Top 10 Christian Songs From Movies
Everyone has that one movie, that one scene, that just gets them. Maybe it makes you bawl like a baby (If you ask my husband he would say this is my go-to reaction. He rolls his eyes anytime a sad/sappy movie scene comes on because he just knows I’m already blubbering 22 seconds in.), yell at the screen, or just gets you crazy pumped up and inspired. In any of these instances it’s almost a sure bet that there is a song playing to heighten this affect. It may even be the reason behind why the particular part is your favorite. Or maybe you left the theater after seeing a lackluster movie, not remembering a thing about the plot, and couldn’t get the song they played at the end out of your head? That’s what a great song can do, stick to you. When that song happens to be a Christian song, well, that’s the perfect combination, because now you are reminded of God every time you hum the tune. Below is a list of the top ten times Christian music in film left me singing Gods praise (and a lot less grumpy about the price of popcorn).
1. This Is Home, SwitchFoot
Movie: Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian
Inspired Me Lyric: And I got my heart set on what happens next/I got my eyes wide, it’s not over yet.
This is a beautifully made movie with a soundtrack full of great songs, but This Is Home made my heart ache. You know a song is powerful when it captures the feeling of the movie so perfectly, but can be listened to on its own and still evoke such strong emotion from the listener. It made me think of the peace that comes from making your home in Jesus and the way you feel like you’ve found something you’ve been looking for all along: Home.
2. Oh Happy Day, Ryan Toby
Movie: Sister Act II
Inspired Me Lyric: And He taught me how to live rejoicing yes, He did.
I remember laughing at this scene when I saw this movie as a kid (Singer Ryan Toby has an extremely wide range and Whoopi Goldberg reacting to it is priceless). Afterwards I found myself singing it constantly. The song title is fitting because it’s one of those songs that makes you do a happy dance when you’re singing it to yourself, alone in your kitchen. Okay that may just be me, but the song is beautiful and gives you that joyful-on-fire for God feeling.
3. While I’m Waiting, John Waller
Inspired Me Lyric: While I’m waiting/ I will not faint /I’ll be running the race even while I wait.
This movie broke box office records for a Christian film and needed a song powerful enough to represent its message of holding on when things seem impossible. I love this song because it speaks to the area of patience and waiting on/trusting God to work in our lives even when we can’t see it happening.
4. Courageous, Casting Crowns
Inspired Me Lyric: The only way we’ll ever stand/ is on our knees with lifted hands
The movie came out not long after our first child was born. I remember being touched by the message that we can parent and love differently in Christ should we choose to hold ourselves to a higher standard. The song is a booming call to arms to live out our faith with strength, conviction, and God-given courage.
5. Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone), Chris Tomlin
Movie: Amazing Grace 2007
Inspired Me Lyric: My God my savior has ransomed me.
This movie tells the true story of abolitionist William Wilberforce. John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, is also featured as an influence on Wilberforce and his push to end slavery. The song is a classic and Chris Tomlin has only improved upon it with the addition of the “My Chains Are Gone” refrain. The simplicity of the lyrics and melody allow the listener to take in every word of this testimony to God’s never ending, undeserved grace.
6. Dreamer, Bethany Dillon
Inspired Me Lyric: Imagine a beautiful castle and a beautiful King/He left the comfort of his throne to fight for victory.
An inspirational movie with an incredibly well-written, inspirational song. Before its’ premiere, an advance showing of the film was presented to various recording artists. They were then asked to submit songs that could be used in the movie. Of all those submissions, “Dreamer” was chosen. It was a great move on the part of the soundtrack producers because it gave the movie an extra does of warmth and depth. Bethany Dillon amazes me with her ability to showcase not only the theme of the movie but also use the song as a platform to proclaim Christ’s victory.
7. Silent Night, Sinead O’ Connor
Movie: Fred Clause
Inspired Me Lyric: Son of God love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
I had to do it. Christmas season is upon us and I am already excited to hear my favorite songs, even if they will be played continuously, by every store in America, around the clock until New Years. While there is a wide variety of Christmas songs used in film, this version by Sinead O’Connor gives me chills every time I hear it. Her voice singing of our Saviors birth is hauntingly beautiful. Unfortunately it’s not played until the end of Fred Clause so you have to sit through the whole lackluster movie to hear it. It’s so beautiful, as always, that it may even elevate this film to average.
8. Resurrection, John Debney
Movie: The Passion of the Christ
Inspired Me Lyric: Instrumental
The music on this soundtrack, and the film it was made for, are nothing short of awe inspiring. If the purpose of a movie score is too highlight the drama unfolding on screen, then I can think of no better example than the songs featured in The Passion of The Christ. “Resurrection” is my favorite because, with no words, it manages to make the greatest scene in history, Jesus rising from the dead, even more heartpoundingly compelling.
9. When You Believe, Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston
Movie: The Prince of Egypt
Inspired Me Lyric: Yet now I’m standing here/ with heart so full I can’t explain
So much was made over the duet between Carey and Houston that the song itself was almost overshadowed. Reportedly both chose to sign on due to their mutual background singing in church. This song is also notable because it was a mainstream hit song from a movie telling one of the most famous biblical stories. Love the way the lyric above speaks to the fullness our hearts can hold when we see God’s plan unfold in our life.
10. Hallelujah, John Cale (movie version); Rufus Wainwright (soundtrack) Leonard Cohen (original)
Inspired Me Lyric: I’ll stand before the Lord of Song/ With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Okay, probably a controversial pick as there is heavy debate as to whether this can be considered a Christian song. Numerous Christian artists have released the song and put their own stamp on it. My favorite is a version sang a cappella by Kari Jobe, Jamie Grace, Dara Maclean, and Blanca Reyes from Group 1 Crew. Hearing them sing the song certainly made it a Christian song for me. Plus my daughter loves Shrek and it warms my heart to hear her running around the house singing out “Hallelujah!” ever since seeing this movie.
Songs that were on the bubble: Lauren Hill -Joyful Joyful (Sister Act 2), Switch Foot- Only Hope (A Walk to Remember), Casting Crown- Voice of Truth (Facing the Giants), The Afters-Life is Beautiful (October Baby), Oh Holy Night- Composed by Adolphe Adam (Home Alone)
These are just a few of my favorites. It’s exciting to see Hollywood embracing Christian music more frequently. It would be awesome to do this list a year from now and have some fresh new songs to highlight. After all, if the measure of a great song is how it makes you feel, then any song telling you that you are eternally loved and forgiven…? Well that should strike quite a chord.
Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to let me know which songs I missed so we can make the worlds greatest play list. God Bless.