Hip Hop Atheism – ‘Glorious Feeling’ by Joelistics

I’ve heard this song a few times now on Triple J, and while Hip Hop does not usually feature highly in my musique du jour, I couldn’t ignore the lyrics and catchy hook of Sydney artist Joelistics’ ‘Glorious Feeling’. I couldn’t find the lyrics online, so I’ve transcribed them from the streaming player on his website at http://www.joelistics.com/. I hope doing that doesn’t violate copyright or anything? Anyway, here goes:

It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again

God gave up on the human race
He said ‘based upon the data that I’ve had to face
You’ve really made a mess of the place that I made for you
Then you turn around and you ask me to save you’
Jews blame the Christians, Christians the Muslims
Atheists admitted they were wrong but right
The pope said ‘well, I guess that’s that’ then
Collectively we all breathed out a sigh
All of the damage that religion had done
Was put into perspective underneath the sun
And god said ‘faith is a beautiful thing
But it’s time for you to take responsibility kids’
‘Cos I don’t know what you’ve been told
But the streets of heaven aren’t lined with gold
You don’t know what you got until it’s gone

It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again

The human race gave up on god
And said ‘It’s high time that we all got along’
The arguments about who the hell she loved best
Were seen for what they were and laid to rest
And politicians stopped using god as an excuse
To commit the most blatant abuse of power
Loud like ringing in the ears
The sound of the prayers of cheers from the people released
All baptised at the miracle of life
Without the regrets and the guilt and the threats
Sex was celebrated, life was embraced
The basic thing was maintain respect
And I don’t know what you’ve been told
But the streets of heaven aren’t lined with gold
You don’t know what you got until it’s gone

On the streets of the cities of the world you find them
People of all types who climb the horizon
Fresh newborns in the fresh new morning
Lovers in the night who fly and then fall
The march of survivors, designers, tyrants
Besides limousine drivers, colonels, brigadiers, sergeants, privates
The scientists smashing particles together
The junkies, the tradies, the gentlemen, the ladies
The babies, the aged and infirm
The hermits, the perverts, servants and surgeons
The insurgents killing in the name of god
The slow and the steady who are ready for anything
The war and the menacing, and even Centrelink
And the ones who were peddling stories
Of the grace and the glory

It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again
It’s a glorious feeling
I’m up on my feet again

Also featured on Joelistics’ website is a video about the inspiration behind ‘Glorious Feeling’, and I liked these quotes in particular:

“… it became a somewhat of atheist gospel song, because atheists never seem to get choirs.”

“when you let go of … belief, it can be quite a liberating experience to still have that reverence and that faith and that wonder at the universe but not have it channelled through a series of laws and rules and um, strict mythological ideas about creation”

It’s refreshing to hear a mainstream(ish) song raise these themes, while we are seeing issues related to religion in the news. Chaplains in government schools and the ‘No Religion’ census campaign immediately come to mind. Hip hop has a history of leading the way when it comes to raising awareness of contentious issues through music, so even though it’s not my favourite genre, I am glad that the Aussie hip hop scene is going strong and producing tracks like this.



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