I’ve always been a fan of songs and music videos that are honest, real, and not afraid to explore real issues. I thrive on music that makes an impact; songs that are more than just background music. Some people say that Christian music is very “happy clappy”… and some of it definitely is. But there are those artists out there that aren’t afraid to broach difficult subjects in a song and music video. Below are 7 music videos that are some of the most impactful I’ve ever seen. Although I am sure there are many more out there, these are the ones that have made an impact on me and have stuck with me through out the years. I find it encouraging that more and more Christian artists are talking honestly about the reality of issues that we face everyday; I hope you find it encouraging as well.
Zero by Hawk Nelson
My sister and I have been long time fans of Hawk Nelson and “Zero” is one of our Hawk favorites. This song, written by lead singer, Jason Dunn, was actually inspired by a friend of his who committed suicide. The lyrics explore the feelings and questions he had about the tragedy; “The question without answer is, am I the to blame?”. What impacted me most about this video was how at the end each kid lies beside a message they wrote on the ground. Messages like “I stopped cutting myself”, and “I started talking to my dad again”. “Zero” is a video that shows the pain of suicide and how there’s a better way to deal with life.
The Way She Feels by Between The Trees
This song and video hold a very special place in my heart. It had a huge impact on me when I first saw it years ago, but now it means even more. And without sounding like too much of a basket case (although I probably do…& I’m okay with that lol), I have a hard time getting through this video without tearing up. If you’re familiar (and just about everyone is) with the non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms you might know that this video and song were inspired by the story of Renee Yohe; who also makes an appearance in the video. The guys in the band, namely the lead singer, Ryan Kirkland, is a friend of Renee’s and played a part in her recovery from addiction and self injury.
I’m so very glad that the issue of cutting and self injury is something that people are opening up about now. One of my favorite lines of this song is in the bridge when he sings, “The deeper you cut the deeper I hurt. The deeper you cut it only get worse”. I get chills everytime. I thank God that self injury is no longer such a hush hush issue, we’re realizing that pain is a human issue, and that there is hope. Rescue is possible.
Stitches by Haste The Day
This is possibly the best video Haste The Day (who sadly disbanded recently) ever made. “Stitches” is a very intense video that’s so full of meaning. Honestly the first time I saw it I remember telling my sister that I was just a little freaked out by what was around the guys’ mouths in the video lol… until I understood the meaning. The song and video are about watching people you love deal with addictions and issues, and standing by and saying nothing. How being quiet when we should speak up is like having stitches over our mouths. I think it’s something so many of us can relate to. It’s so symbolic in the video when the guys finally rip the stitches from their mouths and speak up. The line in the middle of the song says it all “Five words, is it really that hard to say, your worth more than this”. Hats off to this former band for this one. Everytime I see it, it stays with me, lingering in my mind and making me think.
Constance by Mr. J Medeiros
This video by hip hop artist, Mr. J Medeiros, so touched my heart. “Constance” is a song & video about a 13 year old girl from the Philippines that’s sold into sex slavery. This is a video that my eyes were glued to and one that I couldn’t soon forget after. Mr. J deals with the issues of sex slavery and pornography in such an honest, direct, yet beautiful way. The line of the song that sticks with me the most is when he sings, “Trust me girl, God has not forgotten. He knew Mary Magdalene, and the woman at the well. He knows everything that happens, and in his arms she fell”. It’s the type of song that not too many Christian artists would be brave enough to tackle but I’m so glad he did; read below about some of the impact it’s had.
“It has spread like wildfire via YouTube, and has inspired an international human rights movement called the “Constance Campaign.” Mr. J spearheaded the movement and has partnered with Non-Profit’s like IamComing.org, XXXChurch, and HumanTrafficking.org. In May 2007, Constance was featured on CBS Evening News in an expose’ on internet pornography.”
Vices Like Vipers by Oh Sleepers
Okay, not gonna lie, this music video is a little freaky lol, but trust me it makes a definite impact. When I first saw it some years back I was not quite sure what I was watching, but I couldn’t deny the powerful words and imagery. The song and video are about vices that destroy our lives. For those of you who don’t like harder music it may not be your cup of tea. The song is very loud and intense; and the video is dark, but because of that, I feel it so perfectly portrays the dark nature of vices. One of my favorite lines of this song, the one that made really love it was when they sing, “And to the girls, You’re worth more than the cheap words. You see your body as beauty, but your pulse is worth more.” It makes a real impact hearing a band of guys sing that line. If you are not a fan of hard music just go look up the lyrics; they’re really amazing.
“Take, my lust, this world’s Love. Great Councilor, take what’s left. Great Councilor, take what’s left of me.”
Runaway by Manafest
This video by rapper, Manafest, starts out by flashing these words on the screen, “1 in 7 youth will run away from home before the age of 18”. This video breaks my heart everytime I see it. Manafest just seems to capture all the emotions I would imagine a teen who’s ran away from home feeling. It made a huge impact on me just by making me think, making me more aware that this is a scary reality for many teens out there. Teens who ran away from family problems but just long to go home and make a mends.
“So I run, and I run, and I ran and I ran praying maybe someday we might meet again. Cause it hurts when you hurt, and I hurt and I feel like I’m healed, can we all just make a mends?”
Faithful by The Kry
My sister and I saw this video one night a few years ago when we were watching a Christian music video channel. We were really intrigued by the story in it and by the end, both of us were in tears lol. Some of you may remember The Kry as they were popular in the CCM scene back in the early 90’s. I remember hearing of them when I was younger but never really listened to their music. This song is off an album they released back 2004 entitled, “God of Infinite Worth”. The song has a very worshipful feel to it with the lyrics “You are faithful. Always faithful. Faithful as the sun”. The video is very symbolic of what Jesus did for us on the cross; symbolic of how he was faithful to make a way for us even though it cost him his life.