Dear God (XTC song)
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|Single by XTC|
|from the album Skylarking|
|Released||June 1, 1987 (UK)|
|XTC singles chronology|
"Dear God" is a song on the 1986 album Skylarking by English band XTC. It was not a part of the original Skylarking album, being originally released as a B-side to "Grass", 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 exploitation of children.
Background and content
The first verse and closing line are sung by 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. Partridge concludes every verse with the line "I can't believe in you". The lyrics express doubt as to the existence of God ("Did you make mankind after we made you?"), the omnibenevolence of God ("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").
Despite the song only barely managing to chart in the UK and never reaching the pop charts in the US, in 2009 it was ranked at #62 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.
In pop culture
- The song was featured in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
- Lawless and Sydney Wayser recorded a cover that has been featured in several TV spots and trailers including Dominion, Tyrant, Spotlight, Outlander, Containment and The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.
- Todd Rundgren recorded a version on the album (re)Production.
- Tricky recorded a version on the album Vulnerable.
Sarah McLachlan version
|UK Singles Chart||99|
|US Billboard Album Rock Chart||37|