Jesus In A Camper Van

Album: I've Been Expecting You (1998)
Play Video


  • In 2000, Robbie Williams was sued by the publishing company Ludlow Music because "Jesus in a Camper Van" lifted a lyric from the Loudon Wainwright III song "I Am the Way," which itself is a parody of the Woody Guthrie song "New York Town." The lyric from "I Am the Way" goes: "Every Son of God gets a little hard luck sometimes, especially when he goes around saying he's 'the way.'" Williams changed it to: "I suppose even the Son of God gets it hard sometimes, especially when he goes around saying 'I am the way.'"

    Williams claims he heard someone utter the line while he was in rehab for cocaine addiction in 1997, and only found out it was from Wainwright III's song after he recorded it. Speaking to MTV News at the time, Williams continued: "I found out afterwards that Loudon Wainwright III actually wrote the lyric. So, I phoned him up and asked 'Can I use it?' and he said 'Yes.' So, cheers to Mr. Wainwright III."

    Despite this, Williams was ordered to pay 25% of the income generated by "Jesus in a Campervan" to Ludlow Music. The judge also ruled any future copies of I've Been Expecting You must not include the song. As a result, I've Been Expecting You was reissued with "Jesus in a Camper Van" replaced by "It's Only Us."
  • Before performing this song at a secret rarities concert at the Roundhouse in London in October 2019, Williams commented: "You know what happens when you release an album and it's really successful? If somebody else has written the thing that you think you've written, they'll find you. And they did. Ladies and gentlemen, this song cost me £2.5 million. Enjoy!"
  • I've Been Expecting You is Williams' second album after Life Thru a Lens. The album spawned five singles: "Millennium," "No Regrets," "Strong," "She's the One," and "Win Some Lose Some." The album has been certified 10x Platinum in the UK, where it has sold over 2.5 million copies.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater RevivalFact or Fiction

Is "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" about Vietnam? Was John Fogerty really born on a Bayou? It's the CCR edition of Fact or Fiction.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse Pop

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."