Dear God – XTC

As a kid raised outside of a faith I always felt when it came to ‘them big old’ songs I was missing out. No rousing choral numbers approved by him on high for me. Just the pop on the radio and the matter of the songs in the ether.

I was good friends with the local Vicars son at school and when school assembly morning’s rolled around he was all lyriced up with All Things Bright And Beautiful and The Lord Of The Dance.

I was lost unless that weird teacher got up and attacked Ob-la-De! Ob-la-Da! In the manic way she did on rare occasions when it looked like the other faculty members had failed to hold her back.

As it was, my Parents has a distain for organised religion & any kind of ‘Sky Pilot Nonsense’ made the whole concept seem preposterous to my young mind so entirely that the idea of songs of praise seem liked songs of obedience.

This may be fundamental in my love of pop music and in my love of rock and roll. Ya think?

Be it Lay Your Hands On Me by Bon Jovi, Glory Hallelujah by Frank Turner, God’s Away On Business By Tom Waits or Scroobius Pip’s Letter From God To Man I’ve liked a fair few hollow churchy numbers provided they weren’t actually churchy.

I do like a song that went there sonically while adamantly not going there lyrically.

Spiritually I don’t believe in anything much more than the rules of Wyld Stallyns and leaving a decent enough planet behind for Keith Richards when we die.

But once again XTC have beautifully put my thoughts into song.

“Dear God, hope you got the letter and I pray you can make it better down here, I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer but all the people that you made in your image see them starving on their feet ’cause they don’t get enough to eat from God”

Now I’m not looking to go causing any offence but when you’re raised outside of a theology and you’re looking in at people raised in one… well it all looks kind of absurd.

Don’t take me the wrong way. I get that some get *ahem* het up about their beliefs and the requisite required respect for those beliefs. All I’m saying is. If you’re not a subscriber it don’t make sense.

“Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but I feel that I should be heard loud and clear, we all need a big reduction in amount of tears and all the people that you made in your image, see them fighting in the street, ‘Cause they can’t make opinions meet about God”

XTC made (for my money) bloody brilliantly observant pop music which seems to speak clearly to ‘the rest of us’ whom these days it appears are the most of us.

And yet still we insist… You gotta make way for the holy superior. Gotta respect the ideas handed down from some weird cult in the Middle East over 2000 years ago that’s done all sorts of insane stuff in the name of not recognising an allegory when you see one.

Be it going to the Vatican where all the gold is on show and the ‘special secrets’ are kept hidden away or going to the desert to get all fundamental. Be it the good old US of A’s muscular white action figure Jesus bearded T-Rex riding or one lot fighting another lot in Northern Ireland over which old king messed with the time line… Sorry guys.

From where I’m sitting, if you buy it, you got suckered. One born every minute. I hope you can respect that.

“The wars you bring, the babes you drown, those lost at sea and never found and it’s the same the whole world ’round, the hurt I see helps to compound that Father, Son and Holy Ghost is just somebody’s unholy hoax”

All we are saying is give quiche a chance.


18 thoughts on “Dear God – XTC

  1. I have always loved this song. Probably because it appealed to the part of me that rebelled against my parents sending me to church every week…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely buy it! I didn’t always but I completely, utterly and totally believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ as savior.

    And it cost me nary a dime.
    I’ve lost nothing by believing but gained eternal life for my soul and a pretty great life while I’m here on earth.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steve, each person’s belief/non-belief system is their own business. One big distinction that I think needs to be made is the difference between religion and God/higher power. Religion is taking God/higher power and codifying it for a hidden agenda that is often not so hidden. It doesn’t matter which religion you’re talking about either. Religion serves two major purposes for humans. One is it gives a group of people a sense of community and a shared vision. The other is a mechanism for control of the population that believes in it. God/higher power does exist. I’ve seen things and experienced things that rule out anything other than as evidence that he/she/it exists.
    p.s. I was forced to go to church after my mom married my stepdad when I was about 12 and until I was 16 or so. I learned the framework of Christianity there, but I saw little or no evidence in the church of “God”. I raised my two sons without religion of any kind. Now, at age 61, I wish I would have at least let them learn a framework to hang their beliefs on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree. Not looking to cause offence but picking beliefs is like choosing which facts count and which don’t. Just because someone wants something to be real doesn’t make it so. Believe what is proven, muse on what isn’t but don’t expect that pondering to command respect. It hasn’t earned it. That doesn’t qualify it for disrespect by the way (and this is often the bit where people get offended). Disregard and disrespect are quite different. I’m not buying into any theology but if I was to pick some great stories The Greeks had some good ones. So did the Norsemen of Old. The Aboriginals, The Hindus, The Druid’s, Marvel Comics during the silver age, Abraham, L Ron Hubbard, George Lucas, Homer, The Maharishi. Lots of great ideas. All fictional however useful. Philosophy is great. Like that.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s fine with me, as every person’s belief/non-belief system is their choice. My beliefs aren’t dependent on anyone else’s regard or respect, and I’m guessing you feel the same.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hey about thta Portishead song, I listened to samples through their album tracks on amazon and didn’t hear the song. It may be another artist. If I identify it will let you know what it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post, Steve. I’m here for the music. But I can appreciate believers and non-believers. I know some really lovely people on both sides. Organised religion makes me uncomfortable, though. XTC doesn’t make me uncomfortable, though my knowledge of them and the music does. I really should get that sorted.

    Also, I’ve given quiche a chance and just don’t like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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