And Now For Something…

Because I’m in the mood for something light, how about a list of the funniest religious-themed songs?

Before I start, one spoiler: despite the blog title, “Every Sperm Is Sacred” is not on the list. Humor is, of course, a very subjective thing; I never found that song particularly amusing, and in the current political climate, it’s even less so.

Let’s begin.

Honorable Mention 2: “Spirit in the Sky”

This makes the list not for the song itself, but for the videos it inspires. Norman Greenbaum’s original video is a classic, what with cows as religious icons and Milkman Jesus. But for sheer, laugh-out-loud bizarritude (bizarrity?), you can’t beat the video for the cover by Doctor and The Medics.

Honorable Mention 1: “Jesus Is Just Alright”

It’s obviously the QA analyst side of my nature that finds a grammatical ambiguity so amusing. Arthur Reynolds, who wrote the song, obviously meant “just” as an intensifier in the sense of “no question”, but I can never hear it that way. To me, it always comes across as a minimizer. “Jesus? Ah, he’s okay, but there are better options.” Ambiguity Review, anyone? That the Doobie Brother’s cover is the best known version just makes it funnier for me, since they’re obviously invested in the intended meaning. Oddly enough, the original recording seems to emphasize the word “just”, making it sound more like the performers disagreed with the composer’s intent.

Moving on to the songs that were intended to be funny.

Fourth Place: “Jesus Is Easy”

Martin Mull landed two songs in the list. This one makes a virtue out of Christianity as the lazy choice. Hard to disagree with such a convincing argument.

Third Place: “Where Can I Go?”

Remember when Gary Trudeau’s Jimmy Thudpucker claimed to be the most-downloaded musician on the Internet? This is a very Seventies number about a very Seventies approach to religious identity. What can I say? I grew up in the Seventies; the song appeals to me.

Second Place: “Jesus Loves Me (But He Can’t Stand You)”

If there was ever a bluegrass gospel number that captured the itinerant Midwest mega-church wannabe zeitgeist, this is it. Thank you Austin Lounge Lizards.

First Place: “Jesus Christ Football Star”

What the Lizards did for the Midwest, Martin Mull does for the Southwest, home to Friday Night High School Football as the state religion, narrowly outdrawing the actual mega-churches.

Did I miss any goodies? Tell me where I’ve gone wrong; I’ll be happy to add your favorites to my list–assuming, of course, I find them as hysterical as you do.

4 thoughts on “And Now For Something…

    • I hadn’t heard Billy Idol’s version of Plastic Jesus before, but it was the first one that popped up when I did a search for the song. His voice makes it much better–and funnier–than I’d remembered. Worth adding to my list, definitely.

      Pie in the Sky (That’s a lie) is a little too on the nose for me to find funny. How little progress we’ve made since it was written in 1911.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “Spirit in the Sky” cracked me up because it was a song about Jesus sung by someone named Greenbaum. I thought it was pretty good, too. Then, there was “Drop-Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalpost of Life” by Bobby Bare, who sang it quite seriously. I heard it when I lived in that small town I was in, in Washington, where there were as many churches as humans. If they’d looked at the writer’s credit, they’d have seen that Shel Sliverstein wrote it. Depending on your outlook, it’s either damn inspiring or hilarious.


    • I gather that Norman was cynically cashing in on a wave of Jesusmania; he made quite the pile of cash off the song, but was in no way a Christian. Which seems appropriate, somehow, and makes the song even funnier.

      Drop-Kick Me never quite rang my bell. Different strokes. But anyone whose musical library doesn’t include at least a few of Shel’s songs should definitely be seated below the salt.

      Liked by 1 person

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