Who knew? Our weekly First Date piece has become quite the popular feature around here. So, we thought we’d indulge in a week of them with a bunch we’re eager to share. —Ed.
“When I was a kid I was only allowed to listen to Christian music and watch PG rated movies. I remember Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (rated PG-13) came out on my 13th birthday and I still wasn’t allowed to see it. It sucked really bad at the time, but now I think I was kind of a badass.
I was listening to the type of music that was guaranteed to get your ass kicked at school if anyone found out. Even the kids at church wanted to kick my ass. I was kind of like Jesus, except I didn’t have twelve friends and I was afraid of everyone. And I cried a lot.
Anyway, here are the songs I would have dubbed on a cassette tape if you went to my church in middle school and I wanted to make out with you (not realizing that I wouldn’t make out with anyone for another four years.)
Michael W. Smith – ”For You”
I used to listen to this song on repeat when I was in Teen Bible Quiz in 7th grade. I memorized the book of Hebrews and my team made it to the National Bible Quiz Finals (unfortunately, it was held in my hometown Springfield, Missouri that year).
This songs reminds me of “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear, only it’s a lot better.
Johnny Q. Public – ”Body Be”
Listen to the guitar at 2:28. Then listen to “Optimistic” by Radiohead and “Typical” by Mute Math. Also, my mom invented the Snuggie in 1994. But it was called Cuddlebugg and it was for babies.
Audio Adrenaline – ”Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus”
The drummer of Audio Adrenaline is wearing a John Lennon shirt in the music video. That was really confusing to me because someone at church told me the devil wrote “Imagine.”
DC Talk – ”Word 2 The Father”
DC Talk were like the Beatles of Christianity (Toby Mac=John and Paul, K-Max=George, Michael=Ringo). This song features one of my favorite lyrics ever:
“We’re here to say word 2 the father up in heaven / A shout out loud from me, Mike, and Kevin”
DC Talk – ”I Luv Rap Music”
My dad thought DC Talk was a bad influence on me because they looked like they were high in their music videos. They were definitely high when they wrote this song.
DC Talk – “I Don’t Want It”
The lyrics are “I don’t want your sex for now” and every other word is panned to the far left or right. But the left speakers in my dad’s minivan were messed up, so it sounded like…”I…want…sex…now.” It was awesome.
Newsboys – “Not Ashamed”
This is what it’s all about. “I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ.” The song made me feel guilty about not wearing enough Christian t-shirts. Basically, The Newsboys were trying to get me killed.
Stephen Curtis Chapman – ”King of the Jungle”
When I was in 6th grade I was madly in love with this girl named Tina at my church. Someone told me she had a crush on me and I could probably kiss her at this youth retreat. I waited all night for the right moment when I could walk up to her and start frenching. But when I finally worked up the nerve, she had mysteriously vanished. I asked one of her friends where she went and they said she got stung by a wasp and had to go home.
I remember listening to this song that night on my Walkman. Even though the worst thing happened, Jesus was still King of the Jungle.”