Dear God (XTC song)

Dear God (XTC song)
"Dear God"
Single by XTC
from the album Skylarking
Released June 1, 1987 (UK)
Format 7", 12"
Genre Baroque pop, Alternative rock
Length 3:34
Label Virgin (UK)
Geffen (US)
Writer(s) Andy Partridge
Producer Todd Rundgren
XTC singles chronology
"The Meeting Place"
(1987)
"Dear God"
(1987)
"You're a Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)/Vanishing Girl"
(1987)

"Dear God" is a song on XTC's 1986 album Skylarking. It was not a part of the original Skylarking album, but after DJs across America picked up the song, Geffen Records decided to replace "Mermaid Smiled" with "Dear God." The song was inspired by a series of books with the same title, seen by lead singer Andy Partridge as an exploitation of children.[1]

Background and content

The first verse and closing line are sung by the then eight-year-old Jasmine Veillette, the daughter of a friend of producer Todd Rundgren. In the video a boy lip-syncs her vocals. The lyrics are addressed to God, and vividly describe the range of human suffering, which the narrator attributes to God. The singer concludes every verse with the line "I can't believe in you." Despite the prayer-like quality, the lyrics strongly imply doubt as to the existence of God ("Did you make mankind after we made you?"), benevolence ("The wars you bring, the babes you drown, those lost at sea and never found"), and the value of the Bible as God's word ("Us crazy humans wrote it [...] Still believin' that junk is true / well, I know it ain't and so do you").

In the UK, when the song was originally released as a single many record shops refused to stock the track, fearing a religious backlash.[1]

It is ranked #62 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s despite never having charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and despite peaking at #37 on the Billboard Album Rock Chart, and the band had larger hits on both charts and the later Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

The song was covered by Tricky on the album Vulnerable, and by Sarah McLachlan on the album Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff.

Chart positions

Charts (1987) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 99
US Billboard Album Rock Chart 37

References



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