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§231 Larry Norman – the political songs

September 29, 2008

The American presidential election is coming up. People talk politics more than they usually do. Here are two political songs from the 70’s. The singer is legendary Christian Rock n’Roll star, Larry Norman (1947 – 2008). The guy who could have been a lot more famous if he sang what people wanted to hear. But he sang of what he believed in. He sang about Jesus, he sang about politics, he sang about his opinions. These are two of my favourite political songs. Of course, it’s from the 70’s so I only understand half of it. Maybe some of you older guys can explain some of it to me…😉
“The Great American Novel” is from 1977. The clip is from 1988. “Reader’s Digest” is from 1973, the clip is from just a few years ago.

The Great American Novel
I was born and raised an orphan
in a land that once was free
in a land that poured its love out on the moon
and I grew up in the shadows
of your silos filled with grain
but you never helped to fill my empty spoon

and when I was ten you murdered law
with courtroom politics
and you learned to make a lie sound just like truth
but I know you better now
and I don’t fall for all your tricks
and you’ve lost the one advantage of my youth

you kill a black man at midnight
just for talking to your daughter
then you make his wife your mistress
and you leave her without water
and the sheet you wear upon your face
is the sheet your children sleep on
at every meal you say a prayer
you don’t believe but still you keep on

and your money says in God we trust
but it’s against the law to pray in school
you say we beat the Russians to the moon
and I say you starved your children to do it

you are far across the ocean
but the war is not your own
and while you’re winning theirs
you’re gonna lose the one at home
do you really think the only way
to bring about the peace
is to sacrifice your children
and kill all your enemies

the politicians all make speeches
while the news men all take note
and they exaggerate the issues
as they shove them down our throats
is it really up to them
whether this country sinks or floats
well I wonder who would lead us
if none of us would vote

well my phone is tapped and my lips are chapped
from whispering through the fence
you know every move I make
or is that just coincidence
well you try to make my way of life
a little less like jail
if I promise to make tapes and slides
and send them through the mail

and your money says in God we trust
but it’s against the law to pray in school
you say we beat the Russians to the moon
and I say you starved your children to do it
you say all men are equal all men are brothers
then why are the rich more equal than others
don’t ask me for the answer I’ve only got one
that a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son

Reader’s Digest
Alice is a drag queen, Bowie’s somewhere in between
Other bands are looking mean, me, I’m trying to stay clean.
I don’t dig the radio, I hate what the charts pick
Rock and roll may not be dead, but it’s getting sick.
All over the world disc jockeys sound the same
And every town I play is like the one from where I came.

Rolling Stones are millionaires, flower children pallbearers,
Beatles said All you need is love, and then they broke up.
Jimi took an overdose, Janis followed so close,
The whole music scene and all the bands are pretty comatose.
This time last year, people didn’t wanna hear.
They looked at Jesus from afar, this year he’s a superstar.

Dear John, who’s more popular now?
I’ve been listening to some of Paul’s new records.
Sometimes I think he really is dead.

It’s 1973, I wonder who we’re gonna see
Who’s in power now? Think I’ll turn on my TV,
The man on the news said China’s gonna beat us,
We shot all our dreamers, there’s no one left to lead us.
We need a solution, we need salvation,
Let’s send some people to the moon and gather information.

They brought back a big bag of rocks.
Only cost thirteen billion. Must be nice rocks.

You think it’s such a sad thing when you see a fallen king
Then you find out they’re only princes to begin with
And everybody has to choose whether they will win or lose
Follow God or sing the blues, and who they’re gonna sin with.
What a mess the world is in, I wonder who began it.
Don’t ask me, I’m only visiting this planet

2 comments

  1. Ja vilka texter han skrev! Han var speciell…


  2. […] Larry Norman – the religious songs October 14, 2008 In the end of September I published “Larry Norman – the political songs”. Now it’s time to publish a few of the the non political songs by Larry Norman – the […]



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