3/13/2016

Gospel Music

I have spent my life being the last guy to the party. I guess you can’t grow up in western Kansas and hope to ever become sophisticated, but . . . damn this is ridiculous. For most of my life, I’ve thought this song, written by Janis Joplin, Michael McClure, and Bob Neuwirth, was a novelty tune. For the last couple of weeks it has slowly dawned on me that in this age of football players thanking Jesus for helping them earn their millions of dollars, politicians asking their sheeple to pray for their election, mega churches telling their followers that financial success was evidence of God’s love, and everyone praying that the gods will reward them with some sort of justification for belief Janis was right this is a song of “great social and political import.”

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?

Everybody!
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

With that in mind, I think every Christian church in the world should be required to open their services with this song. It’s best done a cappella, since it’s important that nothing interferes with the song’s clear “message.” The more I think about it, the more I believe this might be the single most honest spiritual in human history. If there are gods out there, they are gonna know if you’re not being honest.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to do the song solidly on either alcohol or heroin, like Janis intended. If that’s what it took for Pearl to write this piece of genius, it’s probably what it takes to really get in touch with the gods. Maybe that’s what I need to help me figure out stuff like this in than 45 years?

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