God Walks Among Us Now: Jesus Song No. 6

Album: In A Priest Driven Ambulance (1990)

Songfacts®:

  • According to Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, this religious-themed psychedelic rock song was inspired by late-night night conversations with his new bandmate Jonathan Donahue. He explained in the book Staring At Sound: The True Story Of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips: "I think we liked each other because we could talk about God and outer space and really confront the idea of 'So, you don't believe in God? We, we don't either.' But the other side of that is 'Well, what do you believe in?' For some people it really is devastating when they don't have this belief in the mysteries of the universe anymore. It's great to believe in unicorns and God and Jesus and all that."
  • The tempo was kicked into overdrive by drummer Nathan Roberts, who was hopped up on caffeine during the recording session. "Originally a very fast, up-tempo song, that was made even faster, to the point of too fast, by Nathan drinking too much coffee," Wayne noted in the compilation A Collection Of Songs Representing An Enthusiasm For Recording... By Amateurs: The Flaming Lips 1984-1990. "Jonathan slowed down the play-back speed and we re-recorded the singing."
  • For not being religious types, the band sings about Jesus quite a bit. According to Wayne, it was a creative decision that allowed them to explore different alter egos. He told Consequence Of Sound in 2017: "None of us would actually want to be doing songs that are talking about Jesus. I think it allowed us to be characters for the first time. I was thinking of myself as, I'm just Wayne singing songs, and then I started to make up a character that I could be whilst I was singing for The Flaming Lips. I think that's what everyone has to do. You either have an ego that says, 'F--k you, I'm a singer, listen to me!' or you make up a character that you think is interesting. I think I sang about Jesus because it was what everybody thought we were about anyway. They thought we were these weird Americans from the South, even though nobody that we knew were really characters like that. It started to seem like we could be these characters from Oklahoma, and we can sing about religion, and we can sing about drugs, and we can sing about violence and heaven and all that. That really helped us get outside of ourselves. Singing about Jesus was a made-up persona, and that's why I think it works. I think everybody has to make up a character. You can't just stand there and be you. It's just too normal."

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