Plastic Jesus

Album: Cool Hand Luke Soundtrack (1967)
  • I don't care if it rains or freezes
    Long as I got my plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car.

    Through my trials and tribulations
    And my travels through the nations
    With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.
    Plastic Jesus plastic Jesus,
    Riding on the dashboard of my car

    I'm afraid He'll have to go.
    His magnets ruin my radio
    And if I have a wreck He'll leave a scar.
    Riding down a thoroughfare
    With His nose up in the air,
    A wreck may be ahead, but He don't mind.

    Trouble coming He don't see,
    He just keeps His eye on me
    And any other thing that lies behind.
    Plastic Jesus plastic Jesus,
    Riding on the dashboard of my car ...

    Though the sunshine on His back
    Make Him peel, chip and crack,
    A little patching keeps Him up to par.
    When I'm in a traffic jam
    He don't care if I say "damn"
    I can let all my curses roll

    Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
    'Cause he has a plastic ear
    The man who invented plastic saved my soul.
    Plastic Jesus plastic Jesus,
    Riding on the dashboard of my car ...

    Once His robe was snowy white,
    Now it isn't quite so bright -
    Stained by the smoke of my cigar.
    If I weave around at night,
    And policemen think I'm tight,
    They never find my bottle - though they ask.

    Plastic Jesus shelters me,
    For His head comes off, you see
    He's hollow, and I use Him for a flask.
    Plastic Jesus plastic Jesus,

    Riding on the dashboard of my car ...
    Ride with me and have a dram
    Of the blood of the Lamb -
    Plastic Jesus is a holy bar.

    [Plastic Jesus has become quite entrenched in the folk tradition, so there are considerably more folk verses than there were original ones.]

    Here are the ones from the movie "Cool Hand Luke":

    I don't care if it rains or freezes,
    As long as I got my plastic Jesus
    Sittin' on the dashboard of my car.

    Comes in colors pink and pleasant,
    Glows in the dark cause he's iridescent
    Take him with you when you travel far.

    Get yourself a sweet Madonna
    Dressed in rhinestones sittin' on a
    Pedestal of abalone shell.

    Going ninety I ain't scary
    Cause I got the Virgin Mary
    Assurin' me that I won't go to Hell.

Comments: 11

  • Toms Too Old from Columbus, GaI was with a college friend when we met a guy my friend(a real folks song nut) introduced as the man that wrote "Plastic Jesus" this was in Little 5points in Atlanta. This was in 1967. His name wasn't Eddy Mars
  • Tim from 18944Gail holiday and the honky tonk revue, do a good version
  • Jan from Port Townsend, WaEddy Mars is a character in the movie THE BIG SLEEP, and other sources do seem to back up Nat, of Atlanta GA, in his statement that the singer's name is ERNIE Marrs. And a round of applause for IceCherry, of Kingston, PA, for the joke about that famous writing team of TRAD and ANON, who have been turning out a lot of great work for quite a while, bless 'em.
    Jan, Port Townsend, WA
  • Nat from Atlanta, GaAnd I never recall him ever claiming to have written Plastic Jesus. Ernie's claim to fame was that he could recall every lyric to any folk song you could name, including all the dirty lyrics. I never saw the man anything but completely drunk. He was some piece of work.
  • Nat from Atlanta, GaActually, his name was "Ernie". That's my father and sister you hear singing with him.
  • Icecherry from Kingston, PaI have yet to hear any other version of this song. I have seen "cool hand luke", but it's been awhile since I cannot remember this song as performed in the movie. I would like to get the best version of the song, to me, a version that is easy to listen to, as billy Idol's version or the "jackass" version I probably would not like. I printed out the lyrics to the song, and listed at the top under "artist" is TRAD AND ANON. I have yet to come across anything done by them, however as I am writing this, I am still looking. Anybody have any info on Trad and Anon's version?
  • The Last Dj from Hell.a., CaPaul Newman rocked this song in "Cool Hand Luke" and all he had was a banjo. Plus the propeller from the fan was going which made for great distortion as well as distraction. You feel his pain when he sings his melancholy tribute to his departed mother. And while it is not flawless, the imperfection most notable when he stops to take a breath or to hold back tears adds a distinctive character to the song.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesI don't know just what to do now that I've got that plastic Cthulhu crouchin' on the dashboard of my car -- I don't need no cross nor pentacles now that I've got that thing with tentacles crouchin' on the dashboard of my car.
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, WaLuke sings this as -
    "Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus, sittin' on the dashboard of my car.
    Comes in colors, pink and pleasant, glows in the dark cause it's irridescent
    Take it with you when you travel far.
    Get yourself a sweet Madonna, dressed in rhinestones sittin' on a pedestal of abalone shell
    Goin' ninety, I ain't scary [sic - 'wary'], 'cause I've got the Virgin Mary, assurin' me that I won't go to Hell.
    Get yourself a sweet Madonna, dressed in rhinestones sittin' on a pedestal of abalone shell
    Goin' ninety, I ain't scary, 'cause I've got the Virgin Mary, assurin' me that I won't go to Hell."
    In the film Cool Hand Luke

  • Jamie from Chicago, IlThis was also covered by Jello Biafra (with Mojo Nixon) on their album "Prairie Home Invasion."
  • Sam from Philippi, WvBilly Idol also did a cover of the song "Plastic Jesus" on his 2005 album "Devil's PLayground." It's by far one of the most incumbusing versions as it includes the classic Goldcoast Singers verses as well as some generally accepted add-ins.
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