Terrible secrets of the songwriters

Believing in God is so unfashionable that sometimes it is hard to discover if someone does or doesn’t, because they cover it up. In the 1960s, pop stars would go to great lengths to conceal the fact that they were married or even that they had a serious girlfriend – or if they were gay.

Declaring that you are a Christian, then, is a bit like “coming out”.

But let’s face it, putting the word God in a song title is a bit of a giveaway if it is done in a positive way. So when I happened to think of the old Coldplay song God Put a Smile On Your Face I had to dig quite deep into lyricist Chris Martin’s biographical details to reach the reference to his religious beliefs. And what it amounted to is that he believed in “a” God, but he wasn’t sure if it was the Christian one or not. “I don’t know if it’s Allah or Jesus or Mohammed or Zeus. But I’d go for Zeus,” he said, in a frankly PR-orientated attempt to stay cool and not alienate anyone.

Okay, Chris, your secret is safe with us. At least you’re looking in the right general direction.

And then there’s Russ Ballard, a songwriter still best known for his time with Argent in the late 60s/early 70s, and who wrote God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You. The trouble with checking him out is that firstly there is an American religious person of the same name, and secondly the musician Russ Ballard isn’t all that famous in his own right, so there is less written about him. But it’s a fact: God did give rock’n’roll to us. He also gave us reggae and country music. And rap, so there’s something for everyone.

Anyway, this is great song and was even covered by Kiss, if that gives it credibility in your book. I like the Argent version:

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