Plastic Jesus, A FINE SONG

~~~ LISTEN TO COOL HAND LUKE SING IT ~~~

~~~~ Gal and the Revue played Lisa and rŌbert’s wedding party ~~

A while back, a fella named Ernie Marrs (b. 1932 d. 1998) came up with a little song called “Plastic Jesus.” He got the credits for it when it was published in Sing Out! magazine in 1964 (Sing Out! 14/2), but the initial parody was apparently put together by Ed Rush and George Cromarty

It got wider recognition when it was used in the film “Cool Hand Luke,” and has been growing ever since. 

Lyrics:

Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations, 
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far. 

CHORUS
Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations,
And my travels thru the nations,
With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far. 

I don’t care if it rains or freezes
As long as I’ve got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car,
You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He’s Pink and Pleasant,
Take Him with you when you’re travelling far 

I don’t care if it’s dark or scary
Long as I have magnetic Mary
Ridin’ on the dashboard of my car
I feel I’m protected amply
I’ve got the whole damn Holy Family
Riding on the dashboard of my car 

You can buy a Sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell
Goin’ ninety, I’m not wary
‘Cause I’ve got my Virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won’t go to Hell 

I don’t care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the Twelve Apostles
Bolted to the dashboard of my car
Don’t I have a pious mess
Such a crowd of holiness
Strung across the dashboard of my car 

ALT CHORUS
No, I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
But I think he’ll have to go
His magnet ruins my radio
And if we have a wreck he’ll leave a scar 

Riding through the thoroughfare
With his nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead, but he don’t mind
Trouble coming, he don’t see
He just keeps his eyes on me
And any other thing that lies behind 

ALT CHORUS
Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Though the sun shines on his back
Makes him peel, chip, and crack
A little patching keeps him up to par 

When pedestrians try to cross
I let them know who’s boss
I never blow my horn or give them warning
I ride all over town
Trying to run them down
And it’s seldom that they live to see the morning 

ALT CHORUS
Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
His halo fits just right 
And I use it as a sight
And they’ll scatter or they’ll splatter near and far 

When I’m in a traffic jam 
He don’t care if I say Damn
I can let all sorts of curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn’t hear
For he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul 

ALT CHORUS
Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Once his robe was snowy white
Now it isn’t quite so bright
Stained by the smoke of my cigar 

God made Christ a Holy Jew
God made Him a Christian too
Paradoxes populate my car
Joseph beams with a feigned elan
From the shaggy dash of my furlined van
Famous cuckold in the master plan 

Naughty Mary, smug and smiling
Jesus dainty and beguiling
Knee-deep in the piling of my van
His message clear by night or day 
My phosphorescent plastic Gay
Simpering from the dashboard of my van 

When I’m goin’ fornicatin
I got my ceramic Satan
Sinnin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
The women know I’m on the level
Thanks to the wild-eyed stoneware devil
Ridin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
Sneerin’ from the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
Leering from the dashboard of my van 

If I weave around at night
And the police think I’m tight
They’ll never find my bottle, though they ask
Plastic Jesus shelters me
For His head comes off, you see
He’s hollow, and I use Him for a flask 

ALT CHORUS
Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus 
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Ride with me and have a dram 
Of the blood of the Lamb 
Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

There is nothin that is cuter
than a smilin Jolly Buddha,
Ridin on the dashboard of my car,
I don’t have no idol cuter,
comes in plastic, bronze and pewter,
Take him with me when I go afar. 

Jolly Buddha, fat and squattin,
on a pad of aspirin cotton,
He’s with me wherever I may roam,
When it’s late and I start to hurry,
I know he ain’t gonna worry,
He looks at me and all he says is, “Oooommmmmmm.” 

There is nothing that is gaucher
Than eatin food that isn’t kosher,
Right in front of my smilin Moses’ face,
I’m afraid that he’ll awaken
When I’m eatin ham or bacon,
And throw them Ten Commandments in my face. 

I don’t care if I’m broke or starvin’
As long as I’ve got a fish named Darwin
Glued to the trunklid of my car
God, I’m feeling so evolved
Drivin’ with my problems solved
Proclaiming what I think of what we are 

Riding home one foggy night,
With my honey cuddled tight,
I missed a curve and off the road we veered.
My windshield got smashed-up good,
And my darling graced the hood.
Plastic Jesus, He had disappeared. 

cho: Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
No longer chides me with His holy grin.
Doctors in the X-ray room
Found Him in my darling’s womb.
Someday, He’ll be born again! 

I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
He’s the dude with the rusty nails,
Walks on water, don’t need no sails
Riding on the dashboard of me car 

I don’t care if the night is scary
As long as I got the Virgin Mary
Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.
She don’t slip and she don’t slide
Cuz her butt is magnetized
Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car. 

Now I’m feeling quite contrary,
cos I got the Virgin Mary 
Sitting on the dashboard of my car 
There’s no room for imperfection,
in my Catholic collection 
Which sits upon the dashboard of my car 

Jesus, Mary and St. Patrick,
now I’ve got the holy hat-trick 
Sitting on the dashboard of my car 
One more statue I’ve got to get
is the plastic Bernadette
Sitting on the dashboard of my car

Plastic Jesus, you’ve got to go,
your magnet’s burst my radio 
Sitting on the dashboard of my car 
But I, won’t lose faith and I won’t lose hope 
cos, now I’ve got a pope on a rope 
Swinging from the dashboard of my car 

Once as I drove to Knock,
at a petrol station I got a shock 
at the special offers that they had for me 
20 more points and I can barter for a Jesus with stigmata 
to sit upon the dashboard of my car 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.


the family cat
 says:This was recorded in 1962 and was a cover of the original by the Goldband Singers.The lyrics which had been added to by Marrs were published in a folk magazine called Sing Out and Marrs took credit for the entire song even though the authors were named as Rush & Cromarty.Today they would sue but it caused a number of subscribers to the magazine to accuse them of blasphemy!
Probably that was due to Marrs “amendments” but its a very clever piece of poetry.
Possibly even more verses were added -like the one that started “when I go out fornicatin’-a way to get the name Satan in as rhyming.
Rush & Cromarty said the verses were inspired by a number of Gospel songs like Leaning on the Everlasting Arm.

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