Because life is a series of edits

Music Project

In Musicians, Westminster on September 26, 2007 at 2:00 am

For the past week in my three Biblical Ethics sections, we've taken a short break from studying morality and the ancient philosophers of the world and consulted the more contemporary ones my students know – the songs and various musicians on their iPods.

The assignment was pretty simple: each student was to bring in a song, pass out copies of the lyrics, and the class would, listen, and evaluate the morality (or lack thereof) of the songs. Each student facilitated the discussion/debate of his or her song, and then presented his or her own perspective along with any research done on the artist.

The object of the lesson was to help students listen more critically to their music, analyze it in the context of community, and then figure what (if any) response each of them as individuals might need to consider as well as how and why to hold that particular conviction. Romans 14 was a key passage I walked through with them as we evaluated the experience together today.

In case anyone's interested, here's their songlist (not meant as any kind of endorsement):

  • "All the Small Things" – Blink 182
  • "All Falls Down" – Kanye West
  • "Amish Paradise" – Weird Al Yankovich
  • "Banana Phone" – Raffi
  • "Be My Escape" – Relient K
  • "Before He Cheats" – Carrie Underwood
  • "Better Than Drugs" – Skillet
  • "Bukowski" – Modest Mouse
  • "B.Y.O.B." – System of the Down
  • "Coffee Shop" – Yung Joc Feat and Gorilla Zoe
  • "College Kids" – Relient K
  • "Construct and Collapse" – Becoming the Archetype
  • "Crank That Batman" – P.O.B. (Pop It Off Boyz)
  • "Crazy 8s" – MAE
  • "Dance Inside" – The All-American Rejects
  • "Down on the Farm" – Tim McGraw
  • "Forever Young" – Rod Stewart
  • "Girl Next Door" – Saving Jane
  • "Give Me Novacaine" – Green Day
  • "Glamorous" – Fergie
  • "Gospel" – The National
  • "Grace Kelly" – Mika
  • "Hate Every Beautiful Day" – Sugarcult
  • "Heal Over" – K.T. Tunsell
  • "How Far We've Come" – Matchbox 20
  • "If Everyone Cared" – Nickelback
  • "I'll Be Missing You" – Puff Daddy/P. Diddy and Faith Evans
  • "Imma Shine" – Youngbloodz
  • "Industry" – Jon McLaughlin
  • "Iris" – The Goo Goo Dolls
  • "Jesus of Suburbia" – Green Day
  • "Jesus, Take the Wheel" – Carrie Underwood
  • "King Kong" – Jibbs (featuring Chamillionaire)
  • "Less Talk, More Rokk" – Freezepop
  • "Like a Boy" – Ciara
  • "Love Don't Love Me" – Eric Benet
  • "Midnight Bottle" – Colbie Caillat
  • "Mistakes" – Kutless
  • "New Slang" – The Shins
  • "On the Turning Away" – Pink Floyd
  • "Photograph" – Nickelback
  • "Potential Break Up Song" – Aly & AJ
  • "The Riddle" – Fire for Fighting
  • "The Setting Sun" – Switchfoot
  • "Smile" – Lily Allen
  • "Shut Up and Drive" – Rihanna
  • "Snow (Hey Oh)" – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Sorry, Blame It on Me" – Akon
  • "S.O.S." – Rihanna
  • "Technologic" – Daft Punk
  • "Umbrella" – Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z)
  • "Untitled" – Nathan Talley
  • "Video Killed the Radio Star" – The Presidents of the United States of America (originally written and recorded by The Buggles)
  • "Videos" – Flame
  • "Vultures" – John Mayer
  • "Wake Up Call" – Maroon 5
  • "Wasted" – Carrie Underwood
  • "When I'm Sixty-Four" – The Beatles
  • "When It Rains" – Gretchen Wilson
  • "You Can't Always Get What You Want" – The Rolling Stones
  • "You're My Best Friend" – Queen
  • "You're Not Alone" – Saosin

  1. sounds like a great project. i look forward to hearing more about the discussion and the conclusions reached by the students.

  2. I’m disappointed not to see any Flaming Lips on that list.

  3. hi mr. dunham! i found your blog while google searching caleb and big city lights, and just thought i’d tell you that this was a fun project! see you at school…

  4. tell me what you come up with for the meaning of “new slang”

  5. That was three years ago, Jon, and I don’t even remember the discussion. You want to take a shot at answering your own question here? Inquiring minds want to know.

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