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Don’t you hate it when a song is stuck in your head? Especially when all you can remember is that one line from the chorus?

Jai, Jai Shiv aur Ram” is a song lyric that’s sometimes stuck in my head. In English: “Praise, praise to Shiva and Ram”.

Directly across from my house is a large ghat or special designated area for those who want to bathe in the Ganges. Every night at sunset, they hold a special five minute moment of worship and blare that song.

Ghat During the Day

After hearing this song every day for seven months I know this song. I understand most of the words. I can sing along. Sometimes, in my house, when I’m cleaning and my brain is switched into neutral I suddenly “awake” to find myself humming this tune.

The music is blared so loudly that nothing – not a movie, not music from an Ipod, not being in a friend’s house a block away – drowns out the song. I begin to understand why blasting rock music at prisoners is used as torture…

While it’s (very!) easy to get angry at whoever has the volume control settings over there – I’ve been thinking about all of the “songs” sung to me in my own culture. Ones that weren’t set to quite such a catchy melody – but got stuck in my brain anyway.

Songs with choruses like, “I’ve got rights, I’ve got privileges” or “You take care of yours, I’ll take care of mine”. Those have gotten stuck in my brain and at random moments I find myself humming the tune and (most scarily!) agreeing with the sentiments.

I’m beginning to appreciate more Romans 12:2 – “But be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Renewing the mind is like trying to get a song dislodged from the brain…

Getting the song “Praise, praise to Shiva and Ram” stuck out of my head often entails listening to a different song… preferably a “Praise, praise to Jesus” type. Maybe that’s one reason people in the Psalms say to Praise the Lord with a new song. Instead of the lyrics our culture blasts at us over and over again, we turn our minds to ones like “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” and “Knowing You, Jesus, There is no greater thing”. These songs get my mind off of myself, my rights, or Ram… whatever idol happens to be pressing in and back where a renewed mind should be.

What songs help you refocus on Jesus and renew your mind to praise Him?