Saturday, September 26, 2009

Robbie Williams turns Theologian? 'Bodies'

Channel hopping the other day, I stumbled across this

God gave me the sunshine,
Then showed me my lifeline
I was told it was all mine,
Then I got laid on a ley line
What a day, what a day,
And your Jesus really died for me
Then Jesus really tried for me

UK and entropy,
I feel like its ******* me
Wanna feed off the energy,
Love living like a deity
What a day, one day,
And your Jesus really died for me
I guess Jesus really tried for me

Bodies in the Bodhi tree,
Bodies making chemistry
Bodies on my family,
Bodies in the way of me
Bodies in the cemetery,
And that’s the way it’s gonna be

All we’ve ever wanted
Is to look good naked
Hope that someone can take it
God save me rejection
From my reflection,
I want perfection

Praying for the rapture,
‘Cause it’s stranger getting stranger
And everything’s contagious
It’s the modern middle ages
All day every day
And if Jesus really died for me
Then Jesus really tried for me

Jesus didn’t die for you, what do you want?
(I want perfection)
Jesus didn’t die for you, what are you on?
Oh Lord
(Jesus didn't die for you) Ohh
(Jesus didn't die for you)
(Jesus didn't die for you) Ohh

What is that all about? Yet another pop star 'doing God', or not? Gregorian chant backing creates a deliberately 'religious' feel to the song. Is this a prayer, or a dig at deluded Christians ('what are you on?'). Maybe it shows what happens when you've watched a bit too much of the God channel.

Wannabepriest has some good reflections, to which I'd add the following:
- The chorus intrigues me. Looking good naked is lifted straight from Gok Wan, but further back it's from Genesis 2. All we've ever wanted is to be naked without shame, to look at our reflection without rejection. I don't know if Williams is making the connection, but if he isn't, maybe that's interesting in itself: picking up on our obsession with bodies and perfection as an expression of the primordial dis-ease with self brought on by sin.

- Perhaps the confusion is just honest. When crowds of thousands at Williams gigs sing 'God save me rejection' in one breath and 'Jesus didn't die for you' in the next, perhaps that's just a thermometer to the brow of the times. We all want God to be there (apart from folk who don't want him to be there!) but we don't want to feel indebted, or personally got at. If Jesus really died for me, then I owe him.

- Some interesting stuff about death and entropy, the kind of thing a man in his 'modern middle age' might start thinking about. The final resting place of the body is the cemetary. This is standard mid life crisis stuff: awareness of mortality, trying to hold onto sexual potency, but when you look in the mirror that body isn't what it once was. What you need isn't sex, but love. Someone who can look at you, naked, and 'take it'.


  1. I took
    "Jesus didn’t die for you, what do you want?
    (I want perfection)
    Jesus didn’t die for you, what are you on?
    Oh Lord"
    as a second voice - perhaps the voice of the crowd, rather than the whole piece being a single voice. I'd be interested to hear why he wrote it.

  2. I wondered about that until I saw the video, which makes me think that its Williams 'voice' rather than another, saying that bit. Though with Williams, just because he's singing it with gusto doesn't mean he means it!

  3. Looks to me like he's reflecting on the whole anti-evangelical vibe (Dawkins et al), maybe?; its like a debate in someone's head, i.e. Jesus died for me but then there's chemistry and finally the cemetery; we had Genesis now we have Gok etc.

    Although this is "Robbie" so it probably shouldn't be overly analysed; as long as it holds a good tune and is "anthemic" enough it seems to make the chart for him.

    Or maybe he's just getting to that "rock star does redemption" stage of his career :)

  4. Think he may have come undone?

  5. I think the 'look good naked' reference is also to American Beauty, and to the themes of that film.

  6. When he's looking in the mirror and seeing his reflection, he struggles with what he see's. Maybe he thinks that God struggles with the person he (Robbie)is as well?

    Either that or its a pop song that doesn't mean too much and its just an attempt to get publicity / people talking?

  7. Interesting, at a time when Robbie has openly said he went to hell and back. I believe he cried out for God. the guy has had it all and still knew something was missing from his life. Re the harmonies "Jesus didn't really die for you", it could be that as a Christian the enemy constantly whispers that one to us on and off. Especially when we experience rejection, which is probably on a daily basis. Excellent music Robbie and well delivered as always. I hope and pray that your life is turning around and you will find the peace you have craved for so long.

  8. 'Jesus didnt die for you...well what do you want'

    hes saying...if you can not accept such a great thing as Jesus dying for you...what is it that you want then 'i want perfection' perfection is impossible...get over yourself and accept Jesus.

  9. I think Robbie put this out there - for this reason- the debate.

    He sings about faith, and really give us a mixed message- wich will make us debate.

    This is the step he could bring (small or big- u decide), in order to bring people towards the cross..

    he think the whole religius stuff is just yet another drug with no roots in reality..

    we would have to ask.

    But the vibe sure sound like its MJ - rip..

  10. he's a narcissist and an imitator who has always written nonsense (if/when he's written his own songs). I've never bought any, but I do have No Regrets.