Checkout the below listed latest top 10 best Songs for Jesus in 2017, Christianity is the top religion in the world, with its followers representing nearly one-third of all humankind. Unsurprisingly, some of the best songs ever have been written and sung in praise of God, both in small churches and on grand stages. If you wish to bring the Lord’s presence into your everyday life, add the top 10 best songs for Jesus into your playlist.
- 10. Shine, Jesus, Shine (Graham Kendrick)
- 9. Down in My Heart (Various Artists)
- 8. Jesus (The Velvet Underground)
- 7. Jesus is Just Alright (The Art Reynolds Singers)
- 6. Jesus Just Left Chicago (ZZ Top)
- 5. Jesus Walking on the Water (Violent Femmes)
- 4. Jesus Paid It All (Kristian Stanfill)
- 3. Steal Away (Fisk Jubilee Singers)
- 2. Fix You (Coldplay)
- 1. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Various Artists)
Here we present the list of top 10 best Songs for Jesus in 2017.
10. Shine, Jesus, Shine (Graham Kendrick)
Written by English singer and March for Jesus co-founder Graham Kendrick in 1987, “Shine, Jesus, Shine” is a well-known song in churches and Sunday schools around the globe. Christianity Today and the BBC both list it as one of the most popular worship songs even today, in the early 21st century. Its lyrics are upbeat (“In the midst of the darkness shining, Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us”), with lines that suggest determined cheerfulness in the face of destruction by fire and floods. Although one reviewer denounced “Shine, Jesus, Shine” as “happy-clappy banality” in The Telegraph, the same publication also reported that it was one of the top 10 hymns among BBC listeners. It sounds like most of us are just fine with happiness and clapping.
9. Down in My Heart (Various Artists)
For those who despise modern hymns like “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” “Down in My Heart” might be more their style. Also known as “I’ve Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy” thanks to its most memorable line, the song was written by American minister George Willis Cooke in the 19th century. Its cheery repetition (“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart / down in my heart / down in my heart”) makes it catchy and fun for children to learn and sing. Both mega-brands such as Coca-Cola and Volkswagen used it in their commercials in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Forbid Them Not: Involving Children in Sunday Worship recommends adults ask children to sing “Down in My Heart” as a fun way of including them in church.
8. Jesus (The Velvet Underground)
For the more grown up, the rock genre offers a surprising number of worship songs, such as American rock band The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus,” a hymn about the savior. The song was released in the 1969 album named after the band itself, and Rolling Stone includes it among the top 500 albums of all time. Although the group is considered to deal in “classic rock” today, it was among the forerunners of rock in the sixties and seventies — Rolling Stone praised its “broad range” and puzzled over its surprising “move from Heroin to Jesus”: “The greatest surprise here is ‘Jesus,’ a prayer no less.” The Velvet Underground has since all but disbanded, though it regrouped temporarily in 1996 and celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2009. Founding member Lou Reed, who was also the singer and guitarist, died in 2013.
7. Jesus is Just Alright (The Art Reynolds Singers)
Also from the sixties, albeit from a less controversial band, is 1966’s “Jesus is Just Alright,” written by Arthur Reid Reynolds for his band The Art Reynolds Singers in 1966. Various other bands have since covered the song, which Billboard included in its Hot 100 list in the seventies. Ultimate Classic Rock describes the song as “iconic” among classic Christian rock. American heavy metal band Stryper explains the song title means that “no matter what you think, Jesus is just all right with us, and more than all right.” The cover by American rock band Doobie Brothers is used in the 2012 film Wanderlust, starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. Considering its perpetual popularity, “Jesus is Just Alright” is more than all right as a song as well.
6. Jesus Just Left Chicago (ZZ Top)
Fast forward to 1973, when American rock band ZZ Top released “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” The song was a top 10 hit in the US, with The Baltimore Sun writing: “Is there a more perfect electric blues song than ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago’?” Rolling Stone lists the album, Tres Hombres, as one of the 500 best albums ever. The song is deliciously laid-back jazz, with a twang of country flavor. Even those who aren’t looking for a hymn would enjoy its mellow beats and gentle storytelling: “Jesus just left Chicago and he’s bound for New Orleans. / Took a jump through Mississippi, well, muddy water turned to wine. / You don’t have to worry ’cause takin’ care of business is his name.”
5. Jesus Walking on the Water (Violent Femmes)
American folk rock band Violent Femmes — which includes no female members — released the punk rock album Hallowed Ground in 1984, with “Jesus Walking on the Water” being the fourth track. A.V. Club praises the band’s music for its “often straightforward snarling rhymes” and “twangy stripped-down instrumentation.” There is nothing truly violent or punk about “Jesus Walking on the Water,” with lines such as “Sweet Jesus walking in the sky. / Sinking sand, took my hand, raised me up / So I can hold my head up high,” but that’s okay. The song still managed to make top 100 on the ARIA Charts for 11 weeks in 1984. After a 16-year hiatus, Violent Femmes released the album We Can Do Anything in 2016.
4. Jesus Paid It All (Kristian Stanfill)
Written in 1865 by Elvina Hall, “Jesus Paid It All” is perhaps best known today as sung by contemporary American Christian singer-songwriter Kristian Stanfill. Song and Praise describes the song as being “suitable for all Christian denominations.” Stanfill’s youthful, charismatic voice, in particular, adds a warmer, more human element to the solemn, worshipful lyrics which, according to Christianity.com, Hall first wrote in her hymnbook during a service: “Jesus paid it all / All to Him I owe; / Sin had left a crimson stain, / He washed it white as snow.” Stanfill released the gospel music album Mountains Move in 2011 and — according to All Music in 2013 — still works as a pastor in Georgia, USA.
3. Steal Away (Fisk Jubilee Singers)
“Steal Away” or “Steal Away to Jesus” was written by Wallace Willis, a former African-American slave, in the early 19th century. The song, which contains hidden references to the Underground Railroad and encouragement for black slaves to run away, is an artifact of dark times in US history. African-American a cappella group Fisk Jubilee Singers first recorded and performed the song in 1873, preserving it for generations to come. While the original group disbanded in 1878, it received a spot in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and a National Medal of Arts from Congress in 2008. The US Library of Congress retains its cover of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” another Christian song by and about African-American slaves — also first recorded by Fisk Jubilee Singers — in the US National Recording Registry. Considering the civil rights movements after the 2016 US election, the issues surrounding “Steal Away” remain relevant today. As we all know, Jesus definitely supports the freeing of slaves and equality among humankind.
2. Fix You (Coldplay)
Across the pond, British alt rock band Coldplay tends to write popular music that’s hopeful and uplifting, if not directly spiritual. The 2005 song “Fix You,” incidentally, was meant to feature the sounds of a church organ. The song is included in the album X&Y, which is “encouraging in tone — portraits of love and compassion invested in the lives of others,” according to Christianity Today. Critics also praise the “glorious” song for “offering peace and comfort to the weary.” Rethinking Youth Ministry notes the effectiveness of the song in calling out to teens and other younger Christians. With its moving lyrics — “Lights will guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you” — “Fix You” embodies the loving spirit of Jesus yet sounds fresh today, making it the perfect hymn for the 21st century.
1. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Various Artists)
A timeless Christmas classic, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was written by English reverend Charles Wesley in 1739. As the son of a clergy member and a poet, you can see how Wesley grew up in conditions that allowed him to write such beautiful, moving words: “Hark the herald angels sing / Glory to the newborn king / Peace on earth, and mercy mild / God and sinners reconciled.” George Whitefield adapted the music of famed composer Felix Mendelssohn and modified Wesley’s lyrics to fit the tune. “There is some real theological insight in the verses,” according to Christianity Today. Christianity Today also notes that, while “in the Gospel account, the angels praise God,” Wesley and Whitefield’s song is all about Jesus.
Beyond the walls of a place of worship, there are far more than 10 songs you can sing or listen to in praise of Jesus. Whether you prefer punk rock or ancient Christmas carols, the message these songs convey is that you should have joy and love in your heart for your fellow beings — not just for your savior.