B:) Pop -- A playlist of contemporary popular tunes with a Buddhist theme(-ish)

On a lighter note, I thought it would be fun to share a small compilation of pop songs that (perhaps inadvertently) have a Buddhist theme to them. Some are about gratitude/metta, while others address renunciation. You can think of them as a lighter, contemporary anussati practice for lay followers. If you have any that you would recommend adding to the list, please let me know and I’ll update the playlist. Happy listening!

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You can find my playlist here :headphones: :smile_cat:

And you may enjoy this essay I wrote a while ago on the Dharma of a Bob Dylan song: All Along the Watchtower: A Buddhist Reading

This song, called “Page 1”, by Lemon Jelly, invites the listener to imagine nothingness. It’s mildly suggestive perhaps of the arupa Jhana of the Base of Nothingness. :slight_smile:

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Not “popular”, but yes, contemporary, yet timeless, acid jazz. Does contain a swear-word, so not for kids. Play on a sound system with good bass, if you can…:wink:

This track, called “Midnight Calling” (small leadup included beforehand, as it’s a DJ-mixed album), has a deep Buddhist-compatible-theme, once you get to know the lyrics. The theme is about the difficulty of renunciation of sensuality, and not repeating unwholesome mistakes we’ve made in the past.

“We’ve done it all before; we’ve said our last goodbye”

Fifty three pop songs with the theme of the breath in the title are listed on one site. This indicates an increasing public awareness of the element 'air. ’ Also connected with the ‘anxious generation’:

"Western society’s “me” culture encourages anxiety-inducing individualism and materialism. “Think of the primary uses of social media – not to communicate but to brag,” he says. “Think of the growing emphasis on personal entitlement rather than civic responsibility.” He argues humans are social creatures who have evolved to cooperate in close communities rather than compete. “If we focus too much on our own wants, our own entitlements and our own gratifications, with little regard for the needs and wellbeing of others, there will be an inevitable threat to our mental health,” ----Vogue

Another site lists 15 songs about anxiety.

Excellent thread! This immediately springs to mind:


Reminded me of Ajahn Brahm…

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May I suggest: Weather Pattern by Frazey Ford

Everything is a weather pattern
Everything is a weather pattern
And it flows down to you
And it flows right through you
What were you thinking?
What were you thinking?
Didn’t somebody tell you?
That life was all loss
All your friends and your family, you’re gonna lose
Eventually. All your friends and your family, you’re gonna lose eventually
What were you thinking?
What were you thinking?
Didn’t somebody tell you? that life was not all loss
That life was not all loss
That life was not all loss…

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