Name That Song (aka Name That Sin/Virtue/Gift)

OK, here’s the scoop for this coming Monday’s Confirmation intensive.

Now, before I share this, I want to make a disclaimer that I may have made before but bears repeating. The activity I’m about to describe to you took many hours – several days, actually – to plan. I want to make it clear that the average catechist is NOT expected to spend this much time planning sessions. Please remember that, for all intents and purposes, I am a full-time professional catechist (if there is such a thing) and I have the luxury of sitting at my desk all day brainstorming and then planning these types of experiences. That’s why I am eager to share them with you because most catechists are lucky to be able to spend an hour or so preparing for lessons due to something called “life!” 🙂

Having said that, here’s what I’d like to offer. The focus of this session will be on “the SEVENS”: the deadly sins (the “poison”); the virtues (the “antidote”); and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (the “ingredients” for the “antidote”). By the way, this session draws from chapter 5 of Confirmed in the Spirit. I have found contemporary songs that speak to EACH of these items (yes, 21 songs) and the gist of the evening will be the catechists playing segments of these songs and inviting the young people to match them to the appropriate deadly sin, virtue, or Gift of the Holy Spirit that are being focused on in that mini-session. This will occur over 5 separate mini-sessions, each 10 minutes long. I’ll spare the remaining details and offer you the good stuff. Here’s my list of songs that I think speak to the 7 deadly sins, the 7 virtues, and the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, suggestions.

Deadly Sins

Virtues

Gifts of the Spirit

Pride – excessive focus on self

Alice Cooper: I’m the Coolest

Faith – focus on God

U2: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Courage – the strength to focus on God in the face of challenges

Bob Marley: Get Up, Stand Up

Envy – resentment of others

Hilary Duff: Who’s That Girl?

Charity – love of God and others

Black Eyed Peas: Where is the Love?

Right Judgment – seeking the advice of others, giving advice to others

The Beatles: Help!

Anger – uncontrolled hatred, acting without thinking

Nickelback: Just For

Prudence – the ability to think before acting

Carrie Underwood: Lessons Learned

Knowledge – learning to think as God thinks

George Harrison: My Sweet Lord

Avarice – excessive desire for wealth and abundance

Beatles: Money

Justice – a desire to make sure all can share in God’s abundance

USA for Africa: We Are the World

Wonder and Awe – marveling at the abundance of God’s love

Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance

Gluttony – excessive desire for food and drink

Dave Matthews Band: Trippin Billies

Temperance – balancing what you want with what you need

Goo Goo Dolls: Better Days

Wisdom – recognizing what God wants for us and others

The Byrds: Turn, Turn, Turn

Lust – sexual desires that disrespect the dignity of others

John Mayer:You’re Body is a Wonderland

Fortitude – the strength to resist excessive desires

Aaliyah: Journey to the Past

Reverence – respect for God and others

Jagged Edge: Respect

Sloth – lack of hope in God’s goodness

Reliant K: Apathetic Way to Be

Hope – confidence in God’s goodness

REM: Everybody Hurts

Understanding – recognizing God’s goodness

Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now

Note: you’ll see that I have these arranged in such a way so that the virtue is offered as an “antidote” to the deadly sin, and the Gift of the Spirit can be seen as an ingredient in that “antidote.”

About Joe Paprocki 2344 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

28 Comments on Name That Song (aka Name That Sin/Virtue/Gift)

  1. Wow, Joe! Thank you! I’m just working on virtues with my freshmen right now – this is perfect! One of my goals this year has been to present a variety of prayer types and tools to the kids, and I’ve definitely “found what I’m looking for!” These song selections are right on target for teens. I wonder how many have videos on Youtube. Even the chart alone is a great resource to pass along to the kids – “If you’re ever feeling ____, try listening to _____.”
    Thanks for sharing your hours of work with those of us just barely getting by! 🙂

  2. Janet, so good to hear from you. I’m sure you’re doing a bang-up job with those freshmen! That’ll be cool if you can use these tunes with them for your virtues lesson. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Wow!! I am so thankful to have “happened across” your site!! I am an 8th grade catechist and have a really tough group this year! Your site has been such an inspiration for me!! And next month we have a night class on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit – this will be perfect!! Thank you for so graciously sharing your hard work and dedication!

  4. Hi Amy and thanks for the kind words. Welcome to catechistsjourney.com!

    We 8th grade catechists often feel like Rodney Dangerfield, eh? “Tough crowd! Tough crowd! I get no respect!”

    I hope some of the ideas you’re finding here go a long way in assisting you in taming that group of yours! Let me know how the night class on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit goes!

  5. Joe/Amy,

    Amy, I can relate. I’m in my 8th yr teaching RE and my 5th w/ 8th grade Confirmation class. I’ve got the most unruly group ever.
    Joe, this exercise may be just what I need to reach them. Thanks so much.

    God Bless.

  6. Kendall,
    It just goes to show that it’s not just the new catechists who encounter unruly behavior. Here you are with 8 years experience and still finding it a challenge. I hope this activity works for you although I must warn you that it may serve to further incite unruly behavior (if you are actually going to play the songs). Keep the focus on the kids and challenge them to explain how the songs connect with the sins/virtues/gifts. Let us know how it goes!

  7. I love that i came across this site. A group i am involved with are curently organising a show based around being rescued from our sins. I was wondering do you have other songs expressing the sins that i could add to the ones you already have up to lengthen our performance?

  8. Stacey, I don’t really have a “B” list of songs to offer you. Best thing to do would be to Google “songs about…” and insert the various sins and variations thereof. Then, Google the lyrics of those songs to see if they work for you. It’s a bit time consuming. Good luck!

  9. Joe,

    In my 7th/8th grade RE class, I do a religious version of the game/show “Are You Smarter Than 7/8th Grader?” I am running out of sources for the questions, and the children really enjoy this game. Any reccomendations?

    Thanks, Karen

  10. Hi Karen, I’m sure there are a number of Catholic trivia sites on the Web. In addition, I personally write the “What’s Your Catholic IQ?” feature for Catechist magazine each month – 20 multiple choice questions on various aspects of the Catholic faith. Maybe that can be of help to you.

  11. My Religion Teacher is looking for the song that one of our teachers learned that helped them when they were preparing for confirmation to remember the the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Have you every heard the song?

    • Hi Debbie. I’m sorry but I’m not aware of a song that specficially teaches the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Anyone out there know of such a song?

    • I realize this was posted over two years ago, but a few friends of mine put together a video about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and one of them wrote a song about them. The video is called “7 gifts. 7 minutes.” and you can find it here: http://vimeo.com/18644005

      I hope that helps! btw – I really enjoy this idea with the songs, sins, virtues, and gifts. Thank you! 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for all the music research! What a wonderful way to reach the middle- school gang – and grab their attention. We are always looking for ways to engage the students and music will reach many of them! I can’t wait to share this with my catechists.

  13. Thank you so much for your generosity as you continue share great ideas for us to take back to our parishes! Happy New Year and God Bless!

  14. Hi Joe

    In case someone wants to actually play/show clips, the newest music show from Celtic Thunder covers “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. It is on both their CD and DVD.

  15. Hi Joe,

    I am new to your blog, though as catechist several years ago, I received one of your books as a gift from the parish. I found the blog while looking for music ideas for confirmation prep. I cannot seem to find the list of these songs on the blog. Could someone please point me in the right direction?

    Thanks and God bless you (and all who participate in your blog) in the wonderful sharing of your gifts!

    Rose

    • Hi Rose and welcome to the blog. I have done a number of posts on using music in catechesis. In particular, I did an activity using music to describe the 7 deadly sins, the 7 virtues, and the 7 Gifts of the Spirit. Here it is:

      Deadly Sins
      Pride – excessive focus on self
      Alice Cooper: I’m the Coolest

      Envy – resentment of others
      Hilary Duff: Who’s That Girl?

      Anger – uncontrolled hatred, acting without thinking
      Nickelback: Just For

      Avarice – excessive desire for wealth and abundance
      Beatles: Money

      Gluttony – excessive desire for food and drink
      Dave Matthews Band: Trippin Billies

      Lust – sexual desires that disrespect the dignity of others
      John Mayer: You’re Body is a Wonderland

      Sloth – lack of hope in God’s goodness
      Reliant K: Apathetic Way to Be

      Virtues
      Faith – focus on God
      U2: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

      Charity – love of God and others
      Black Eyed Peas: Where is the Love?

      Prudence – the ability to think before acting
      Carrie Underwood: Lessons Learned

      Justice – a desire to make sure all can share in God’s abundance
      USA for Africa: We Are the World

      Temperance – balancing what you want with what you need
      Goo Goo Dolls: Better Days

      Fortitude – the strength to resist excessive desires
      Aaliyah: Journey to the Past

      Hope – confidence in God’s goodness
      REM: Everybody Hurts

      Gifts of the Spirit
      Courage – the strength to focus on God in the face of challenges
      Bob Marley: Get Up, Stand Up

      Right Judgment – seeking the advice of others, giving advice to others
      The Beatles: Help!

      Knowledge – learning to think as God thinks
      George Harrison: My Sweet Lord

      Wonder and Awe – marveling at the abundance of God’s love
      Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance

      Wisdom – recognizing what God wants for us and others
      The Byrds: Turn, Turn, Turn

      Reverence – respect for God and others
      Jagged Edge: Respect

      Understanding – recognizing God’s goodness
      Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now

      • Joe,

        Thank you very much! I have enjoyed browsing through all the other postings on music including your suggestions on how to find songs that relate to a specific theme!

        I have enjoyed your book (Catechist’s Toolbox) and have found the book and the many posts here very helpful.

        I was browsing for Middle School, High School and Confirmation prep ideas. I am not a cathechist this year but am involved in various ways and my own children are in the programs. (By the way, I also found the video (vimeo) on the new translation!)

        Your resources have inspired me to think of new and exciting ways to reach out to our parish youth!

        Thanks again,

        Rose

  16. Joe,
    Thank you so much for this phenomenal activity!! I have used it for the past 3 years going on 4 for my confirmation class. Using music teenagers relate to really helps them retain the lesson. Now I think every time they hear one of these songs they search their memory banks as to what sin, virtue or gift related to that song!
    Blessings,
    Lynn

  17. Wow!! I have been a Catechist for a number of years and am just starting Confirmation prep for the year and thought I should try to link some music to keep things new and interesting. I can’t believe (and yet I do?) I stumbled across this fantastic list and some other great tips reading everyone’s comments. Lots of research to keep me, and hopefully my students, motivated and energized. May God continue to bless your amazing work and thank you for sharing. A true disciple!!

  18. Hello!
    I love the Catechist’s Journey. Thanks so much.
    I have some feedback!
    I have not had too much success with the “guess the theme” musical activity. Our curricula has required the Gifts be covered in one or two classes, and there is always too much other material to spend 10-15 minutes on one aspect of one concept (for example, three virtues reviewed, then tested via music, and a debrief).

    I too am a bit of a professional catechist spending hours for my weekly class.

    I once came up with a playlist for prayer types, and eagerly played clips and waited for joy. The first time I tried it, I sent it as homework, with youtube clips and lyrics excerpts. That was received and done well, perhaps with parental help.

    The second time I tried it, I presented in class, and only two kids were eager to try to guess. The other kids tuned out.
    My guess that because I played old people’s music (you know, like the Beatles), the kids didn’t connect fast enough to make the connection to the prayer type (contemplation, thanksgiving, etc.)

    So, what I do with music, and why I LOVE LOVE this playlist from ’09, is I use relevant themes to time activities. As in: “Please be done with the activity by the time the song is over.” With the background music, even if what’s played are oldies, the kids absorb the theme more, as evidenced by debriefing later.

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