2 Thumbs Up: Five Pop Songs About Life (and Love) that you can Safely Internalize*

2 Thumbs Up: Five Pop Songs About Life (and Love) that you can Safely Internalize*

Last update on May 29, 2013.

*First, a disclaimer: Not all of these musicians are singing about intimacy in the context of marriage. I appreciate that problem. But C.S. Lewis once said that, inasmuch as paganism resembled Christianity, “So much the better for paganism.”

1. Just Give Me a Reason—Pink, Nate Ruess

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again

I love this song. Our culture tends to encourage people to let go of the old in favor of the new and to “move on” when things are in any way complicated, and this song is all about fighting through tough times.

2. Mirors—Justin Timberlake

I don't wanna lose you now
I'm lookin' right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making
Two reflections into one
Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me

Admittedly, this is not a perfectly Biblical representation of marriage. Spouses are complementary of one another; they don’t complete one another. But a lovely attempt, nonetheless.

3. Little Things—One Direction

I know you've never loved
The sound of your voice on tape
You never want
To know how much you weigh
You still have to squeeze into your jeans
But you're perfect to me
I won't let these little things slip out of my mouth
But if it's true
It's you,
It's you they add up to
I'm in love with you
And all these little things

For all the songs about physical attractiveness on the radio, it’s nice to hear one that doesn’t make a girl feel like she needs to spend more time on the elliptical. It’s not exactly Song of Solomon (not that I necessarily want to be told that my neck looks like a tower, anyway), but the sentiment is the same: “[s]he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend.

4. Beneath Your Beautiful—Labrinth, Emeli Sandé

You've carried on so long
You couldn't stop if you tried it.
You've built your wall so high
That no one could climb it.
But I'm gonna try
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now, girl, take it off now, girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?

The chorus lyrics above look sexual, on first glance. But listen to the song: this song is about a pursuit of authenticity in relationships. The singer is telling the person that he loves that it is safe to be vulnerable here. Again, not a perfect realization of the Biblical standard, but it’s a start.

5. Don't You Worry, Child—Swedish House Mafia

My father said,
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

Okay. I’ll admit it. I can’t follow the storyline of this song at all. But the chorus is great. Take a listen.

Anna Shafer

Anna Shafer is a 20-something social science editor, rom-com enthusiast, and newlywed. Follow Anna on twitter @BrightlyAnna.


  1. Emily Schatz

    Emily Schatz on 06/26/2013 8:39 p.m. #

    As long as we're on the subject of songs, I'll put in a word for Taylor Swift's "Innocent":

    "It's all right. Just wait and see
    your string of lights is still bright to me
    Who you are is not where you've been
    You're still an innocent...
    Time turns flames to embers
    You'll have new Septembers
    Every one of us has messed up too.
    Lives change like the weather
    I hope you'll remember
    Today is never too late to be brand new."

    Against the popular backdrop of "I wanted you, you disappointed me, now I hate you," comes beautiful, vulnerable hope in a person who has failed so dismally and is so full of shame that he can't even speak about his past. Of course it could be written about any friend, but it seems extra beautiful in the context of a woman believing in a man. I like T-Swift anyway, but in my opinion this is one of her best songs.

    "Enchanted" is also good. And more explicitly romantic.

  2. GreenpointGuy

    GreenpointGuy on 08/16/2013 10:49 a.m. #

    Every artist above supports marriage equality. By listening to their songs, you are increasing their fortunes and enlarging the platforms on which they promote it. Thanks!

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