Adagio for Strings
Awe, according to the dictionary, is "a mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might." That perfectly describes the impact of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Op. 11. Here Leonard Slatkin conducts the BBC Orchestra.
This rendition of Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" -- arranged by Leopold Stokowski for Walt Disney's 1940s classic Fantasia -- carries the awed respect of a shared vigil towards the sunrise. Soloist Julietta Novis and the mixed chorus are accompanied by the string section of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
These blessings from the Strawbs touch upon the seeming opposites, bringing them all under an umbrella of deep regard. Follow the lyrics here.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Donovan's theme song for the English version of Franco Zeffirelli's movie about St. Francis of Assisi shines with the reverence of seeing the glory that surrounds us. Follow the lyrics here.
Peter Seeger helps mend the world with reverence through a song that blesses seeds in the garden and our lives amidst nature's changes.
One Voice Children's Choir performs David Archuleta's "Glorious" at Millennial Falls in Draper, Utah, celebrating the symphony in which we each play a part.
God Is the Light
Yusuf Islam (commonly known as Cat Stevens) offers this song of praise at the Royal Albert Hall for the Night of Remembrance in 2002. Follow the lyrics here.
Neil Diamond live 1971 offers a meditation on what is holy, being lifted by transcendence. Follow the lyrics here.
If I Had a Hammer
Peter, Paul & Mary at the 1963 Newport, Rhode Island Folk Festival remind us that reverence, in its regard for what is truly right and good, fuels justice. Follow the lyrics here.
If It Be Your Will
In this excerpt from the documentary I'm the Man, reverent yearning infuses Antony Hegarty's voice. Note Leonard Cohen's voiceover about praying "to have a response to the things that were so clearly beautiful to me, and they were alive" -- a piercing way to describe what reverence is. Follow the lyrics here.
Janine Jansen and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London raise all our spirits with this stunning, reverent performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Lark Ascending.".
Folk singer and songwriter Kate Wolf offers us reverent visions of the Spirit which infuses the four directions.
Ode to Joy
The Banco Sabadell flash-mob version of Beethoven's masterpiece is not only reverently rendered, but also brings us to tears through the reverence expressed on faces in the gathered crowd. One hundred people participated in the performance, from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra and the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera, and Coral Belles Arts choirs.
The Grateful Dead reach for the fountain not built by human hands in this 1980 performance at Radio City Music Hall. Follow the lyrics here.