Geoff Capp says:

    Religion in America: Where Are We Going?

    A great division is growing in America between an increasingly Christian morality-driven conservative right and an increasingly polarized and opposing liberal left.

    “Ground Zero Mosque” and “Obama’s A Muslim” are eye-catching headlines, but the conflict they represent is complex. Why has religion become a left-right issue?

    Plans for an Islamic cultural center to be built within blocks of the World Trade Center became a hot debating point about how the rest of post-9/11 America should engage with Muslim Americans since 9/11.

    Then, a small-time pastor from Florida announced “International Burn-A-Quran Day.” The public did not celebrate, which lends some hope to the idea that we should be religiously tolerant.

    (I originally posted this at http://www.unitedunderone.com)

  7. Geoff, sorry for not approving your comment until now. It was caught in my spam-filter because of your link and I honestly hadn’t noticed that it was waiting for approval.

    You do realise I’m not American, right? I’m Faroese and I live in Britain. I don’t really see how American left/right politics are relevant to music about atheism.

  8. Savannah, you are the most amazing spam-bot ever. The superior quality of vague language that has been put into you merits the continued existence of your comment. I did, however, edit out the website link you were advertising for.

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