The best atheist songs, part 1: Marina and the Diamonds, Grizzly Bear, Garbage

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Marina and the Diamonds. Photo by Daniel Åhs Karlsson.

Marina and the Diamonds at Sommarkrysset, Sweden, in 2012. Photo by Daniel Åhs Karlsson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Looking for some atheist anthems for your summer road trip playlist? Here's part one of our list of the best nontheistic songs, including tracks from St. Vincent, Grizzly Bear, and eels.

  • ljmac

    You missed some pretty obvious ones, such as XTC’s “Dear God”, The Sugarcubes’ “Deus” and going back a bit, just about anything off Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”.

  • What? No Rush “Tom Sawyer”?

  • Michelle

    John Lennon’s “Imagine” surely has to be number one!

    Also I’m a fan of The Living End’s “Raise the Alarm” and Shelley Segal’s “Saved”.

  • Charlotte

    Pretty much all of Keane’s songs refer to atheism without mincing words.
    “We are just monkeys who fell out of the trees…Pretend that you’re alone now and everything’s gone
    Just animal reflexes no one looking on
    Forget about religion, forget about shame.”

  • Mine are:

    “God” by John Lennon
    “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam” by Nirvana (I know it was originally done by the Vaselines, but I prefer the Nirvana Unplugged version.)
    “Religious Vomit” by Dead Kennedys
    “Hard to Be” by David Bazan

  • Lles Nats

    Any song not about religion or a god qualifies as an atheist song. Just as there is “christian radio” as they are positive message songs about a christian god. But there is no atheist radio as all other songs not about god or religion would be considered atheist songs.

    Therefore i don’t understand the reason for the categorical minutiae here…”atheist songs”. Other than as a construct to further make you all feel like part if a special social grouping….aka to stoke your own egos.

  • Lles Nats

    Self admitted animal. I see I am correct then in not thinking much more of the people who adopt the worldview. And with lyrics like that, no respect was expected.

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  • Chris

    You missed that he stated a reason for ditching the obvious.

  • I wanted to recommend “Born Secular” by Jenny Lewis.

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  • Donovan

    I’ve listened to or already know these songs and also most of those recommended by others and I don’t think any if them are as to the point as Nazareth “I Will Not Be Led”. I will admit that many of the songs mentioned are more well crafted and more listenable but if you want to make your view known Nazareth says it without beating around any bushes and leaves nothing to interpretation.


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  • I know this is a bit later from when this article was posted, but I think you should change a fact about Marina. Marina Diamandis is agnostic. She’s tweeted about this previously and if you listen to her song “Happy” she states she believes someone’s watching over her.