I don’t know why, but I just love this song…

Another song that they’ve been playing on the local stations a lot lately is Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky. I don’t know why, but I just love that song.  I don’t even feel guilty for liking it; it’s just so cool.

It first came out, of course, when the Jesus movement was taking off, about the time songs like Oh Happy Day and Put Your Hand in the Hand were making airplay, as well as George Harrison’s M Sweet Lord and The Byrds Jesus is Just Alright (the Doobie Brothers recorded it 3 years later).  Theology was not necessarily important at that time; it was just cool to sing about some kind of God.

Spirit in the Sky was not a religious song; Norman Greenbaum wrote and sung novelty songs, his prior hit being The Eggplant That Ate Chicago. Even though he sings “I’ve got a friend in Jesus,” I don’t think he meant it. He was, and is, Jewish.  According to Wikepedia, the authoritative source for all useless bits of information, the song was inspired by Norman watching Porter Waggoner sing some country gospel song on TV.

Whatever the inspiration, it’s a great, catchy tune, with clever, humorous lyrics. Personally, I don’t think it makes fun of either Jesus or Christianity, but does poke fun at some ignorant, fundamentalist types, which I’m not beyond doing myself. So, when it comes on the radio – almost daily – I turn it up, and I always smile.  Sometimes I sing along.

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~ by Alden on December 1, 2008.

One Response to “I don’t know why, but I just love this song…”

  1. Funny you should say that you love this song. My husband and I both really like it and he said that when he was in high school, even his Mom liked this song. (And she didn’t like any rock & roll!)

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