Rock n Roll theology

“All good children go to heaven.” -The Beatles, You Never Give Me Your Money

“God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” -John Lennon, God

“She’s gone to heaven so I got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world.” -J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, Last Kiss

I’m looking for theological nuggets in basically secular songs from secular artists (no straight-up religious songs, don’t post the lyrics to the entire Jesus Christ Superstar musical).

If we were gonna lay out the tenets of the religion of Rock ‘n’ Roll, gimme some lines.

“What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?” - Joan Osborne

God hates us all.” - Slayer, Disciple from the album God Hates Us All (2001)

“This man came up to me just the other day
He asked me if I’d been born again
I told him I didn’t think I had
That I had been rejected
But I think hell’s got all the good bands anyway” - The Flaming Lips, Ode To C.C. (Part II) from the album Oh My Gawd!!!… The Flaming Lips (1987)

“Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!” - Wyld Stallyns

“My whole existence is flawed, you get me closer to God.” -Nine Inch Nails, Closer

… There’s an angel standing in the sun
And he’s crying with a loud voice
“This is the supper of the mighty one”
Lord of Lords, King of Kings
Has returned to lead his children home
To take them to the new Jerusalem

Supper’s Ready-Genesis. A very lengthy 24 minute song.

Full lyrics:

Hey St. Peter, won’t you open up your gate
I hear the Devil calling, now please don’t make me late
He’s got loud guitars, alcohol, cheap Jamaican whores
I don’t want to stay in Heaven no more

  • The Bad Examples, Hey St. Peter

Too lazy to google the quote: “On what day did the Lord create Spinal Tap and couldn’t he have rested on that day, too?”

“Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes, everyone knows Brother Love’s show.” Neil Diamond.

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” Janis Joplin

“Hare Krishna…Hare Rama” George Harrison (My Sweet Lord)

“Imagine there’s no heaven…it’s easy if you try.” John Lennon

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me…” I did see Paul said he had a dream about his mother, Mary, who told him everything would be ok. But she was Catholic and he was baptized as such…I don’t think religion was emphasized in their house, so is the lyric religious? Not sure.

Tears in Heaven implies a hereafter. So does Highway to Hell.

Remember Seals and Croft? They apparently belonged to the Baha’i Faith. I always thought this was a really good song but it wasn’t a hit.

Then I found this, a Baha’i prayer.

God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Put it in the soul of everyone - Kiss

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Moses went up to the mountain high
To find out from God why did you make us, why?
Secret words in a secret room
He said a womp bop a lu bop a lop bam boom

  • The Rainmakers, Let My People Go-Go

“What god wants, god gets, god help us all.”

Reminds me of this, also taken from a Baha’i text:

“Thank God and Greyhound you’re gone” - Roy Clark

I take it anything from Dylan’s “born again phase” would be off-limits?

Would this be acceptable?

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
And I won’t make it any other way
James Taylor – Fire and Rain

Originally by Argent.

Arthur Comix, also performing as the Snivelling Shits, did a fine song called ‘isgodaman’.

The lyrics are irreverent, and tend to answer the title question as a yes, so i leave reading them to your discretion.

One of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, even for this atheist:

The gods you worship are steel
At the altar of rock ‘n’ roll you kneel
A slave that forever rocks
Is bound in the devil’s locks
And slain by the bloody axe I wail

W. A. S. P. “Hellion”

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they’d made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls