Uplifting Religious and Spiritual Songs and Hymns
The 21st century will be, I believe, a century concerned with mental health and spirituality. By the year 2020, more people in the western world will have more mental health problems than physical ailments, according to the World Health organisation. This will involve considerable human suffering. In the words of the Koran “Suffering purifies the spirit” and therefore spirituality and religion in its truest sense will emerge.
Songs and music will offer inspiration and solace in such an environment.
This section of the Hearing Voices Network Cymru website offers inspiration and solace to me, a voice hearer since about 1966. My first spiritual memory was of hearing a visiting butcher at our farm singing “If I had a hammer”. He had a marvellous singing voice and he made justice fun.
Attending chapel and Sunday School in Wales gave me a firm and solid belief in God and the Christian faith. I attended chapel with my grandfather and although I do not remember singing hymns, I distinctly remember reading the lesson from the pulpit to the congregation on at least two occasions. This gave me training in public speaking and an inner sense of core belief in God and the Bible.
In Chapel as a child, I also have a vivid memory of the minister looking at me when he spoke of the horror of hell. I was petrified of hell. My chapel upbringing gave my a fear of hell and left me with an odd combination of inner belief and diffidence.
Sunday School was held in a very clean and tidy school room in a nearby village in Wales. Belief was pure.
My favourite memory of hymn-singing was of singing “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” at boarding school in England. I would sing the first line of the hymn in Welsh.
In my first teaching job, I enjoyed singing hymns in morning assembly. My favourite hymns were “How Great Thou Art” and “Dros Cymru’n gwlad, o Dad, dyrchafwn gri (to the tune of Finlandia) by Lewis Valentine.
Since being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 1983 and becoming convinced in 1985 that I was Jesus; having lived as Judas Iscariot; a Cathar (13th century French “heretic”) and James VI of Scotland/James 1st of England, I have developed an interest in voice hearing music. One excellent voice hearing hymn in Welsh is “Gwahoddiad”. The words to “Jerusalem” were written by William Blake, a voice hearer and poet. Another inspirational hymen is “Amazing Grace” written by a former slave-trader.
Spiritual songs that offered solace and inspiration include “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkle, “Fix You” by Cold Play, “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carol King, “May You Never” John Martyn, “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens and “Hallelujiah” by Leonard Cohen.
Songs and Hymns ffer hope and comfort to voice hearers in what is sometimes seen as the psychic battle between good and evil. When righteousness is no longer useful, it becomes evil.
It is popular in certain quarters of UK society to denigrate Christianity. However as long as a faith in Jesus is anti-ractist, anti-sexist and ideally anti-homophobic then I see no problem with the Christian faith in the 21st Century.
Below you will find a selection of my favourite inspirational hymns and songs that you can listen to. If you would like to tell us about a song or hymn you find inspiring contact as at [email protected] and we will add your suggestion to this list.
Chairman Hearing Voices Network Cymru
Blaenwern – Corau Unedig
Rachie ( I Bob un sydd ffyddlon )
Cymanfa Treforus 1989: Pantyfedwen (W. Rhys Nicholas)
Cerys Matthews – Calon Lan
Calon Lan by Dowlais Male Choir
Mor Fawr wyt ti (How great thou art) by a welsh male voice choir
Susan Boyle – How Great Thou Art
Hildegard von Bingen – Voice of the Living Light
Elvis Presley – How Great Thou Art
Côr OrpheusTreforys (Morriston Orpheus Choir) – Gwahoddiad (Arglwydd Dyma Fi)
Cwm Rhondda – Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer (Orig Jehovah)
Gweddi Dros Gymru (Finlandia)
Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
Fix You by Coldplay
Fire And Rain – James Taylor
You’ve Got A Friend – Carole King
John Martyn – May You Never
Morning has Broken – Cat Stevens
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen