Regular readers of my blog know quite well that I like T.V. evangelists about as much as I like liver and onions, John Mellencamp and diarrhea, so with that in mind, I present to you the Top 10 T.V. Evangelist-Bashing songs of All-Time:
"Would Jesus Wear A Rolex?"—RAY STEVENS (1987) Brother Ray posed some interesting questions here. "Would He wear a pinky ring?" Well, would He?
"Long-Haired Country Boy"—CHARLIE DANIELS BAND (1974) Not about evangelists per se, except for the verse that goes "Preacher man talkin' on TV, puttin' down the Rock 'N' Roll/Wants me to send a donation, 'cuz he's worried about my soul..."
"The Wages Of Sin"—THE RAINMAKERS (1987) Again, not about preachers per se, but I love the line "If heaven is guilt, no sex and no show, then I'm not sure that I really wanna go..."
10) "Just Put Your Hands On The Screen"—MARTIN BRILEY (1983) Sounding rather Peter Gabriel-ish, this was Briley's forgotten follow-up to "Salt In My Tears". Video is pretty self-explanatory.
9) "Bad Religion"—Motorhead (1992) As usual, my man Lemmy cuts right through the bullshit: "Evangelistic Nazis—you cannot frighten me…I need no burning crosses to illuminate my night."
8) "Satellite"—The Hooters (1987) A song I wouldn’t have expected from these guys, but they were quick to capitalize on the whole Jim and Tammy Faye scandal. "Hush, little baby, don’t you cry—God’s gonna buy you a satellite." Great video, too.
7) "T.V. Crimes"—BLACK SABBATH (1992) Not so much a slam on the evangelists, but the gullible fools who support them. "Send me a plastic Jesus—there’s a check in the mail today."
6) "Mary Long"—DEEP PURPLE (1973) "How did you lose your virginity, Mary Long?" ML was actually an amalgam of two people, one of whom was Mary Whitehouse. According to singer Ian Gillan, Whitehouse was "a female Jimmy Swaggart" in England, self-righteously preaching celibacy, while in private Mary was apparently (in the words of Dr. Niles Crane) "randy as a stoat!" "What we do in full-frontal view is more honest than your clean-up mind..."
5) "Ticket To Heaven"—Dire Straits (1990) Mark Knopfler deftly put together this wickedly subtle slam on money-grubbing TV preachers, orchestrating it with lush strings and pretty steel guitar. "Now I send what I can to the man with the diamond ring…"
4) "Thou Shalt Not—Kiss (1992) Back when Gene Simmons was still my idol, he sang "Kindly reconsider the sins of your past—I said, ‘Mister, you can kindly kiss my ass!’" Here's what it sounds like if you don't mind watching a video of some ugly fat guy lip-synching to the song!
3) "I’m Alive"—W.A.S.P. (1986) This song applies perfectly to Rev. Fred Phelps and crew: "Force suppression, that’s what you do—tell me, what’s in it for you? Listen I’m on to your game…All your lies are the same!...Damn you, holy man alive…" Preach, Brother Blackie, preach!
2) "Jesus He Knows Me"—Genesis (1991) It’s like Phil Collins saw about 15 years into the future, as this one could’ve easily been about the whole Ted Haggard saga. "I believe in the family—got my ever-lovin’ wife beside me; She don’t know about my girlfriend—or the man I met last night…"
1) "Miracle Man" —Ozzy Osbourne (1988) The Ozz-Man scored a direct hit on Jimmy Swaggart ("Little Jimmy Sinner") and Oral Roberts on this classic. I loved Ozzy’s rant on his Live & Loud CD about Roberts: "I’m gonna die tomorrow if I don’t get $8 million. Well then fuckin’ die, asshole!" Amen, brother!