// top ten Christian anthems of all time (as of May 2015, anyway) //

Warning: This ain’t no K-Love.

If you think this list is all Chris Tomlin and Hillsong– sorry to disappoint.

No, these songs are anthems— songs that get everyone (or me at least) all fired up about faith. (Which is clearly the best thing to ever get fired up about!)

And these are the types of songs I dearly wish K-Love would shock its listeners with every now and then, just to remind them how tremendously epic the Christian faith truly is.

Behold… I have compiled a list of ten of the greatest songs of all time, complete with audio and lyrics.

You, m’dears, are welcome.

Prepare to be amazed (and perhaps get a bit fired up as well)…

Note: These are in no particular order as far as “levels of anthem-ness” goes. I’m just gonna list them as I think of them. Cool? Cool.

1.) Jesus Freak // DC Talk

This is a song I grew up listening to (thanks to two epic parents), and can proudly say I know all the words to by heart. (And I can totally own the rap parts too. Just sayin’.)

What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus Freak?
What will people do
When they find that’s it’s true?

Separated, I cut myself clean
From a past that comes back in my darkest of dreams
Been apprehended by a spiritual force
And a grace that replaced all the me I’ve divorced

I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly
It wiggled around like marmalade jelly
It took me a while to catch what it said
‘Cause I had to match the rhythm
Of his belly with my head
“Jesus Saves” is what it raved in a typical tattoo green
He stood on a box in the middle of the city
And claimed he had a dream

[Chorus]
What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak
What will people do when they find that it’s true
I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak
There ain’t no disguising the truth

Kamikaze, my death is gain
I’ve been marked by my maker
A peculiar display
The high and lofty, they see me as weak
‘Cause I won’t live and die for the power they seek

There was a man from the desert with naps in his head
The sand that he walked was also his bed
The words that he spoke made the people assume
There wasn’t too much left in the upper room
With skins on his back and hair on his face
They thought he was strange by the locusts he ate
The Pharisees tripped when they heard him speak
Until the king took the head of this Jesus freak

[Chorus: x2]

People say I’m strange, does it make me a stranger
That my best friend was born in a manger
People say I’m strange, does it make me a stranger
That my best friend was born in a manger

[Chorus: x2]

What will people think
What will people think
What will people do
What will people do
I don’t really care
What else can I say
There ain’t no disguising the truth
Jesus is the way

2.) Underground // Petra

Yep, this one was absolutely used as inspiration for my novel Ignite. Thanks again to Dad for being awesome and introducing me to this gem!

Look at the front page, turn on the tv
They fire another round at you and me
Their guns are loaded, they’re taking aim
Nobody told them we’re not all the same
No paranoia, nobody could
Just write it off as being Hollywood
The innuendo between the lines
Leaves no confusion ’bout what’s on their minds

[1st CHORUS]
I won’t go underground
I won’t turn and flee
I won’t bow the knee
I won’t go underground
I won’t run and hide from the rising tide
I won’t go underground
I won’t compromise what the world denies
I won’t go underground
And I’m not ashamed of the cross I’ve claimed

They’re taking notes on what we say
You know they’d like to lock us all away
Can’t stop the movement, can’t make it slow
Persecution always makes us grow
They got my number, it’s no surprise
I’m here and wearing no disguise
Bring on the lions and heat up the fire
It’s not enough to stop this man’s desire

[2nd CHORUS]
I won’t go underground
I won’t turn and flee
I won’t bow the knee
I won’t go underground
I keep holding fast till the very last
I won’t go underground
I will turn my cheek, I will boldly speak
I won’t go underground
I am not ashamed of the cross I’ve claimed

I know the Spirit behind this force
It’s not surprising if you know the source
I pray for freedom for helpless ones
And I keep standing till the new day dawns

[1st CHORUS]

And I won’t lay low as the hatred grows

3.) Brave // Moriah Peters

Because I will forever love this song… and it reminds me to have courage and trust Him, always.

No one ever told me
This would be easy
But I never knew
That it could be this hard
Oh the worry the worry the worry
Is weighing on me
Could you help me break down
All these question marks
And make me

Brave
I’ll fight like a soldier
Brave
Rise like a warrior
Brave
Won’t stop till the final day
Brave
I want to be stronger
Brave
Gonna be bolder
Brave
Look up and I see the way
You make me brave

I know I know I’m no superwoman
But impossible is possible with You
So no, no, no more running, no more hiding
Strike the fire so I’ll be fearless too
And make me

Brave
I’ll fight like a soldier
Brave
Rise like a warrior
Brave
Won’t stop till the final day
Brave
I want to be stronger
Brave
Gonna be bolder
Brave
Look up and I see the way
You make me brave

None go with me
Still I’ll follow
Through the joy
And through the sorrow
Cross before me
World behind me
There’s no turning back

Brave
Brave
Brave

Brave
I’ll fight like a soldier
Brave
Rise like a warrior
Brave
Won’t stop till the final day
Brave
I want to be stronger
Brave
Gonna be bolder
Brave
Look up and I see the way
You make me

Brave
Fight like a soldier
Brave
Rise like a warrior
Brave
Won’t stop till the final day
Brave
I want to be stronger
Brave
Gonna be bolder
Brave
Look up and I see the way
You make me brave

4.) C.S. Lewis Song // Brooke Fraser

They can’t all be fast songs. 🙂 But this one is truly beautiful and perfect.

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
Then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared

[Chorus]
Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just found? on the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
An avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

[Chorus]

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, he’s coming

5.) The Name // Disciple

The most recent of all these anthems– but lyrically epic. And quite fitting, considering the courage so many of our brothers and sisters all over the world are showing– y’all, this is their heart’s cry right now. And it should be ours too.

Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him
How I have proven Him over and over
I will not bow my knee to any other God but You
The One I live and I die for

Immanuel, God with us
Prince of peace, Jesus

I will not be afraid to speak Your Name
I don’t care if they drag me off in chains
No power from hell can shake my faith
I’m not afraid to speak Your Name
This body will starve these bones will break
But as long as I’ve got the lungs to breathe
I will not be afraid to speak Your name

Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus
Oh for the grace to trust Him so much more
You gave it all and I will live to give it all back to You
The One I live and I die for

Immanuel, God with us
King of kings, Jesus

I will not be afraid to speak Your Name
I don’t care if they drag me off in chains
No power from hell can shake my faith
I’m not afraid to speak Your Name
This body will starve these bones will break
But as long as I’ve got the lungs to breathe
I will not be afraid to speak Your name

I will not be afraid to speak your Name
The name of Jesus, Jesus…

I will never be ashamed
I will be bold for Christ
And bring honor to His name whether I live or die

I will not be afraid to speak Your Name
I don’t care if they drag me off in chains
No power from hell can shake my faith
I’m not afraid to speak Your Name
This body will starve these bones will break
But as long as I’ve got the lungs to breathe
I will not be afraid to speak Your name

6.) What Do I Know Of Holy // Addison Road

Found this one in middle school, right around the time I was just beginning to realize how little I knew of Holy. This song is my testimony in lyric form and will forever be dear to my heart.

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

[CHORUS 2]
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life it’s name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy

7.) Outcast // Kerrie Roberts

OH YES. “No matter what it costs, I’ll be an outcast!” Every time, y’all.

Since I can remember, guess I been a problem
Never had a filter, never been the popular one
To sugar coat what I know is undeniable
I just can’t hide it, I wear it like a letter

Everywhere I go, everyone is talking
I can feel them staring, they hope I’m just pretending
And giving up my power, caving into pressure
I’m not living for them, I live for something better

I’m not good enough, I’m not what they want
But let me tell you what, I know who I am
So just throw me out for not fitting in
I will stand my ground and be an outcast

So what if I’m an outcast?
So what if I’m an outcast?

So what if I don’t look the part I’m supposed to play
What if I don’t follow all the rules they make
They think I should be perfect, they love it when I mess up
No grace in case I blow it, a good girl shouldn’t need it

I’m not good enough, I’m not what they want
But let me tell you what, I know who I am
So just throw me out for not fitting in
I will stand my ground and be an outcast

So what if I’m an outcast
So what if I’m an outcast
So slow and everybody’s so fast
So what if I’m an outcast?

I try to play nice, I don’t want to fight
But I won’t be great when it sounds like I’m right
‘Cause what I believe is what makes me strong
If I don’t belong, I hold onto love

I try to play nice, I don’t want to fight
But I won’t be great when it sounds like I’m right
‘Cause what I believe is what makes me strong
If I don’t belong, I hold onto love

So what if I’m an outcast?
So what if I’m an outcast?
So slow and everybody’s so fast
No matter what it costs I’ll be an outcast

I’m not good enough, I’m not what they want
But let me tell you what, I know who I am
So just throw me out for I’m not fitting in
I will stand my ground and be an outcast

I’m not good enough, I’m not what they want
And let me tell you what, I know who I am
So just throw me out, I’m not fitting in
I will stand my ground and be an outcast

8.) Be My Escape // Relient K

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.” Relient K’s got some of the best lyrics ever. And— this song has a lovely acoustic version too, if you want something softer. 🙂

I’ve given up on giving up slowly,
I’m blending in so you won’t even know me
Apart from this whole world that shares my fate
This one last bullet you mention is my one last shot at redemption
Because I know to live you must give your life away
And I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and
I’ve been locked inside that house all the while You hold the key
And I’ve been dying to get out and that might be the death of me
And even though, there’s no way in knowing
Where to go, promise I’m going because
I gotta get outta here
I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake
I gotta get outta here
And I’m begging you, I’m begging you, I’m begging you to be my escape.

I’m giving up on doing this alone now
‘Cause I’ve failed and I’m ready to be shown how
He’s told me the way and I’m trying to get there
And this life sentence that I’m serving
I admit that I’m every bit deserving
But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair

‘Cause I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and
I’ve been locked inside that house all the while you hold the key
And I’ve been dying to get out and that might be the death of me
And even though, there’s no way in knowing
Where to go, promise I’m going because
I gotta get outta here
‘Cause I’m afraid that this complacency is something I can’t shake
I gotta get outta here
And I’m begging you, I’m begging you, I’m begging You to be my escape.

I am a hostage to my own humanity
Self detained and forced to live in this mess I’ve made
And all I’m asking is for you to do what You can with me
But I can’t ask You to give what You already gave

‘Cause I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and
I’ve been locked inside that house all the while you hold the key
And I’ve been dying to get out and that might be the death of me
And even though, there’s no way in knowing
Where to go, promise I’m going because
I’ve gotta get outta here
I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake
I’ve gotta get outta here
And I’m begging you, I’m begging you, I’m begging you to be my escape.

I fought you for so long
I should have let you in
Oh how we regret those things we do
And all I was trying to do was save my own skin
But so were you

So were you

9.) Grey // Barlowgirl

Another one of those childhood songs I listened to for fun and didn’t realize reflected my heart until now. Barlowgirl was the first girl band I loved and looked up to– and now that I’m older I appreciate their stance on purity and modesty too. I miss them!

Gray’s my favorite color
Black and white has never been my thing
I’ll take my drink lukewarm now
Hot and cold is not the thing for me

Absolutes are hidden
I’ve buried my convictions

I cannot be blind no more
Numb to what I’m living for
Help me stop this compromise that justifies these lies
I need Your passion in this life

I don’t want to impose
Who really needs to know what I believe
Cause no one likes rockin’ boats
And who would care to see the way I see

So give me the fire, yeah
God give me Your fire
And raise this life higher

10.) Hero // Skillet

I’m pretty sure y’all have heard this one– ah, but have you listened to it after their other song Monster (about our sin nature)? Purely epic. Oh, and Awake and Alive? That one’s equally awesome. I almost put that one on the list instead.

I’m just a step away
I’m just a breath away
Losin’ my faith today
(Fallin’ off the edge today)

I am just a man
Not superhuman
(I’m not superhuman)
Someone save me from the hate

It’s just another war
Just another family torn
(Falling from my faith today)
Just a step from the edge
Just another day in the world we live

[Chorus]
I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero (save me now)
I need a hero to save my life
A hero’ll save me (just in time)

I’ve gotta fight today
To live another day
Speakin’ my mind today
(My voice will be heard today)

I’ve gotta make a stand
But I am just a man
(I’m not superhuman)
My voice will be heard today

It’s just another war
Just another family torn
(My voice will be heard today)
It’s just another kill
The countdown begins to destroy ourselves

[Chorus]

I need a hero to save my life
I need a hero just in time
Save me just in time
Save me just in time

Who’s gonna fight for what’s right
Who’s gonna help us survive
We’re in the fight of our lives
(And we’re not ready to die)

Who’s gonna fight for the weak
Who’s gonna make ’em believe
I’ve got a hero (I’ve got a hero)
Livin’ in me

I’m gonna fight for what’s right
Today I’m speaking my mind
And if it kills me tonight
(I will be ready to die)

A hero’s not afraid to give his life
A hero’s gonna save me just in time

[Chorus]

I need a hero
Who’s gonna fight for what’s right
Who’s gonna help us survive

I need a hero
Who’s gonna fight for the weak
Who’s gonna make ’em believe
I need a hero
I need a hero

A hero’s gonna save me just in time

Notes Part II:

1.) If Spotify doesn’t work for you, all of these are available on YouTube and iTunes. Take a listen, why don’tcha? 🙂

2.) Each of these artists has other epic songs that you should definitely check out as well. And then there’s other artists who almost made the list and are still awesome and much loved. Just ask me about ’em sometime.

That is all. Enjoy the epicosity that is Christianity. 🙂 Are you fired up yet? ‘Cause I am!

{love, Em  [aka a “tiny dandelion fluff of concentrated righteous fury”, or so I’ve been told]}

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