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OK, the artist’s intent probably wasn’t to make a pop song about how it feels to be an LDS Missionary, but I know many people and missionaries have found relief, comfort, and personal revelation from a pop, rock or country song.
So even though missionaries can’t have these songs on their iPods until MoTab does a cover, these tunes still seem like missionary songs to me.
I tried to only link to official sources that had the rights to be posting the video on YouTube. Hence, there are some songs and artists I would have liked to include, but couldn’t find an official video source.
1. So Long Farewell – Rodgers and Hammerstein
After the call is opened, and the suitcases packed, there come the goodbyes. There’s a lot of joy, because of the worthiness of the calling, but it can still be difficult to part with friends and family.
2. Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas
Sometimes even missionaries feel like a wayward son (or daughter), and must struggle to ‘Carry On’.
Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more
3. Everything I Do – Bryan Adams
There comes a time when the missionary discovers, more than he or she ever knew before, that everything they do on their missions is for the Lord, and that everything He did—He did it for them.
Look into my eyes, you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart, search your soul
And when you find me there
You’ll search no more…
Look into your heart, you will find
There’s nothin’ there to hide
Take me as I am, take my life
I would give it all, I would sacrifice
Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
You know it’s true
Everything I do, I do it for you
4. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Steven Curtis Chapman (The Proclaimers cover)
This Christian cover of the song leaves out the verse about getting drunk, so it’s a great get-up-and-go missionary song! Missionaries enthusiastically wake up to the Lord, and literally willingly walk/bike 500 miles and more.
When I’m working yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you…
But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at you door.
5. Roar – Alex Boye Ft. Mom Bloggers United (Katy Perry cover)
There comes a time when every missionary has to open his or her mouth, and roar with boldness!
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground…
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
6. Wichita Lineman – James Taylor (Glen Campbell Cover)
Missionaries often have that Wichita Lineman feeling, patiently waiting, yearning for the chance to really get through to an investigator or less active member, and dealing with the disappointment of cancelled appointments. It’s a little bit sad and lonely, but they remain resolved to stay on the line for the people they serve.
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main road
Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin’ in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line
7. Shake It Off – Alex Boye’ & Changing Lanes (Taylor Swift Cover)
Missionaries face a lot of rejection and sometimes even haters. They gotta be able to ‘shake it off’.
But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music In my mind,
saying it’s gonna be alright
Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
8. Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkel
Missionaries lay themselves down as a bridge over troubled waters for others, and they can feel the Savior doing it for them daily.
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
9. Here Comes the Sun – George Harrison
After a period of stretching and trial, there inevitably follows a time when a missionary can smile and say, “Here comes the sun.”
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.
10. The Final Countdown – Europe
All missions come to an end, and at some point an informal countdown begins as missionaries say their goodbyes, make some last teaching appointments, and strive to leave their current investigators in good hands. Sorry, I had to have a little fun with this one 🙂
Let me end by saying I have a deep testimony of missionary work, and great love for the missionaries who so bravely sacrifice so much so that others may discover the love and light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I dedicate this blog post to my awesome stepson, Max Allen. A year ago today he arrived home from a faithfully served 2-year mission in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission. He told us he would sometimes sing the song “I’m gonna be (500 Miles)” in his head while riding his bike up Greenway Drive in the hot Nevada sun, and he gave me the inspiration for this post.
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My Church is frequently referred to as LDS or Mormons, but the full name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.