Song of the Week: Kiss Me, Son of GodPosted: October 2, 2006
For this week’s entry, I’ve decided to look at a band much loved by the staff here at Blurred Productions: They Might be Giants. To mix things up though, I’m going to look at a pretty atypical song from them, the last track on “Lincoln”- “Kiss Me, Son of God.”
TMBG’s humor usually comes from subtle wit, turns of phrase, and overall goofiness. Rarely do they venture into the realm of overt satire. “Experimental Film” comes close, but the mocking is gentle, as TMBG realizes that they often fall into that experimental category as well.
So while harsh criticism seems a little uncharacteristic for TMBG, they manage to pull it off well by masking it with happy music. “Kiss Me, Son of God” is sung from the perspective of a money and power hungry Evangelical preacher. He cheerfully tells the listeners about how he “built a little empire out of some crazy garbage called the blood of the exploited working class.” Subtly showing that the speaker is an egotistical prick, the speaker says that he looks very much like Jesus. After saying this though, worried that the song will start to drift away from the subject of himself, he qualifies that “Mr. Jesus is very far away.”
If you don’t listen to the content of the lyrics, all you get is the cheerful combination of violin, piano, and folksy vocals. It doesn’t really match up at all with the words, which is perfect.
On the first few listens, you’ll probably miss how cynical this song is. However, since the targeted group definitely deserve the criticism, you’ll be smiling and tapping your foot along even more once you know what it’s about.