too much Heaven on Their Minds

Ever since I was a little kid, I felt sorry for Judas in the story of Jesus’ betrayal.* I attended different churches in my youth, as my parents thought it best to be aware of different ideas. My parents did one thing well: taught that people are people, regardless of creed, colour, sexual orientation or from whence their family hailed. It was easy to understand as it applied to members of blood family! Anyway, some churches were anti-Judas and some taught that Jesus knew or even told him to do it as part of The Big Plan.

Whether you believe any of it, I’ve always loved the 1971 production (and 1973 film version) of Jesus Christ Superstar, particularly Judas’ attempt to dissuade Jesus from bringing Rome’s wrath down upon their people (and pleading for his friend to stop acting crazy). Even as a little girl, in my understanding of where the Jews were in the time and with what was going on, Judas had it right. I mean logically, ya know, if you buy that this happened. Either way, it’s well-known in our culture’s lexicon.

I’m Judas. I’m your friend and you rise through the ranks and then start talking shite and tearing down your people, your country, your own life because you have a God-Complex? I’m going to tell you. Even if I’m wrong.

‘Listen to me now.’

(Judas)
My mind is clearer now
At last
All too well
I can see
Where we all
Soon will be
If you strip away
The myth
From the man
You will see
Where we all
Soon will be

Jesus!
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you
You really do believe
This talk of God is true

And all the good you’ve doneWill soon get swept away
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say

Listen Jesus
I don’t like what I see
All I ask is that you listen to me
And remember
I’ve been your right hand man all along
You have set them all on fire
They think they’ve found the new Messiah
And they’ll hurt you when they find they’re wrong

I remember when this whole thing began
No talk of God then, we called you a man
And believe me
My admiration for you hasn’t died
But every word you say today
Gets twisted ’round some other way
And they’ll hurt you if they think you’ve lied

Nazareth
Your famous son
Should have stayed a great unknown
Like his father carving wood
He’d have made good
Tables, chairs and oaken chests
Would have suited Jesus best
He’d have caused nobody harm
No one alarm

Listen Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don’t you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied
Have you forgotten how put down we are?
I am frightened by the crowd
For we are getting much too loud
And they’ll crush us if we go too far
If we go too far

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
But it’s sad to see our chances weakening with ev’ry hour
All your followers are blind
Too much heaven on their minds
It was beautiful, but now it’s sour
Yes it’s all gone sour
Ah — ah ah ah — ah
God Jesus, it’s all gone sour

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
So come on, come on, listen to me.
Ah — ah
Come on, listen, listen to me.
Come on and listen to me.
Ah — ah

 

* Which happened (depending on your religion) around Pesach, which is now, hence this timing post…and this song popped up on shuffle, reminding me.

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8 thoughts on “too much Heaven on Their Minds

  1. I also always felt bad for him – he was trying to save himself and his friends- – and if Jesus knew all, he also knew that betrayal was coming from his best friend – kinda cruel to make your friend do that and then hang himself, no?. I love that musical (was part of putting it on stage once in my teens), thanks for reminding me!

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    • Lily says:

      That’s lovely you were a part of that! I didn’t do any stage or group activities in school (sport or whatever). Everybody seemed to make great memories in those groups.

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  2. It’s interesting to wonder how childhood experiences influence the way we think in later life. Like you, there was a lot of ‘church’ when I was a kid but I remember there was also a lot of hatred being bandied about in our house….dislike of Catholics and Aborigines and anyone else who was different and non-protestant. Somehow I’ve not retained that in my own adulthood…..I don’t know why.

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    • Lily says:

      As it’s often enough said but not as frequently put to action, ‘you can only blame your parents for so long…you’re an adult, it’s on you.’

      I lucked out where I didn’t have that kind of hatred (though there were MANY in my family who are so hate-filled, they are members of militia groups, think KKK). Of course where I went to school is intensely ‘backward’ thinking. I lucked out with having a wider pool so I got to see people are people.

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