Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam

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For the children's hymn, see I'll Be a Sunbeam.
"Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam"
Song by The Vaselines from the album Dying for It
Released 1987
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:31
Label 53rd & 3rd
Writer(s) Eugene Kelly, Frances McKee
"Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam"
Song by Nirvana from the album MTV Unplugged in New York
Released 1 November 1994
Recorded 18 November 1993 at Sony Music Studios in New York City
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:37
Label DGC Records
Writer(s) Eugene Kelly, Frances McKee
Producer(s) Alex Coletti, Scott Litt, Nirvana
MTV Unplugged in New York track listing

"Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" is a song originally recorded by Scottish alternative band The Vaselines for their EP Dying for It. It is a parody on the Christian children's hymn, "I'll Be a Sunbeam," which has the opening line "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam."

The song was little-known outside the indie-pop scene until Nirvana recorded the song in November 1993. The song released in the album and the DVD was titled "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" on their live acoustic MTV Unplugged in New York. The Vaselines re-released the song in 1992 on the compilation albums The Way of The Vaselines: A Complete History and All the Stuff and More. On All the Stuff and More, the title was changed slightly to "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam".

Two more versions of this song were released on the 2004 box set With the Lights Out. This included an acoustic version recorded in Europe in 1994, along with a live electric performance on the DVD section of the box-set. Another version was released on 2011 as a bonus track on the 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind.

On the version contained on the MTV Unplugged in New York album, Kurt Cobain refers to the song as: "a rendition of an old Christian song, I think. But we do it the Vaselines' way." [1]

Elvis Costello uses the line "Maybe Jesus wants you for a sunbeam" in the song "Alibi" from his 2002 album When I Was Cruel.

On the deluxe edition of their 2014 Album Bleach House, Phillip Boa And The Voodooclub released a cover of "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam".


  1. ^ Kurt Cobain, Nov. 18, 1993. MTV Unplugged in New York, DGC Records, released Nov. 1, 1994.