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I’ve just had the idea of collecting a list of songs that describe experiences of awe and wonder, of self-transcendence, in ordinary life, outside of a specifically religious context. This came to my mind as I listened just now to Luca Carboni’s “Alzando gli occhi al cielo” (“Raising the eyes to the sky”, see YouTube video below), which expresses amazement that mafiosi on their yachts can look at the sky and manage not to shit themselves (his words — “come fanno a non cagarsi sotto”) with awe, how they manage not to feel remorse for the harm that they do. Carboni is not describing an actual experience that someone has had, or even inventing a fictional one. He is talking about such an experience as a normal response to such a sky, and I’m inclined to think that he himself has had a self-transcendent experience in contemplating the sky.
I invite readers to post comments that describe songs that you think portray experiences of awe and wonder, experiences of self-transcendence. I’d love to know what it is about the song that leads you to see it this way.