As Jon Pareles recently observed in the Times, pop has been pretty profane lately, from Cee-Lo Green to Pink to Eminem. So, what’s a good, Christian music fan to do when the radio is a minefield of sin? Make up a new, squeaky clean, perhaps even devotional version and then guiltlessly rock out with your, uh, glock(enspiel) out. In fact, for every deadly sin-ridden pop song, there is now a Christian parody that will have you back on the road to righteousness. Watch the devoted cure everything from wrath to envy — with varying degrees of success — after the jump. Thanks to the incredible Christian Nightmares for pointing us toward many of these.
GMDOCNICE — “Bless You”
If you didn’t think Christianity had the balls to touch Cee-Lo Green’s “Fuck You,” well, allow us to welcome you to Black Hebrew Israelite Cult National Headquarters, where some screwball is writing mean comments about Christians on YouTube. (A big issue, apparently! For some people!) There is some troubling, somewhat complicated, self-stereotyped racism happening here, we learn that Christianity is America’s national religion, and GMDOCNICE picks some fairly random targets (Bravo shows, the incredibly relevant video game maker Atari). But our favorite part is probably the seemingly inane “Too Legit to Quit” sample — although, considering that MC Hammer is all about Jesus these days, the shout out does kind of make sense.
ApologetiX — “Enter Samson”
In case you haven’t heard of them, ApologetiX are the “Weird Al” Yankovic of the Christian parody world. They do everything from the Beach Boys (“Baa! We’re Lambs”) to Eminem (“Look Yourself”) to, well, this. In fact, they’re weirdly good at metal — especially for a bunch of middle-aged dudes dressed like they’ve just been to a Jimmy Buffet concert. See also: ApologetiX’s take on Ozzy Osbourne, “Lazy Brain.”
“Our God Really Rocks”
How do you Christianize Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” a song so sleazy even atheist libertines feel like they need a shower after hearing it? Mix a heavy dose of Bible verse with frequent admissions that we are all sinners, add a roomful of politely apathetic churchgoers and some half-hearted dance moves (hands folded in prayer, duh), then throw it all in a blender with an armful of “Hawaiian luau” accessories and serve over crushed ice. Is the lead singer dressed up all Clockwork Orange on purpose? Unfortunately, trashiness is not a deadly sin, so we’re calling what what Ke$ha does sloth — as in, lazy songwriting.
“Single Ladies — Christian Parody”
Sure, we can see how this happened. But in practice? What, you didn’t want to dance to a song with the lyrics “my fear of an STD”? Also, a “silver ring”? Honey, it’s your wedding. Dream bigger.
BYU Divine Comedy — “Provo, UT Girls”
What is Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” about if not inspiring envy? You may think you’re hot stuff, but Perry and her crew of bikini-wearing candy girls will always be hotter. With that in mind, it’s nice to see that the Mormon ladies of BYU can laugh at themselves, in this video that claims most co-eds are at the school earning their “MRS degree” — and will do anything to get it. “You can party with us,” they offer. “Hope you like Settlers of Catan.” (Confession: We kind of do!) As for that dude in the pimp costume… uh, yeah. You’re like two steps away from James O’Keefe territory, guy.
Westboro Baptist Church — “God Hates Lady Gaga”
The notorious “God Hates Fags” church has a lot of thoughts on Lady Gaga, but one of them is that she’s selling “fake love substitution” and that she truly hates her fans — hence, greed. That pretty face you see dancing and snickering about “Lady Gay Gay” is Megan Phelps, beloved granddaughter of Westboro’s founder, Fred Phelps. And boy, can she write a lyric: “You ain’t got no poker face/ You just got your whorish face.” Burn!
Pentecostals of Charlotte — “Praise the Lord All Nite”
OK, so KISS’s “Rock and Roll All Nite” isn’t about eating too much — but it’s definitely about excess, of the drunken, sexual, and drug-snarfing varieties. What’s interesting about this isn’t just that it transforms a classic paean to mindless partying into a hard-rock hymn (“I wanna praise the lord all night and serve him every day”); it’s the assumption that the audience for a puppet show and the folks who would get the mid-’70s reference are one and the same. Note the gurgling baby in the background towards the end.