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Kyle

A mix celebrating Easter

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I'm thinking of putting together a mixed CD that celebrates Easter. I'm trying to avoid praise songs and hymns. Mostly I'm looking for songs that celebrate the day of Easter and all its meaning. All I have at this point is:

Sufjan Stevens "He Woke Me Up Again"

Mineral "GJS"

Both of these songs deal with the feeling of knowing that Good Friday is over and the tomb is empty. Jesus is risen! Finally, after a season of darkness that continued to get darker and darker until our Lord was crucified there is light. My favorite part of the day is waking and telling those that I love "He is risen" and to hear "He is risen indeed!". These two songs nail that feeling. They remind me of the hope that not all is lost, that though they crucified Jesus, death is not the final answer. And how perfect that both these songs begin by waking from sleep - a symbol that is both rich and deep. He's awake, He's alive. I'm awake, I'm alive.

I guess this thread also has another purpose. What songs prepare you for Easter? Obviously, we're people who place a high value on music and music plays a huge part of your life. This is very true for me. And since Easter, or should I say, the resurrection is even bigger, music plays a supporting role in celebrating that great event. So, what would you include if you were to create such a mix?

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The first thing I thought of when I read this was "With a Shout" by U2

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"Sunday Bloody Sunday." If you don't want 2 U2 songs on it, you can use the cover by The Evergreen Terrace.

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This list would not be complete without Don Francisco's "He's Alive"

I'm only half joking.

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Thanks people. I'm also interested, if you're willing, why these songs are important to you.

If we keep this up--and I hope we do--we'll have to start a "Mixes & lists" subforum in Music...

Great idea Alan. And what a great resource to make mixes to impress all your friends!

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This list would not be complete without Don Francisco's "He's Alive"

I'm only half joking.

I am not totally familiar with any secular attempts to do Easter right. Which is why "He's Alive", "Rise Again" and "Easter Song" (I like Keith Green's version) are fantastic additions to this. I'm also partial to the Talbot Brothers' and John Michael Talbot's rocky "He is Risen", and Terry Talbot's "I Saw Him" and "I Am He".

And then there's Petra: "He Came He Saw He Conquered", "Grave Robber", "King's Ransom". And then there's "The Victor" by Jamie Owens Collins, also covered by Keith Green.

To answer your unasked question, yes. I do have a "Jesus Music" playlist on my iPod.

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To answer your unasked question, yes. I do have a "Jesus Music" playlist on my iPod.

No shame in that. I have one too. It's mostly hymns and spirituals done in unconventional ways.

As far as hymns go--even though they "shouldn't" be on it, I find Mark Heard's rendition of "My Redeemer Lives" on At the Foot of the Cross to be passionate, even eerie, and very non-hymn-like.

Oh... if we leave out hymns, does that mean that we can't cite gospel music?

I tend to stick to classical (sacred) music around now, since a lot of it deals with the Passion in a very profound way. One of the best things I've ever heard for Holy Week/Easter is Haydn's "Seven Last Words from the Cross." It comes in different combinations: orchestral, string quartet, etc.

Ah what the heck. Lets include hymns. Let it never be said that I'm not inclusive.

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I did an Easter compilation cd for my Dad last year. It was in three sections: friday, saturday and sunday. Can't remember what exactly was on it now, but I know I included Leonard Cohen's 'If it be your will', and Sam Phillip's 'One day late'. Oh, and I put Odetta's version of 'Sometimes I feel like a motherless child' on - I thought that the words "A long, long way from home" fitted in with the lostness of Good Friday. And the whole thing ended with a song called 'Grace Under Pressure', which ends with thousands of people singing "We still believe in love, so f*** you!!", which kind of works as a resurrection song.

In fact, here are the Leonard Cohen lyrics that I particularly liked:

"If it be your will, that I speak no more

And my voice be still, as it was before

I will speak no more, I shall abide until,

I am spoken for, if it be your will."

I liked the idea of Jesus "waiting to be spoken for".

.

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I like "He's Alive". It was one of the first songs I heard as a newborn Christian to give me a real thrill.

No songs come to mind, unfortunately. I'm sure I will later, when I'm not so half-asleep.

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At the Foot of the Cross reminded me of "Beautiful Scandalous Night," a must for an Easter Mix.

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Joe Henry has a great Easter song called, appropriately enough, "Easter." It's on Shuffletown. It's not overtly religious; it's not overtly anything, in fact. There are the typically obtuse lyrics, but themes of resurrection and new life come peeping through.

Sinead O'Connor's "Troy," from The Lion and The Cobra, has a spooky "I will rise/I will return" chorus, although I don't think she's singing about Jesus. She's singing about Sinead as Avenging Angel.

I agree with whoever posted about John Michael Talbot's "He Is Risen." Normally most overt CCM stuff doesn't do much for me, but this is good, rootsy, passionate acoustic folk.

There's a great early U2-like anthem called "Back to Life" on the new Rock Kills Kid album. Again, nothing overtly religious, but it certainly works in the context of Easter.

And my favorite Easter song -- actually, one of my favorite songs, period -- is Pierce Pettis's "Envelopes of Light" from Chase the Buffalo. I like to think of it as the International Anthem for Depressive Types.

At the sign of the times

He hesitates to navigate his course

His rite of passage

Up the stream of consciousness to find its source

She watches him go

A sentinel behind venetian blinds

Keeps the home fires burning low

Like a vestal virgin waiting in the night

And clinging to the highway

Like a baby to the breast

The distance feeds his urgency

And his dreams just do the rest

When he's down so dark

She mails him little envelopes of light

Cicadas in the mist

Are rising from a whisper to a roar

The way silk dresses hiss

As ballroom dancers glide across the floor

He's felt the ambience of God

Like a heat mirage on the highway

But the closer he comes

The more it seems to slip away

Just out of reach

A single treetop peach

He's stretching for with all his might

And somewhere in his heart

He comes across an envelope of light

Driving down the road

With a feeling that he can't identify

A scarecrow is hanging

Like a crucifix against the thorny sky

Three days and nights

In the belly of a whale

Three days and nights

In a perfect hell

Then like a phoenix bird

Rising in an envelope of light

And when he's down so dark

He gets these little envelopes of light

-- Pierce Pettis, "Envelopes of Light"

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I've really enjoyed hearing about your songs. I probably should have started this process earlier as Holy Week is becoming very busy as it seems to do, but in the meantime its been a good thing.

I did an Easter compilation cd for my Dad last year. It was in three sections: friday, saturday and sunday. Can't remember what exactly was on it now, but I know I included Leonard Cohen's 'If it be your will', and Sam Phillip's 'One day late'. Oh, and I put Odetta's version of 'Sometimes I feel like a motherless child' on - I thought that the words "A long, long way from home" fitted in with the lostness of Good Friday. And the whole thing ended with a song called 'Grace Under Pressure', which ends with thousands of people singing "We still believe in love, so f*** you!!", which kind of works as a resurrection song.

In fact, here are the Leonard Cohen lyrics that I particularly liked:

"If it be your will, that I speak no more

And my voice be still, as it was before

I will speak no more, I shall abide until,

I am spoken for, if it be your will."

I liked the idea of Jesus "waiting to be spoken for".

.

I'd be interested in knowing what you used for Saturday. I've always been at a loss about how to feel about the Saturday inbetween Good Friday and Easter. On the one hand, Good Friday is fresh on my mind, but on the other...Easter is coming quick.

He's felt the ambience of God

Like a heat mirage on the highway

But the closer he comes

The more it seems to slip away

Just out of reach

A single treetop peach

He's stretching for with all his might

And somewhere in his heart

He comes across an envelope of light

Driving down the road

With a feeling that he can't identify

A scarecrow is hanging

Like a crucifix against the thorny sky

Three days and nights

In the belly of a whale

Three days and nights

In a perfect hell

Then like a phoenix bird

Rising in an envelope of light

And when he's down so dark

He gets these little envelopes of light

-- Pierce Pettis, "Envelopes of Light"

Wow. Great stuff. I really appreciate the "just out of reach/envelope of light" dichotomy. It sums up how I feel all too often about faith. God feels just out of my reach yet I stumble across "envelopes of light". I love that imagery.

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I'd be interested in knowing what you used for Saturday. I've always been at a loss about how to feel about the Saturday inbetween Good Friday and Easter. On the one hand, Good Friday is fresh on my mind, but on the other...Easter is coming quick.

Wake Up Dead Man, by U2

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I'd be interested in knowing what you used for Saturday. I've always been at a loss about how to feel about the Saturday inbetween Good Friday and Easter. On the one hand, Good Friday is fresh on my mind, but on the other...Easter is coming quick.

One was a Sigur Ros b-side (the '()#'1 b-side) that is unbelieveably sad, the sound of mourning. And the Sam Phillips one was for saturday, because it has the line

"After you've given up and all is lost

Help is coming, one day late"

Which seemed to fit.

Edited by stu

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I'd be interested in knowing what you used for Saturday. I've always been at a loss about how to feel about the Saturday inbetween Good Friday and Easter. On the one hand, Good Friday is fresh on my mind, but on the other...Easter is coming quick.

How about "Rescue is coming", by David Crowder*Band? Then you could follow it up with "Come Awake", for early Sunday morning...

bvl

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As for Easter Song, Glad's acapella version ain't bad.
Yes, and I like their acapella "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" even better, with its Latin lead-in ("Christus Dominus Hodie Resurrexit") and harmonic and rhythmic variations.

I haven't heard it myself, but a friend of mine is crazy about the Roches' version of the "Hallelujah Chorus."

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I'd include Adam Again's "The 10th Song" also redone on the first City on a Hill as "I Remember You" with an added verse. The Choir's "Beautiful Scandalous Night" is a great Easter song as well. Though, if you want to get technical, these songs both celebrate the crucifixion rather than the resurrection. Third Day's "Thief" also comes to mind.

Edited by MichaelRay

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Third Day's "Thief" also comes to mind.

Oo! Oo! Oo!

How could I have forgotten Don Francisco's "Too Small a Price" -- Parts 1 & 2. Told from the thief's pov. Quite simply among the most powerful songs I've ever heard.

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"Lonely Road" by Mark Heard is a great song.

The lyrics are rich --

"To bury the conflict deep in the dark

Is safer than spears through your side"

And there's smokin' violin/fiddle too.

--John Mc

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For me, Easter music is heavily tied in Russian Orthodox all night vigils, from Rachmoninoff to Grachaninoff, I love the process of singing through the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday experience. Ironically, "Voscresieniye" means both "Sunday" and "Resurrection", and there is always this breath-taking transformation between the Saturday portion of the service and the Sunday as the choir ends one song and suddently breaks into "VOSCRESIENIYE!" It's a powerful celebration!

As for more modern music, I would include this alleluia

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Here are a couple songs that came to mind right away:

"Every New Day" by Five Iron Frenzy - this works on soooo many levels...as a matter of fact, my wife and I played it at our wedding reception, because it works for the sacrament of marriage too (at least in my opinion).

Also, the song "Legend 1:1/The Lamb" by Saviour Machine - this represents the part of Revelation where Jesus appears in glory to the author - I imagine this was much like being confronted with the newly resurrected Christ must have felt like as well.

...and on the topic of Saviour Machine, "Love Never Dies" is always a good one to represent Easter too :)

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