One Of Us

Album: Relish (1996)
Charted: 6 4
Play Video
  • If God had a name what would it be?
    And would you call it to his face?
    If you were faced with Him in all His glory
    What would you ask if you had just one question?

    And yeah, yeah, God is great
    Yeah, yeah, God is good
    yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

    What if God was one of us?
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus
    Tryin' to make his way home?

    If God had a face what would it look like?
    And would you want to see if, seeing meant
    That you would have to believe in things like heaven
    And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?


    Back up to heaven all alone
    No, nobody calling on the phone
    No, just tryin' to make his way home
    Nobody calling on the phone
    'Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Comments: 15

  • Peter from North Attleborough, MaThe bit of gospel song that plays at the beginning (of some versions, anyway) is "The Heavenly Airplane" (possibly also called "The Aeroplane Ride") which was recorded by Alan Lomax in 1937 as part of his famous Depression-era collection of folk songs. It was sung by Nell Hampton. The complete recording is available on the Library of Congress website via the Internet Archive at
  • Phil from Neenah, , WiThe music video for this was filmed at Coney Island's Astroland located in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Michael from Eureka Springs, ArThe gospel song at the beginning is previously identified as "Heaven's Airplane." That song is listed by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress as "The Aeroplane Ride", written by Nell Hampton of Salyersville, KY and performed by Mrs. Hampton on a recording made on October 27, 1937. Go to the following link for the 45 seconds of Nell Hampton and scroll down the page Enjoy!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiGood song by Joan osbourne and good theme song to Joan of Arcadia,great show!
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesMick in Los Angeles: According to Wikipedia, the singer is Nell Hampton. "[Folklorist Alan] Lomax recorded Nell Hampton singing that song sometime between the 1950s to 1970s. It is much older, however, and originally credited to J. S. McConnell. See" The complete lyrics will be found on that page.
  • Eric from Bend, OrI think someone should do another parody of this song with the line "What if God made fun of us?"
  • Mel from Riverbank, CaNo, this is so not one of her best songs. Yes, it's the one that drew me to the album but I discovered a treasure. So many great songs.. Crazy Baby, Spider Web, Ladder... Dracula Moon is my favorite. Her songs are so sexy.
  • Ben from Gosford, AustraliaI remember the first time I saw this song was on Rage in 1995, that video clip with the clowns on the beach with the furo wigs lol. I love the guitar riff to this song, it's so sexy!
  • Raymond from Sydney , AustraliaI think this song is about me maybe -- who knows.
    I've been a stranger on a bus for over two decades. And God inspired me along the way. God is an ordinary person, with no great credentials or lofty status in society: the pope. Just a person seeking to find and share the truth -- whatever the truth turns out to be. Did I find the truth? See my andjesus if inquisitive.
  • Bob from Comox, B.c., Canada"Joan Of Arcadia" ran from Sept.26, 2003 to Apr.22,2005. The song and series were great!
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandI've liked this song for years, and I heard it last night and for the first time ever, I actually cried when the line "Back up to Heaven all alone
    Nobody callin' on the phone" came on. I dunno why -It's never affected me before...
  • David from Indianapolis, InThis song is one of Joan Osbourne's best ever! I think she killed em' all with this one!!!
  • Stacey from Nowra, Australiai can't believe how few comments this song has. i luv this song and the parody "what if god smoked cannibus" also i used to watch joan of acadia all the time but they cut it after one season bummer eh
  • Mick from Los Angeles, CaCould some one please tell me who it is singing that bit at the beginning of the song?? I know the name of it, and its lyrics, but WHO SINGS IT??
    It cant be Joan herself....(well, I dont think so, anyway). But it's a hoot!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesDid Joan release any other albums apart from Relish?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Who Did It First?

Who Did It First?Music Quiz

Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe ShaverSongwriter Interviews

The outlaw country icon talks about the spiritual element of his songwriting and his Bob Dylan mention.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."