Atheist Songs Mixtape

I love music. Absolutely love it. Music is definitely one of the experiences in life that I call “spiritual,” though I don’t mean that in the literal sense, of course. It is probably my favorite thing about life, in fact, and I have relied on it countless times throughout my life to get through or enhance the current 3 seconds. I make music a part of my life every single day, as I think most people do. Indeed, we have been using music as a defining part of our culture for thousands of years. Music is incredibly powerful. It can unite us, separate us, enlighten us, comfort us, help us to heal, and allow us to express our love, our joy, or our pain in ways that we never seem to be able to find the words for ourselves.

While the religious enjoy a host of songs to express their feelings, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and other non-believers have a much smaller catalogue to choose from. That being said, there have been many songs in my life that, though they may not specifically refer to atheistic or humanistic values, have helped me define myself through song as an atheist, and that collection is presented here, in no particular order. Click on each song to go to its corresponding youtube video if you want to give any a listen.

Or, you can watch the entire playlist here on my Chris the Humanist Youtube channel.

Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam – Nirvana Great cover of the Vaselines song on MTV Unplugged.

Loosing My Religion – R.E.M. Well, you knew this one had to make the list.

Who Will Save Your Soul? – Jewel  Who now?

Counting Blue Cars – Dishwalla Just by referring to God as “Her,” Dishwalla blew my young mind wide open.

One of Us – Joan Osborne One of my favorite songs ever.

The Joker – Steve Miller Band  “I’m a picker, I’m a grinner, I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner….sure don’t want to hurt no one…”

Plateau – Nirvana Another great Nirvana Unplugged cover of a Meat Puppets song.

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival – Ray Stevens  Now this is some good ol’ time religion!

Dare You To Move – Switchfoot  This is the ringtone for my morning alarm, lol.

Sheep Go to Heaven – Cake “I just want to play on my panpipes. I just want to drink me some wine. As soon as you’re born you start dying, so you might as well have a good time…”

Lights – Ellie Goulding This song was inspired by the artist’s fear of the dark. I always think about it when I contemplate the distant lights of the Universe in the night sky. The youtube video I linked to is the awesome Bassnectar remix over a montage of some of the world’s most amazing humans. 

I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie  “If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs…” Such a great hook. 

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Thanks Steve Martin for writing a song just for us atheists!

Bad Reputation – Joan Jett Not an atheist song, but being secular in a religious world can kinda give you a certain reputation.

Space Oddity – David Bowie Non-believers tend to be into science, especially astronomy and space exploration. Take a trip.

The Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence…”

Man in the Box – Alice In Chains Some serious teenage angst here, haha.

Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars “Won’t do me no good, washin’ in the river. Can’t no preacher man save my…Soul!”

Hand of the Almighty – John R Butler  Hilarious and true, though not work or kid friendly!

Rocky Mountain High – John Denver A reverence for Nature at its best.

God Was Never On Your Side – Motorhead Some atheists will list anti-religious songs among their favorites. For the most part I tend to stray away from those, with a few exceptions, like this one.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It – R.E.M.  And I feel fine! (But seriously, all doomsday prophecies aside, let’s not destroy the world.)

Bullet With Butterfly Wings – Smashing Pumpkins  More teen angst. “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage…and I still believe that I cannot be saved…”

Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads “And we’re not little children, and we know what we want. And the future is certain; give us time to work it out…”

Circle of Life – The Lion King (Elton John, Tim Rice) Yep, seriously. “When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connnected in the great Circle of Life.”

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong  There is beauty in the world all around you.

Amazing Grace – John Newton What? A Christian hymn on an atheist mixtape? Sure. To this day this is one of my favorite songs of all time. There is much beauty, history, and art that can be derived from our rich religious traditions. They are a part of our collective story. This version is LeAnn Rimes’ beautiful a cappella rendition.

Imagine – John Lennon Probably the quintessential Humanist song.

Well, there’s my list. I’m sure I’ll add more songs as I think of them. If you have a suggestion for a song that expresses how you feel as an atheist, agnostic, or Humanist, feel free to leave a comment. If it’s one that I’d put on my own mixtape, I’ll add it to the list.

Enjoy the music,


~ by christhehumanist on September 15, 2012.

6 Responses to “Atheist Songs Mixtape”

  1. When I die I may not go to heaven
    I don’t know if they let cowboys in
    If they don’t just let me go to Texas, Boy!
    Texas is as close as I’ve been…..Tanya Tucker

  2. I believe in the power that comes From a world brought together as one. I believe together we’ll fly. I believe in the power of you and I…Nikki Yanofsky

  3. Hi there. A few interesting additions. Here’s mine, if ever you care to drop by!

  4. Try this great little tune by Frank Turner (Glory Hallelujah)
    ….…it’s about as atheist as you can get…

  5. Don’t forget Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips!

  6. I do love sound of silence by Simon and Garfunkel, but I feel disturbed took it to new heights. Also, Volbeat’s Hallelujah Goat. All about humankind unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions and blaming it on the devil. Wild Eyes by Parkway Drive. Very angry and aimed at waking up the populace to our collective, and seemingly imminent destruction.

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