Cheap Salvation Blues

(parody of "Existential Blues" by Tom T-Bone Stancus)
New lyrics by Mike Fischer

The Story: this is an unabashedly weird parody of an even weirder song, which may be familiar to listeners of the Dr. Demento radio show. I wrote it many, many moons ago, and it's held up better than most of my early attempts at parody.


Hey, man, do you believe in the gifts?

The elusive Holy Ghost has just tiptoed past my door.
My buddy likes the fundies, he says, "Hey, Michael, what's the score?"
I say, "I think the guy behind me's reading Maccabees, Book 4.
Are the Mormons gods-in-training? Christian Science, what a bore."

I see so many doctrines, what answers should I choose?
Is it Baptist propaganda or just cheap salvation blues?

The evangelists from church have been scorching my soul
When they quote from Revelation, and I'm losing all control.
And I'm sinking in the quagmire of "Confess it and possess."
I cry out, "I believe in Jesus!" but my life is still a mess.

I see so many doctrines, what answers should I choose?
Is it charismatic excess or just cheap salvation blues?

Praying, praying, what is tradition, what is truth?
Praying, praying, for more of the cheap-salvation blues.
God bless America, and our elders too.
May they always rule o'er us with threats, guilt, and cheap salvation blues!

Hey! Bom and-a-bom a-bom a-bom-bom and-a-bom and-a-bom a-dang a-dang-dang -
Interpretation, please!

I was on a quest--
"To dream, then interpret my dream..."
"Walkin' down the aisle one day, doo-dah, doo-dah..."

I was walking down the aisle, I was looking for the way, the truth and the life, when I came across all these little people, little people, little people all around me. They looked up at me and said, "Hey, Brother, are you saved?" I said, "Yes, weird little wonders, I think I'm saved, but who are you?" And they looked up with their big, tired, bloodshot eyes and said,

"We are the hospitality committee, -tality committee, -tality committee,
And in the name of the hospitality committee, we wish to welcome you to Christian-land." I said, "Hey!"

Hey, weird little wonders, I'm on a quest,
"To dream, then interpret my dream."
"Walkin' down the aisle one day, doo-dah, doo-dah..."
I'm looking for the way, the truth and the life; where do I do, who do I see -

They said, "Slow down, Brother! In order to find the way, the truth and the life, one must see... the PASTOR!"

I said, "The PASTOR? Well! Where does this pastor-O-wise-one minister?"

They said, "You see the big, green glow-in-the-dark cross up on the wall?"

I said, "Yes, I see the big, green glow-in-the-dark cross up on the wall. But there's a big, dark altar between me and the big, green glow-in-the-dark cross up on the wall! And a little old deacon with a Schofield Reference Bible saying, "I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dogma, too!" And I don't even have a little dogma...

Such tribulations! I must forge ahead,
"To dream, then interpret my dream..."
"Walkin' down the aisle one day, doo-dah, doo-dah"
I said, "Kids, I can handle the big green glow-in-the-dark cross up on the wall, I can handle the big dark altar, I can handle the little old deacon, but it's a very strange aisle you're sending me down! I've seen well-worn strips down the middle of aisles before, but, kids, uhh, never quite that wide!"

All right, straighten your ties, brethren, and sing like the worship leader:

Follow the Romans road! Follow the Romans road!
Follow the, follow the, follow the, follow the, follow the Romans road!
If ever, oh ever, a whiz there was, that pastor of ours is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because...
Because of the way he reads Four Laws, la-la-la la-la-la la, amen!
We're off to see the pastor, that wonderful pastor of ours!

Well, I got tired, "Walkin' down the aisle one day, doo-dah, doo-dah..."

I got a little bit tired walking down this dirty yellow-carpet-covered aisle, so I pulled myself off into a little prayer room, and I'm right in the middle of a field of beautiful flowery speech. And it (sniff) sounds so good, I figured, "Well, I'll just stretch out in this field of--

Prophecies! Prophecies! Prophecies! Oh God, oh God, oh God--
Strange vision, man. Well, anyway, I'm looking around, and they sound so good, the ol' pastor is just gonna have to wait, man, 'cause I'm gonna take me a little nap in this field of---
Prophecies! Prophecies! Prophecies! Oh God, oh God, oh God! Jonah, Jonah, Jonah! Philippians, Philippians, Philippians, Rrr, Rrr, Rrr--
Along came a shiny new Yamaha bike with a Windjammer fairing, screeched to a halt, a funny little man with a long, pointed nose, toting a Bible from the NAS, strolls over, says, "Hey, Brother?"

I said, "Man, don't persecute me--prophecies, prophecies, prophecies!"

He said, "But I just want to touch base with you! Because I sense in the Spirit that you have a burden you need to share."

I said, "Wait a moment! This man speaks Christianese - he must be - the PASTOR!"

It must be the pastor, that pastor of ours!
Why have you come to counsel me, O pastor of ours?

I said, "O Pastor-O-wise, I've been on a quest--
"To dream, then interpret my dream..."
"Walkin' down the aisle one day, doo-dah, doo-dah"
I was walking down the aisle--
"We are the hospitality committee--"
"Follow the Romans road, Follow the Romans road--"
I got tired--
Prophecies! Prophecies! Prophecies!
I said, "Man, I think I'm going to Hell!"

He said, "Hey, slow down, brother, relax."

I said, "But, Pastor-O-wise-one, I've come so far to find the way, the truth and the life!"

He said, "Hey, slow down, brother, relax. 'Cause to tell you the truth--"

"Pastor, that's what I've come to find is the truth!"

He said, "No, no, brother, you've got me all wrong. You see, to tell you the truth, brother, uhh, how can I tell you this, I've been out in this prayer room a long time myself, and I've come to find that the only truth is right here in this Bible."

I said, "Pastor!"

He said, "No, truly, truly, Brother. In fact... I'd rather have this Bible declared to me than... an eclair described to me!"
"How absurd, Pastor!"

Some girl with psychic power asked me, "Michael, what's your sign?"
I said, "Repent, you sinner!" (I think I blew her mind.)
I'm hearing, "Be a Clone," by some fruitcake named Taylor.
So I'll just turn the tape off--he sounds like such a failure!

I see so many doctrines, what answers should I choose?
Is it Oral Roberts begging or just cheap salvation blues?

Is it Oral Roberts begging?
Is it charismatic excess?
Is it Baptist propaganda?

'Mazing grace, how sweet the sound, cheap salvation blues!

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