Spirit In The Sky

Question inspired by this thread.

I always thought this was a Christian song, although that line always struck me as arrogant. Have I missed some point here?

Did they learn that the song was done by Norman Greenbaum? (I think that might just be a non-Christian name).

Might it perhaps be the part about “never been a sinner, never sinned,” when in fact a part of Christian doctrine is that we are all born with original sin and are, therefore, sinners?

It’s been done by a couple artists. The tape I had was c. 1985, and was preformed by Doctor and the Medics. (Their cover art photo featured the band in KISS-like makeup.) I guess the best way to describe it would be sort of like a parody song.

Wiki has an article about it:

Best. Fuzz-guitar-tone. Ever.

I’ve heard that SITS is supposed to be sarcastic about the Jesus People hippies. But it’s been covered by Randy Stonehill and Larry Norman (together), who are two of the original Jesus People music godfathers.

I don’t know what to make of that son anymore.

Except I lurve its guitar tone. I bought it on iTunes. Now I have to play it.

There goes my long-held belief that this is the rockingest Christian song ever.

Well the Kentucky Headhunters’ version uses these lyrics:

I’ve been a sinner, yes I’ve sinned
But I’ve got a friend in Jesus

This is the vesion I was more familiar with, so count me among those who thought it was a Christian song.

Check out this mixtape… at first blush it seems a bit of a rough combination but it really works. It starts funky and soulful, moves progressively mellower, hits a melancholy low, and then fires back up for a strong finish.

  1. Roger Daltry - Come and Get Your Love
  2. Traffic - Medicated Goo
  3. The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
  4. Jackie Wilson - Lonely Teardrops (live)
  5. Count Five - Psychotic Reactions
  6. Harry Nilsson - Gotta Get Up
  7. John Cale & Brian Eno - Spinning Away
  8. Damien Rice - Cannonball
  9. Sufjan Stevens - Concerning the UFO Sighting…
  10. Nick Drake - Pink Moon
  11. Clint Mansell - Summer Overture
  12. The Flaming Lips - Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
  13. Le Tigre - Deceptacon
  14. Ghostface Killah - Shakey Dog
  15. Gorillaz - Dare
  16. Weezer - Beverly Hills

wow, way wrong thread… sorry guys

Cool tape, though.

I never thought of it as arrogant. I had always thought that Christianity taught that accepting Christ as your savior wipes out your sins. That is what I thought the line meant.

I’m not into Jeebus, but I freakin’ love Spirit in the Sky. It makes me happy when I hear it.

I remember Reprise taking out ads in the pop magazines (“I Am Curious (Greenbaum)”) that mentioned the irony of a nice Jewish boy singing a Jesus song. (Well, JC was a nice Jewish boy, too.)

Less well remembered than “Spirit in the Sky” is Greenbaum’s follow-up single, “Canned Ham.” (From distant memory: “When you gonna buy me a canned ham/I’ve been waiting so long/When you gonna buy me, when you gonna satisfy me?”) Also a funny thing for a Jewish guy to be singing about!

(I don’t think there are enough parentheses in this post; here are some more.)