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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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Just about anything from the "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack would fit.

How about "Forgiven" by Denison Witmer?

George Harrison: "All Things Must Pass"

Oh! Good suggestion!

"A Moment of Forgiveness" The Indigo Girls

"Watch the Girl Destroy Me" by Possum Dixon

Here is a powerful piece that may work for you. Called:

Awakening with the Heartbeat of Rock and Raga
by Tulshi Sen

There is a sample at:

It says, "Consciousness creates reality, Consciousness creates my reality..."

Both forgiveness and revenge will create your reality - which is why we can be conscious of which we do.

This is a fast version, there is also a slower version with the same words too called Consciousness Rising with the Music of the Cosmos by Tulshi Sen.

Patti Smith has a song called "Revenge," and "A Quick One (While He's Away)" by the Who ends with a chorus of "You are forgiven," but I can't think of any single song that features both revenge and forgiveness ("I'll have my revenge, but I forgive you"?).

Hi! Heard about your search from Trent on facebook. Go to Click on the album "Dancing in the Fire." The song "I Forgive" is probably the fourth or fifth track. You can scan the tracks on the toolbar at the top of the page, find the song, and hit play, and it will begin playing immediately..... Hope you think it might work! It has some really evocative parts... especially the end. Let me know what you think! Cecelia

Tracy Chapman: Sorry

Beyonce- Irreplaceable
Justin Tmberlake- what goes around comes around & cry me a river
Eminem – Stan
Lily Allen – smile
Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
Badu - Tyrone

Eamon "I Don't Want You Back''

Forgiven, by Deb Talan.

Enya: "watermark" was first thing that came to mind. reminds me of peace and forgiveness.

How about "The Lord's Prayer" ... and forgive us or debts as we forgive our debtors.... the organ instrumental might be nice. And for a more folky suggestion, The Indigo Girls', "Moment of Forgiveness"

Leonard Cohen: The Law, Hallelujah (from the album Various Positions, 1984)

Jennifer Warnes, First We Take Manhattan (from Famous Blue Raincoat, which is an album of Leonard Cohen songs)

My request, not song-related: Will Krista consider a program on Leonard Cohen? Such a program will have immense appeal in Canada! CBC will air it for sure!

Wings of Forgiveness - The Eagles or India Aire
Time is a Healer - Eva Cassidy
Faithful - Meshell Ndegeocello

Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan

I really love the twisted empathetic perspective of these lines.

"I wish for just one time you could stand inside my shoes,
and just for that one moment I could be you
Yes I wish that for just one time you could stand in my shoes,
you'd know what a drag it is to see you"

I guess it fits somewhere in between forgiveness and revenge.

The Indigo Girls have a song "Moment of Forgiveness," which is good. Mason Jennings also has a song called "Forgiveness," and one of my favorite of his songs is "Darkness Between the Butterflies" about how the people we love and are in relationship with have a past that we will never know all the details of -- and that's okay -- that they have loved other people before us, and not getting caught up in jealousy about that. It's a great song, check it out.

Thanks for asking!

Maybe..."Bank Job" from Barenaked Ladies (Barenaked Ladies Are Me album)

Annie Lennox has a very raw and courageous song about the rage of a love ended, thoughts of revenge that then lead to an awakening of forgiveness for one's self..It is off her "Bare" album and the track is called 'Bitter Pill' is a very powerful song and evoke much imagery for many....and as I woman who is facing her Rage within and trying to constructively release it so not to poison my body The Temple, or hurt anyone around my sphere of speaks volumes to me, and I bet it will to others.

"Angry Any More" by Ani Difranco

"Digging in the DIrt" by Peter Gabriel

"Be My Enemy" by the Waterboys

Embrace - "Can't Forgive." Embrace is the second project of famed Punk/Straight Edge innovator Ian McKay. It's Punk rock, but with a heartfelt and positive message.

MUST include Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughtta Know." Very angry, very cathartic. For months after I was betrayed by my (now ex) husband, I played this repeatedly in my car while driving and shouting the lyrics. I'm much better now. :-)

MUST include Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughtta Know." Very angry, very cathartic. For months after I was betrayed by my (now ex) husband, I played this repeatedly in my car while driving and shouting the lyrics. I'm much better now. :-)

"Why Shouldn't We?" Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Calling
"I Take My Chances" Mary Chapin Carpenter, Come On, Come
"Forgiveness" Jennifer Cutting, Ocean: Songs of the Night
"Stir Up The Flame", Marcus Meier
"The Wall" Bruce Springsteen & Joe Gruchensky
"Amazing Grace", John Newton
"Abide with Me", Henry Francis Lyte
Requiem, Johannes Brahms, movement one

The worst song ever written from point of view of both words and performance: Nancy Sinatra "singing" "These Boots Are Made For Walking." I wish I was joking....

Jonathan Rundman's "Forgiveness Waltz," off his albums Sound Theology (

Anyway by Suzzy and Maggie Roche. From the Zero Church CD... there are probably other ones on there that are relevant also.

"Future Markets" by Johnny Greenwood from the "There Will Be Blood" Soundtrack is a perfect revenge song. Although there are no words it evokes a strong feeling of calculating a revenge plot.

Have you heard "Bitch" by Sevendust? Very angry revenge song.

well this isn't a song, but there is a really great documentary called Love Lived on Death Row that I recently saw that really draws out these themes. The web site if you want to check it out or include it in the program is:

Hey Mitch - I was thinking I'd throw my tuppence in, but they've been named - Ani Difranco, Denison Witmer... although Julie Lee does have a gorgeous song on her new EP called "forgive yourself" - i... as well as putting Emily Dickinson's poem "Hope's the thing with feathers" to a lovely, lazy, lullaby bluegrass melody.
I think Lisa Gerrard's "Non Clamor" captures the profundity and depth of emotion of any human impact, and "Streamside" which is a lovely joint venture between Sigur Rós and The Album Leaf feels somehow healing.
I'm glad you asked the question about music though - this ties in with my own work... Forgiveness discussion, not music. I run a programme in Belfast that puts educational resources on Forgiveness together - mostly for classroom curricular based programmes, but also for youth and adult groups - so I'll be scouring the other readers' suggestions.
I'm looking forward to the show. As always, a thousand goodnesses and thanks to the whole SoF team.

Thanks for asking! I am responding quickly just now, but may add some ideas in the next couple of days. What immediately comes to mind is a contemporary hymn by Marty Haugen (GIA Publications, Inc; Chicago) called Healer of our Every Ill. It's also arranged for handbells and available on their web site (
Instrumentally, the Méditation from Thaïs by Massanet is very evocative - this might do it.

Hmmm, how about "Moment of Forgiveness" by the Indigo Girls and "Angry Anymore" by Ani diFranco, and maybe "The Wood Song" by the Indigo Girls. Not explicitly about forgiveness per se, but about growth...

"Forgiveness" motive from Act IV of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Sublime.

"One Tin Soldier"

"Forgiveness" by Patty Griffin (from her first album)

Patty Griffin, "Forgiveness"
I don't think anyone has said it better.

Iris Dement (cover by Susan Tedeschi) "Sweet Forgiveness"

Oh, and I must second the notion of Ani Difranco, "Not Angry Anymore"

Jonathan Rundman is an indie folk-rock-pop singer/songwriter from Minneapolis. His song "Forgiveness Waltz" is heartbreakingly emotive as well as theological.

Forgiveness: For Good, from the musical, Wicked!, by Stephen Schwartz.

Also, the "Agnus Dei" choral piece that is set to Barber's Adagio for Strings.

I'm thinking that "Doubting Thomas" by Nickle Creek may be a nice one. "...Sometimes I ask for a slap on the face, then I beg for forgiveness 'cuz I'm a coward..."

"Let Go and Move"
With all that has been, take lessons. Take lessons and be grateful. Let go! Let go! Let go! Let go! Let go and move, move on, move on__
Words by Candy Butler, Music my Velma Frye, on album, Seven Sacred Pauses, Singing Mindfuly Dawn Through Dark by Velma Frye

Looks like you've got some great playlists for your iPod!

"Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams,
"The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley
"Apologize" One Republic

"A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash is all about revenge.

Billy Joel: Everybody Loves You Now... his true story revenge song, for which he eventually sought forgiveness.
Dixie Chicks: Earl. Terminal revenge.

How about "Ode to Billy Joe" by Bobby Gentry

Revenge - the first song that comes to my mind is "A Mighty Fortress is our God". I think about how God will take care of my problems (if I turn them over to God), and how God will protect me within the walls of God's fortress.

Favorite vengeance song: Amy Rigby's "Keep it to Yourself." Not very spiritually uplifting, but hysterical. Got me and my roommate through the dark early days of her divorce, before we moved on to the forgiveness stage.

My personal favorite...
Gabriel's Oboe from The Mission soundtrack -an instrumental snippet that gently washes away the daily grime and calls forth the spirit of absolution.