I’ve decided to write notes describing each of the tracks on Loving Every Other Minute of It. I’ll publish one of these pieces per month until I touch on all ten tracks. Start at the beginning of the series here.
The main thing to understand about this song is that it was spawned by a documentary of the same name that came out in 2006. The documentary chronicles the indoctrination of kids at a certain U.S. Bible camp into a weird strain of militant Christianity that has nothing to do with Christ.
In case it needs clarifying, I didn’t grow up religious, and I don’t follow a faith. Having said that, I take some comfort from the story of Christ, I find the Bible compelling and beautiful on the whole, and the idea that anyone would use either to hurt people I find, at minimum, unfortunate. That’s probably more than you wanted to know about my beliefs, but there they are.
When I saw this documentary, it scared me, and I did what I often do when I’m scared of something: I made fun of it.
I quickly found a chorus:
Now I’m ready to fight. Now I’m ready to smite.
Line up them liberals, and swing with all your might.
Just a couple of weeks ago I kind of lost my way,
And then I went to Jesus Camp, and now I feel okay.
If you’ve followed my music life to this point, you’ve noticed I like goofy songs. The process for writing such a song is usually a kind of inner competition to see if I can finish it. I start many, if only in my head, and a select few make it across the finish line. This is one. “Johnny Marr” is another. As I work with Bret and Kevin on the followup to Loving Every Other Minute of It, I so far have only one goofy song. What’s up with that? Time for another.
With a chorus like the one above, it seemed necessary to find similarly joke-y verses, and the characters in the documentary provided plenty of fodder:
Say hello to Ethel. She’ll take you by the throat.
Fill you with some crazy dogma and teach you how to vote.
But you don’t vote. You’re a kid. You can never start too soon.
If they had their way in Jesus Camp they’d start you in the womb.
I kept going, kept adding verses, and eventually wound up with four — which I think was a record for me at the time. It was an easy melody to write to, and I stuck to the trusty “Punk Rock Girl” approach to keep the words coming. The last verse sums up my feelings on the subject:
Well, this song should be over, but it keeps going on
For parents who need anger class, and kids who are their pawns.
So do me one last favor before I end this song.
Don’t send your kids to Jesus Camp ’cause they get Jesus wrong.
And in the documentary, they do.
Laying down the law,