Caedmon’s Call! What an important band to me for a variety of reasons. 1. It’s largely the style of music I most often gravitate toward (the acoustic folk/singer songwriter vibe) 2. Lyrics with incredible depth and thoughtfulness 3. The theology and Missional living contained in their albums caused me to wrestle with my own accountability to act on what I claim to believe 4. A shared favorite with the wifey.

Caedmon’s has been the soundtrack to many an autumn day (Self-Titled) as I’ve longed for mountain ranges, or long road trip to Texas from Florida (or vice versa) (40 Acres). Long Line of Leavers was a vital part in a few big life decisions, while Share the Well helped expand my thoughts beyond the borders of the United States. While I largely fell off as a big fan after Share the Well, I have still enjoyed select songs from the remainder of their catalogue. I still maintain that through the various eras of the career, their strongest was the original lineup with Aaron Tate contributing to the songwriting, which would have been the first three albums. I’m not sure what happened to him after that, be it a falling out with the band, a desire to move on, his own music etc. Regardless, Caedmon’s is a strong band, worthy of your attention if you missed them the first go-around. Here’s my much-deliberated Top 20 Songs of 20 Artists for a band I love dearly, and listen to regularly still…

20. “Piece of Glass”Long Line of Leavers (2000) (Webb, Danielle Young)

Defiant in its sadness, I connect with this Danielle led and co-penned song deeply. It’s relatable to any who look in the mirror and self-judge harshly what God calls a masterpiece, even in all of its imperfections.

“Who are you that lies when you stare in my face
Telling me that I’m just a trace of the person I once was
‘Cause I just can’t tell if you’re telling the truth or a lie
On you I just can’t rely. after all you’re just a piece of glass”

19. “Daring Daylight Escape”40 Acres (1999) (Webb)

“You can read all about it
About boy meets a girl and then
Screws the whole thing up
Just like always It’s no crime to love you
And my heart’s still doing time
It’s acting on it’s best behavior”

18. “Sometimes A Beggar”Raising Up The Dead (2010)

I think this is the last CC song I truly connected with ourself of “I Need A Builder.” Sometimes a beggar, has more to say.” Indeed.

17. “There You Go”40 Acres (1999) (Tate)

“Is this the strange feeling
Of you working all to good
‘Cause I am so confused
I don’t even ask for what I shouldWhen I asked for and deserved a stone
You broke and gave your body as bread
And even the stone that dropped down and rolled away
Spoke of the one who bled

There you go working good from my bad
There you go making robes from my rags
There you go melting crowns from my calves
There you go working good of all I have
Till all I have’s not that bad”

16. “Prepare Ye the Way”Long Line of Leavers (2000) (John Michael Talbot)

Not penned by a member of CC or regular contributor to the band, but a terrific tune nonetheless. It soars

15. “Mother India”Share The Well (2004) (Andrew Osenga, Randall Goodgame)

Confessional, mournful, and tenderly resolved to do something, rather than nothing.

“Father God, you have shed your tears for Mother India
They have fallen to water ancient seeds
That will grow into hands that touch the untouchable
How blessed are the poor, the sick, the weakFather, forgive me, for I have not believed
Like Mother India, I have groaned and grieved
Father, forgive me, I forgot Your grace
Your Spirit falls on India and captured me in Your embrace”

14. “You Created”Back Home (2003) (Joshua Moore)

“You created nothing that gives me more pleasure than you/You won’t give me something that gives me more pleasure than You.”

13. “40 Acres” 40 Acres (1997) (Tate)

This will always be a Texas road trip song to me.

12. “Love Is Different”Long Line of Leavers (2000) (Webb)

Love. It’s certainly not at all like the young mind expects it to be. Often better and more rich, more often messy, and hard work than we expect.

“Cause love is different than you’d think
It’s never in a song or on a TV screen
And love is harder than a word
Said at the right time and everything’s alright
I said love is different than you’d think”

11. “Close of Autumn”Self-Titled (1997) (Webb)

Another fall/autumn song I must listen to regularly as soon as the weather morphs from blazing hot Florida humidity to the crisp and cool air. You know, that window from late Nov. to Feb.

10. “The Only One”Long Line of Leavers (2000) (Aaron Tate)

Plugging in the electric guitar was a big risk for the band with their established fan base, and one could argue it didn’t necessarily pay off for them career wise. (Though I think the worship direction was a bigger part of their demise) I, like many was hesitant to jump in, having loved both their 90s albums fiercely, but ultimately this is a fantastic growth step and album that I’m glad they dared to endeavor. The horns on “The Only One” are a nice touch for this driving opener and now longtime favorite.

9. “Valleys Fill First”Long Line of Leavers (2000) (Tate, Cash)

The lyrics say it best…

“This is the valley that I’m walking through
And if feels like forever since I’ve been close to You
My friends up above me don’t understand why I struggle like I do
The shadow’s my only, only companion and at night he leaves too

Down in the valley, dying of thirst
Now down in the valley, it seems that I’m at my worst
My consolation is that You baptize this Earth
I’m down in the valley, valleys fill first

Down in this wasteland, I miss the mountaintop view
But it’s here in this valley that I’m surrounded by You
Though I’m not here by my will, it’s where Your view is the most clear
So I’ll stay in this valley if it takes forty years”

8. “Faith My Eyes”40 Acres (1999) (Webb)

“So keep on coming
These lines on the raod
Keep me responsible
Be it a light or a heavy load
Keep me guessing
These blessings in disguise
I’ll walk with grace me feet
And faith my eyes”

7. “Share the Well”Share The Well (2004) (Randall Goodgame)

I remember seeing the tour for this album and being blown away by the world instrumentation that was fresh and alive to my ears. Over 100 instruments in stage that tour! The song itself pushed me to think of the gospel for the world and but just my little corner of the universe. I would soon embark on multiple mission trips to see first hand what I had previously on heard of here.

6. “I Will Sing/Hope to Carry On”Chronicles (2002) Rich Mullins)

A Rich Mullins medley cover, this song live with it’s acapella start was nothing short of breathtaking. Not only did CC do Mullins’ songs justice, I think those was a rare occasion when they improved upon it.

5. “Lead of Love”Self-Titled (1997) (Aaron Tate)

The first CC song I ever heard? My memory is foggy, but I think this was my introduction to the band, and it only took this song to hook me for life. Led here by my love for Jars of Clay and the cover, I still remember what the liner notes smell like. I equate this song and this album with my favorite season of fall, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The male/female vocal blend here cementing my love of harmony. The lyrics are top notch forever cemented in my brain.

“Had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view
Looking back I see the lead of love.”

4. “Shifting Sand”40 Acres (1999) (Tate)

A great Danielle Young lead vocal and Aaron Tate lyric.

“My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace”

3. “There’s Only One (Holy One)”Share The Well (2004) (Goodgame)

Big sounding, and vertically aimed, their best “worship” song by far.

2. “Somewhere North”40 Acres (1999) (Webb)

There’s a palpable yearning from Webb here for the woman of his affection. It has the vibe of a bleary-Eyed Road tripper.

1. “This World”Self-Titled (1997) (Tate)

What a clever, and true turn of phrase that makes up my all-time favorite lyric and song by Caedmon’s Call…

“This world has nothing for me
And this world has everything
All that I could want
And nothing that I need”

What about you? What are your favorite Caedmon’s Call tunes! Leave a comment sharing them below!

Happy listening friends!

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