Mar 152011

This one’s gonna be hell to referee, but someone’s gotta do it: Jesus songs—Rock ‘n Roll Jesus songs—which we will define as songs including Jesus in the title OR prominently featuring Jesus, specifically, as the main character or subject matter of the song.

Songs referring broadly (or specifically) to God, Lord, Him, The Boss, or what have you are not eligible for this contest. The songs must be about Jesus, and address Him by name.

Songs in which a singer simply asks for Jesus’ help or take His name in vain as a throwaway line are not eligible for this contest, unless the throwaway or blasphemous reference to Jesus is in the song’s title.

The song must be, at least broadly, a rock ‘n roll song. Some gospel song that Little Richard did during one of his sacred periods does not count solely because Little Richard is “rock ‘n roll.”

Crystal clear? I thought so! In honor of our Jesus-obsessed Townsman of the Jewish faith, andyr, let’s kick things off with one of my favorite Jesus songs composed by a musician of Jewish heritage, The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus.”

The race is on.


  89 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Jesus Songs”

  1. Jesus Christ – Big Star

  2. “Jesus Christ, You’re Tall”–Harry Nilsson


  3. Well the song that started the discussion – “One Toke Over The Line” Brewer + Shipley

  4. I don’t know this song, does it qualify? Is he actually singing of Jesus being tall, or is this an entire song built around non-eligible throwaway lines? The lyrics, with no musical context, are hard for me to make sense of. Thanks.

  5. Nah, they’re not actually singing about Jesus or to Jesus, are they? That’s a throwaway line. Come on, man, I thought you of all people would lead us to the promised land.

  6. What about songs that are expressly about him, and contain a bunch of details about his life but never mention his name?

  7. I don’t think so. How could I then be sure the song’s about Him and not Springsteen?

  8. BigSteve

    Jesus Is Just All Right With Me, The Byrds

  9. “Jesus Was a Crossmaker,” Judee Sill (and also the Hollies).

  10. BigSteve

    Psalm, Roxy Music

  11. A brand new song by Kurt Vile — Jesus Fever —

    I like this song!

  12. misterioso

    I would submit Dylan’s great What Can I Do For You. Nothing memorable on the lackluster Saved lp, but spectacular in concert during the “Born Again” tours of 1979-80. There is a tremendous concert that was filmed in Toronto in April 1980–it’s tiresome that I cannot provide a youtube link but most Dylan stuff has been purged from youtube, it seems. But would your old friend Misterioso steer you wrong?

    Now, Jesus is never mentioned by name, but He is the You to whom the song is addressed. It’s not one of the many Dylan Christian songs where it might be about God or a woman.

    However, if this is rejected, there is the less memorable but still pretty good Property of Jesus from Shot of Love.

  13. Really, now? We’re not going to forget about the smash hit of the ’70s “You Light Up My Life” by Deborah Boone, are we? NO WE ARE NOT!

  14. He is God, Big Dipper.

    It’s about JC, and not generic god. “He was the lamb, he was.” I’d rather hear a song about my dark master anyday.

  15. 2000 Man

    Christ Jesus by Deer Tick. So awesome they put it on two albums!

  16. “Jesus” by The Velvet Underground. I’m a little surprised it wasn’t immediately mentioned.

  17. It was, in the kick-off of my original post! (It’s funny how often one of us misses the opening salvo.)

  18. I’ve been watching Repo Man with my oldest son this week. The thought of “generic god” is especially funny.

  19. “Jesus Was Way Cool” by King Missile:

    “He could’ve played guitar better than Hendrix
    He could’ve told the future
    He could’ve baked the most delicious cake in the world
    He could’ve scored more goals than Wayne Gretzky
    Jesus was way cool

  20. Mod says: “How could I then be sure the song’s about Him and not Springsteen?”

    I will let the lyrics will speak for themselves and defer to your judgment on their accepability.

    From early 70’s a.m. pop wet fart, Put You Hand In the Hand:

    “Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
    By puttin your hand in the hand of the man from Gallalee.

    Everytime I look into the Holy Book I wanna tremble
    When I read about the part where a carpenter cleared the temple
    For the buyers and the sellers were no different fella’s than what I professed to be
    And it causes me shame to know I’m not the gal that I should be”

  21. OK, the judges will accept that one! The carpenter part was a dead giveaway. You are retroactively LMS. Thanks.

  22. “Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through The Goal Posts of Life)” by Bobby Bare.

  23. ladymisskirroyale

    Ah, one of my favorite songs, “Chocolate Jesus” by Tom Waits. Holy candy!

  24. ladymisskirroyale

    I couldn’t call it a night without leaving you all with this one:

    Jesus Fuck! by The Jesus and Mary Chain

  25. “Jesus Built My Hot Rod” by Ministry

  26. Wilco “Jesus,etc”

  27. “High On Jesus” by Kinky Friedman, which features the great line “you just can’t keep a good man down.”

  28. Jesus Gonna Be Here – Tom Waits

  29. ladymisskirroyale

    Sluggin’ For Jesus – Cabaret Voltaire

  30. Jesus was a Capricorn – Kris Kristoferson

  31. Randy Newman, Jesus in the Summertime

  32. ladymisskirroyale

    Jesus Christ Pose – Soundgarden

  33. mockcarr

    Jesus Christ Superstar

  34. ladymisskirroyale

    Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. Take your pick of the Nirvana or Vaselines version.

  35. “Jesus Everyday” by Treat Her Right

  36. plasticsun

    Another Vaselines song – Teenage Jesus Superstar

  37. ladymisskirroyale

    Ah….Guiding Star by Teenage Fanclub

  38. alexmagic

    Whenever you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, that was a time when The Boss had decided to wear bolo ties and dump the rest of the E-Street Band.

  39. alexmagic

    Hymn 43 – Jethro Tull

  40. mockcarr

    Jesus of Suburbia – Green Day

  41. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

  42. You’ve got a soft spot for that song, don’t you?

  43. “In My Time of Dying” Led Zeppelin
    Thieved from the Original Blues “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed”

  44. That actually came via my daughter

  45. Happy Birthday Jesus – The Original Sins (off the Bethlehem release)

  46. ladymisskirroyale

    Walking with Jesus – Spacemen 3. Or even more interesting, a cover of the S3 version by The Muslims.

  47. Bobby Charles – Save Me Jesus

  48. ladymisskirroyale

    Gloria – Patti Smith

  49. like a girl jesus — game theory

  50. Gavin Bryars (feat. Tom Waits) – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
    Here’s part of it – the whole thing lasts 70 mins.

  51. Jesus is a minor character in the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait”. “…Jesus rides beside me / He never buys any smokes”

  52. “We Need A Lot More Jesus (And A Lot Less Rock & Roll)” by Wayne Raney

  53. mockcarr

    more green day East Jesus Nowhere

  54. jesus and tequila – minutemen

  55. “Oh Jesus, please take the Devil out of me” George Jones

  56. general slocum

    Really? No one has mentioned “Spirit In the Sky?” And strangely, I don’t think there’s one qualifying number from Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.

  57. How did that one stay on the board so long!

  58. mockcarr

    I’m Not Jesus – The Ramones

  59. general slocum

    “Sing Out For Jesus” by Big Mama Thornton. And though it is a dubious rockin’ gospel number, it has the undeniable cred of being on the soundtrack to Vanishing Point.

  60. general slocum

    And am I in the unenviable position of representin’ for Classic Rock as a genre? Do I have to be the one to mention “Jesus Is Just Alright” by the feckin’ Doobie Brothers?

  61. Isn’t that the same as The Byrds’ song that was mentioned early on? We do appreciate your fanaticism.

  62. general slocum

    Is that the same song? Being a fan of the Doobies not at all, and the Byrds just barely, I don’t know, but the Doobies song is such a piece of seventies goo.

  63. general slocum

    Wow. I just checked. It IS the same song! The Doobie Brothers Cultural Deficit has actually just increased!

  64. general slocum

    OK, then, “I Saw Jesus” by Devo.

  65. “Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge” by The Screaming Blue Messiahs – I can’t prove it *is* about JC, but I doubt one could prove it *isn’t*, either, as Bill Carter tended to go into that free association kinda thing that Joe Strummer sometimes indulged in during live performances…they even sound a bit alike.

  66. After all this time
    to believe in Jesus
    After all them drugs
    I thought I was him

    Sound of Sinners – the Clash

  67. bostonhistorian

    Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: “Gettin’ High for Jesus”

    I’m gettin high for Jesus/
    Because he got so low for me

  68. The Goondas – “Jackalope Jesus”

  69. My plastic Jesus
    He don’t hear
    Cos’ he done got a plastic ear
    Ridin’ on the dashboard of my car

    Don’t remember who or when….
    I just always liked that verse.

  70. Guess once I got the jist, I didn’t bother with the details.

  71. tonyola

    “Jesus He Knows Me” – Genesis

  72. I won’t be the LMS but Once and For All:
    U2 “Wake Up Dead Man”

  73. Mrs CDM says : “Christ for President” by Wilco/Billy Bragg

  74. Help Yourself – I Must See Jesus For Myself

  75. ladymisskirroyale

    Jesus for the Jugular – The Veils

  76. “Jesus is on that main line” Ry Cooder

  77. “Dedicated Friend” by Michael Nesmith.


  78. Faraway Eyes – Rolling Stones

    That should just about wrap it up. The belt, please.

  79. Jesus, CDM, I will NOT allow to claim the belt so readily…

    “Christmas” by The Who


  80. misterioso

    Bob Dylan, “When He Returns.”

  81. Tom T. Hall – Me And Jesus.

  82. ladymisskirroyale

    Neon Jesus – Crocodiles

  83. Linda Ronstadt – We Need A Whole Lot More Of Jesus

  84. I just realized that my last entry was already submitted (referring to a different artist), so here’s another:

    American Music Club – Jesus’ Hands.

    (I’ve got a bunch more too. I want to be the last man standing for the first time ever.)

  85. ladymisskirroyale

    I think Hank Fan has me beat, but I’m going out with one of my favorite tracks, “If Jesus Drove a Motorhome” by Jim White.

  86. Little Feat – Brides Of Jesus

  87. kooler than jesus — my life with the thrill kill kult

  88. H. Munster

    Are You Drinkin’ with Me Jesus by Mojo Nixon

    Last man standing!

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