[30 Day Song Challenge] Day 14: A Song No one Would Expect Me to Love

Or maybe, after seeing the first 13 days of these, it won’t be so surprising that I adore “One of Us” by Joan Osborne. Or maybe, if you know me pretty well and have read my blog for a while, it’s not so shocking to you that I don’t share the rabid atheist, anti-theist beliefs of many of my political compatriots. (I will freely and gleefully mock and deride the cruelly un-Christ-like behavior and personages of demagogues and loons like Kirk Cameron, Tony Perkins, Miles McPherson, Maggie Gallagher, Jim Garlow, William Donohue, and their hideous friends. Donahue, who is an opponent to free thought, compassion, love, and anything remotely Jesus-like, attacked the song for being anti-Catholic, though he couldn’t explain how referencing the Pope talking to God on the telephone would be considered anti-Catholic. That said, I don’t have any need to be anything but appreciative and amazed and just a tad jealous of the non-fundie faithful.) And this song makes the quest for the belief in God into a searching, questioning, and deeply populist process, which as an agnostic and someone often told he’s going to Hell, I find quite endearing, even moving. Also, the tune has a hook and a melody that make it singalong-in-the-car awesome.

“When he pushes, will you come?”

Donnie Davies is back!


I was kind of sad that he had vanished into the ether from which he came. But he hasn’t! He’s back with a new song and video. While it’s not as good as “The Bible Says” (bottom) which is kind of genius, “Take My Hand” (top now lost to the internet) does have some pretty awesome double entendres, and the video has some choice iconography, like Anderson Cooper and Michael Phelps and the final shot that seems ripped off from a Creed video. Honestly, I’m surprised Donnie Davies didn’t perform at the RNC with San Diego’s gay-basher-in-chief Miles McPherson. Considering how many people seem to think Davies is the real deal — check out the comments on his YouTube page — I do wonder how many times he’s been asked to perform at Christianist anti-gay events.

As I’m sure my readers — at least the ones who actually read the blog, as opposed to the people who show up here because they googled “kneepads costume slut” or “San Francisco street whores” or “cellphone + bible + thesis” — will recall, I wrote a ridiculous paper about the phenomenology of gaydar because of last year’s Donnie Davies brouhaha. Here’s the first paragraph:

Over the last several days, various gay bloggers have been linking to a music video of Donnie Davies and his band Evening Service performing their song “The Bible Says.” Filmed like a cross between a video of a run-of-the-mill country artist and a 1980s arena rock band like Night Ranger, it was full of images of Donnie praying, raising his arms like Jesus, and singing with a little too much gusto to appear to be “cool.” It looks like a Christian rock video. What most bloggers and their readers objected was the song’s refrain: “God hates a fag / God hates fags / God hates fags / So if you’re a fag, He hates you, too.” Before I saw the video, I read a number of posts about how deeply offensive the song and the Donnie were, how this proves how hateful the Religious Right could be. But then someone noticed that it was a little too over-the-top; it seemed like parody. Last night, there were nearly 200 comments on the popular gay blog JoeMyGod debating whether or not it was satire. Joe himself wrote, “I mean, COME ON, take a swishy bear [“bear” is gay slang for a husky, often hairy, gay man] in a PINK shirt and have him sing about fighting homo temptation? It’s GOLD, Jerry! And the line ‘To enter heaven, there’s no backdoor’? Priceless” (2007). For some the hints of satire were in the double entendre of the lyrics, but for others it was the way that Donnie moved, his gestures, his way-of-being that made him seem, well, gay. (Though this latter observance would not necessarily mean that he was joking, considering that he states on his website that he is a “reformed” homosexual.) Because I have been reading feminist theorizing on the body all week, I thought, well, yes, Donnie moves gay-ly; our interpretation, my interpretation that he is gay, that he cannot be anything but gay, arises out of culturally, historically embedded notions of the male and female body, notions that have only somewhat changed (even if they have been complicated) by the feminist intervention.

You can read the whole thing here. As an added bonus, there is a stupid flame war between me and a troll in the comments.