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Yesterday we had our cuts and copy session for an upcoming program on forgiveness and revenge and today we recorded the script. I am now looking for music to use in the program and thought I’d reach out to you for help. What music do you find evocative in expressing forgiveness? How about the desire for revenge? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a song explicitly about these themes, and thus instrumental pieces are always welcome.

So, whaddya got? I am all ears!

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Ahh, Music as catharsis. Good medicine to me. Here's a few excerpts from one of my fav's on the subject.

Idiot Wind by Bob Dylan

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin bout the way things sometimes are
Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin me see stars.
You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
One day youll be in the ditch, flies buzzin around your eyes,
Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
Blowing through the curtains in your room.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
Youre an idiot, babe.
Its a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasnt enough to change my heart.
Now everythings a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
Whats good is bad, whats bad is good, youll find out when you reach the top
Youre on the bottom.

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I cant remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes
Dont look into mine.
The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building
I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime
Turned slowly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the grand coulee dam to the capitol.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
Youre an idiot, babe.
Its a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I cant feel you anymore, I cant even touch the books youve read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin I was somebody else instead.
Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,
I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
And all your ragin glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now Im finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
Youll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And Ill never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
Were idiots, babe.
Its a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

Track: "Wishing Well"
Artist: David Francey
Album: Waking Hour

Track: Reconciliation
Artist: Eileen Ivers
Album: Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul

The classic . . . Stagger Lee in any of its many incarnations

This is late, but if your list permits additions, please consider:

French, Frith, Kaiser, Thompson (Richard)

Song: "The Killing Jar" Album: Invisible Means

I was late for class one afternoon because I couldn't break away from this song. I ordered the CD when I returned home. This is Faulknerian acid blues, painful and disturbing, more depravity than vengeance, a few shades darker than Hendrix's "Hey Joe." Talk about attraction of the abomination!

Melissa Manchester's "Come in from the Rain..."

Melissa Manchester's "Come in from the Rain..."

Mercy Now from album with the same name by Mary Gauthier.

"Tired of being sorry" by Ringside

"Tired of Being Sorry" by Ringside on Ringside

"Forgive Us," John McCutcheon's song, begins with a remembrance of saying the Lord's Prayer. It also movingly references the brutal killing of an Amish schoolgirl by a disturbed man, and the ability of the Amish to forgive.

"I'll Come Running Back to You" by Sam Cooke

"1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes" by Small Potatoes

"Railroaded" by Matthew Ryan

"I repent" by Derek Webb is a beautiful song that captures the emotions of what it is like to be in the moment of genuinely asking someone for forgiveness. In the beginning of the song you can hear the angst in Webb's voice as he lists waits in limbo for those he has forgiven to decide whether or not to forgive him. As the song goes on though, it becomes less about being forgiven and more about the healing process that simply asking for forgiveness can have on ones soul

Suzanne Vega's The Queen and The Soldier is often misunderstood, IMHO. To me it's about taking revenge for what one does not want to hear or understand. I'd really like to hear what other's think. Jan

Led Zepplin - Your Time is Gonna Come

I can't think of a better song than India.Arie's "Wings of Forgiveness."
She's a model of mature, evolved, healthy living. I am so inspired by her work.

Tom Waits ~ Road to Peace
Cat Stevens ~ Moonshadow
~ I'll Fly Away, O sinnerman (old hymns)
Nina Simone ~ For All We Know

songs of coming apart & coming together

Amazing Grace, hymn

The show aired already, but I keep thinking about it, so for future reference
Here are some soundbites;

Damhnait Doyle- Never Too Late
off hypedramatic

no, it's never to late to forgive
you're not to blame, you were just a child
lay down your armor and learn to live
no, it's never to late to forgive
(water, water, water everywhere
and n'er a drop to drink, you've gotta
let your hair down, so you can think)

Luka Bloom- I Need Love, LL Cool J
Off The Acoustic Motorbike

All I know is that I'll never dish another raw deal
Playing make believe pretending that I'm true
Holding in my laugh as I say I love you
Say no more I whisper in your ear
I say I love you and I will always be here
And though I often reminisce I can't believe that I've found
Desire for true love floating around
I need love

Rosie Flores Iris Dement - God may forgive you

'cause God may forgive you, but I won't
Yes, Jesus loves you, but I don't
They don't have to live with you and neither do I
You say that you're born again, well so am I
God may forgive you, but I won't
and I won't even try

Alanis Morissette Thank You from The Collection

How 'bout me not blaming you for everything
How 'bout me enjoying the moment for once
How 'bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How 'bout grieving it all one at a time

Abrasive Wheels- Find Your Heart Lyrics

It's time for all religions
To live without division
It's our choice, hear out voice, scream until they listen
But there must be a way
We can live without hate
We don't have to fight for everything we've got
Is this the price you want to pay
Don't let the system tear us apart
Open your eyes and you'll find your heart
Be part of the cure and not the disease
'cause how can you bleed if you ain't got a heart

Footloose- Can you find it in your heart

Can you find it in your heart to forgive her?
Can you stop and see there's part of her that's trying to obey
While part of her is dying to run away?
Can't you hear what's she's trying to say?
Can you find it in your soul to accept her?
If she stumbles on your holy path do you have to reprimand?
Or are there ways to make her understand
Without using the back of your hand?

Mitch -

Kudos to including Jimi Hendrix's cover of "Hey Joe"... in my 28 years of existence I always understood the theme of that song in the context of revenge. Broken apart it is quite... blatant and over the top, but regardless, a great tune.


John McCutcheon has a song called "Forgive Us" you may want to add to this list. The album is called "This Fire: Politics, Love & Other Small Miracles." Directly references the Lord's Prayer and also the shooting of five Amish school girls at Nickle Mines, PA.

For a lighter take on the subject: "I Just Wanna Be Mad For Awhile" as sung by Terri Clark. It might not necessarily be about revenge or forgiveness, but about reaction to being wronged.

I would like to get a copy of all the songs on the revenge and forgiveness program. Is that possible? Thanks, emmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I love this music. It is so eclectic from so many listeners. Is there anyway to download this music for my listening pleasure? Or can you make CDs that can be bought? I love the program and the music. Em Crosby

songs on forgiveness
cathie ryan be like the sea
cathie ryan the farthest wave
carrie newcomer i heard an owl
carrie newcomer tornado alley
kathy mattea sending me angels
robin & linda williams shotgun shells on a christmas tree

Did anyone mention John Prine's "Fish and Whistle"?

Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us and we'll forgive you
We'll forgive each other til we both turn blue
Then we'll whistle and go fishing in Heaven

Fish and Whistle, Whistle and Fish
Eat everything that they put on your dish
And when we get together we'll make a big wish
That we never have to do this again, again, AGAIN

Regretting What I Said… : Future Fossils, by Christine Lavin
Both Sides of the Tweed: Song for Ireland, by Mary Black (lyrics by Robert Burn)
The House of Orange: From Fresh Water, by Stan Rogers
Dead Man Walking: The Essential Bruce Springsteen, by Bruce Springsteen
Jerusalem: Bowery Songs, by Joan Baez
Winds of the Old Days: The Complete A&M Recordings, by Joan Baez
Mr. Sellack: The Roches, by The Roches

Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan"

I don't like your fashion business mister
I don't like those drugs that make you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

ALSO: "Living Well is the Best Revenge" by R.E.M.

Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan"

I don't like your fashion business mister
I don't like those drugs that make you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

ALSO: "Living Well is the Best Revenge" by R.E.M.

"First We Take Manhattan" by Leonard Cohen

I don't like your fashion business mister
I don't like those drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

"Rocky Raccoon" -- The Beatles
"The Hangman and the Papist" -- The Strawbs
"Vengeance" -- Carly Simon
"I've Gotta Get a Message to You" -- The BeeGees
"So Sorry" -- Feist

Really recomend "Joe Hill" an old labor spiritual that sums up the difficult years of struggle and redemption that the generation before mine experienced establishing union rights. Especially John Prine's version

I just listened to the broadcast program this morning, and thought immediately of a song. I'm not a big fan of country music, but this piece about forgiveness gets to me every time I hear it: . Its by Iris Dement. The title is "You've Done Nothing Wrong".

I just listened to the broadcast program this morning, and thought immediately of a song. I'm not a big fan of country music, but this song about forgiveness gets to me every time I hear it: . Its by Iris Dement. The title is "You've Done Nothing Wrong".

I'm offering a song that addresses forgiveness. This is a song by Toby Mac. It is called START expresses the hurt of both parties, it expresses the position of who hurt who and why, and it ends with the urgency to resolve the issue before it gets too big. Last line goes: "I'm reaching out my hand in love before the fading sun forgive me for what I've done". The idea is that both parties are hurting...and asking for forgiveness starts the ball rolling. Demand for something in return is flipped and the raw emotion is different because it is open recognizing the vulnerability. Wow moment!!

"Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley is good.

"Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley is good.

Opera is full of melodramatic tales of revenge and forgiveness. Although these themes are universal and remain relevant to modern audiences, often the plots of the operas we know and love seem, well, a bit contrived, unbelievable, and out of date. Contemporary composer John Adams, however, brings these universal themes to the stage with a context that is very much relevant to our world today.

Adams' 1981 opera /The Death of Klinghoffer/ chronicles the true story of a Mediterranean cruise ship that was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists, resulting in the murder of a disabled American Jewish man named Leon Klinghoffer. The opera is a poignant examination of the feelings of hatred and grief on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And while it seems that the terrorists and passengers come to a greater understanding of one another and even feel sorry for one another, the opera concludes with a rage-filled aria by Mrs. Klinghoffer having just learned of her husband's death from the ship's captain. It is clear that there will be no forgiveness.

"You embraced them! And now you come, the captain, every vein, stiff with adrenaline, the touch of Palestine on your uniform, and offer me your arm. I would spit on you, but my mouth is dry. I have no spit and no tears yet . . . If a hundred people were murdered and their blood flowed in the wake of this ship like oil, only then would the world intervene. They should have killed me. I wanted to die."

"Understanding" by Solomon Burke
"Ebony & Ivory" by Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney
"Listen to What The Man Says" by Paul Mccartney
"Walk Your Troybles Down" by Sweet Honey In The Rock
"Shower The People" by James Taylor

My favorite song of forgiveness is "Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley.

"bad diary days" by pedro the lion was the first one that came to my mind, if not about forgiveness specifically, about dealing with contention.

Ida's "For Shame of Doing Wrong" (it's actually a Richard Thompson cover)

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Deb Talen's Forgiven

A Little Bit Me (A Little Bit You) by the Monkees...cuz it is, isn't it?!

I absolutely have to add these gems, which have helped me and my beautiful friends in our journey toward love and forgiveness:

All That We Let In, Indigo Girls
The Wood Song, Indigo Girls
Wings of Forgiveness, India.Arie ("let's keep it movin' "!!!)
Healing, India.Arie
Prayer of St. Francis, Sarah McLachlan