Dear God (XTC song)

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

"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[edit]

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.[1]

In pop culture[edit]

Sarah McLachlan version[edit]

Sarah McLachlan covered the song in 1995 for the XTC tribute album A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC. The song also appears on her compilation album Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff.[2]

Chart positions[edit]

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