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.
Jesus Christ – Big Star
“Jesus Christ, You’re Tall”–Harry Nilsson
Well the song that started the discussion – “One Toke Over The Line” Brewer + Shipley
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.
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.
What about songs that are expressly about him, and contain a bunch of details about his life but never mention his name?
I don’t think so. How could I then be sure the song’s about Him and not Springsteen?
Jesus Is Just All Right With Me, The Byrds
“Jesus Was a Crossmaker,” Judee Sill (and also the Hollies).
Psalm, Roxy Music
A brand new song by Kurt Vile — Jesus Fever —
I like this song!
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.
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!
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.
Christ Jesus by Deer Tick. So awesome they put it on two albums!
“Jesus” by The Velvet Underground. I’m a little surprised it wasn’t immediately mentioned.
It was, in the kick-off of my original post! (It’s funny how often one of us misses the opening salvo.)
I’ve been watching Repo Man with my oldest son this week. The thought of “generic god” is especially funny.
“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
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”
OK, the judges will accept that one! The carpenter part was a dead giveaway. You are retroactively LMS. Thanks.
“Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through The Goal Posts of Life)” by Bobby Bare.
Ah, one of my favorite songs, “Chocolate Jesus” by Tom Waits. Holy candy!
I couldn’t call it a night without leaving you all with this one:
Jesus Fuck! by The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Jesus Built My Hot Rod” by Ministry
“High On Jesus” by Kinky Friedman, which features the great line “you just can’t keep a good man down.”
Jesus Gonna Be Here – Tom Waits
Sluggin’ For Jesus – Cabaret Voltaire
Jesus was a Capricorn – Kris Kristoferson
Randy Newman, Jesus in the Summertime
Jesus Christ Pose – Soundgarden
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. Take your pick of the Nirvana or Vaselines version.
“Jesus Everyday” by Treat Her Right
Another Vaselines song – Teenage Jesus Superstar
Ah….Guiding Star by Teenage Fanclub
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.
Hymn 43 – Jethro Tull
Jesus of Suburbia – Green Day
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
You’ve got a soft spot for that song, don’t you?
“In My Time of Dying” Led Zeppelin
Thieved from the Original Blues “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed”
That actually came via my daughter
Happy Birthday Jesus – The Original Sins (off the Bethlehem release)
Walking with Jesus – Spacemen 3. Or even more interesting, a cover of the S3 version by The Muslims.
Bobby Charles – Save Me Jesus
Gloria – Patti Smith
like a girl jesus — game theory
Gavin Bryars (feat. Tom Waits) – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
Here’s part of it – the whole thing lasts 70 mins.
Jesus is a minor character in the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait”. “…Jesus rides beside me / He never buys any smokes”
“We Need A Lot More Jesus (And A Lot Less Rock & Roll)” by Wayne Raney
more green day East Jesus Nowhere
jesus and tequila – minutemen
“Oh Jesus, please take the Devil out of me” George Jones
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.
How did that one stay on the board so long!
I’m Not Jesus – The Ramones
“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.
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?
Isn’t that the same as The Byrds’ song that was mentioned early on? We do appreciate your fanaticism.
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.
Wow. I just checked. It IS the same song! The Doobie Brothers Cultural Deficit has actually just increased!
OK, then, “I Saw Jesus” by Devo.
“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.
After all this time
to believe in Jesus
After all them drugs
I thought I was him
Sound of Sinners – the Clash
Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: “Gettin’ High for Jesus”
I’m gettin high for Jesus/
Because he got so low for me
The Goondas – “Jackalope Jesus”
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.
Guess once I got the jist, I didn’t bother with the details.
“Jesus He Knows Me” – Genesis
I won’t be the LMS but Once and For All:
U2 “Wake Up Dead Man”
Mrs CDM says : “Christ for President” by Wilco/Billy Bragg
Help Yourself – I Must See Jesus For Myself
Jesus for the Jugular – The Veils
“Jesus is on that main line” Ry Cooder
“Dedicated Friend” by Michael Nesmith.
Faraway Eyes – Rolling Stones
That should just about wrap it up. The belt, please.
Jesus, CDM, I will NOT allow to claim the belt so readily…
“Christmas” by The Who
Bob Dylan, “When He Returns.”
Tom T. Hall – Me And Jesus.
Neon Jesus – Crocodiles
Linda Ronstadt – We Need A Whole Lot More Of Jesus
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.)
A few years ago I made a whole Jesus mix, which was most recently posted here:
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.
Little Feat – Brides Of Jesus
kooler than jesus — my life with the thrill kill kult
Are You Drinkin’ with Me Jesus by Mojo Nixon
Last man standing!