Life After Death?

This rant here is about religious hypocrisy, not religion (after all, my father was a vicar and I worked in Christian book publishing for many years). The parody is, roughly, the Pogues (who I love ). I apologise in advance to any Irish listeners for my dreadful Shane MacGowan impersonation, though Shane has spent most of his life in London, so his accent is all over the place, too.


  1. Life After Death?

    Is there life after death when we’ve breathed our last breath?
    Do we go to a home in the sky?
    Is there Heaven or Hell, surely no man can tell?
    You’ve just got to wait until you die
    Don’t spend this life thinking ‘bout the next
    It will be here soon enough
    Don’t believe what they say about a Judgement Day
    I don’t believe my God would be that tough.

    There’s a preacher I knew who said we would be damned
    If we didn’t follow the light
    We were all mighty shocked the day he got defrocked
    That’s a man who tries to teach us wrong from right!
    And I know the Lord moves in mysterious ways
    His wonders to perform
    But I do find it odd when a so-called man of God
    Thinks that touching up young choir boys is the norm.

    They say that the Pope has given millions hope
    Of a better home when they die
    And if they’re good down here they’ll bag a cloud up there
    Well it may be the truth or a lie
    But he’s sure helped the people who run the show
    Ensure the masses know their place
    For if they don’t toe the line, it’s drummed into their mind
    A burning lake of fire’s what they’ll face.

    It’s the same in this world, no matter where you go
    Religion backs up the State
    Be they Christian, Muslim, Jew, they all want you to do
    Things the leaders think will make their country great.
    And if God is looking down at us from on high
    I wonder what He makes of it all?
    For the things that it’s claimed are all done in His name
    I can’t help but think he’d be appalled.

  2. Great song, Phil. It’s almost as if Shane McGowan was staring out of the screen at me (except that your teeth are in a slightly healthier state!) Really thoughht-provoking lyrics, dealing with serious issues in a respectful way, as asked.

  3. Thanks, Paul, I appreciate it. To be honest I haven’t been to the dentist for years, so I could well end up like Shane! I’m glad you think it is ‘respectful’, because that’s my intention. I don’t want to face the wrath of my late father if I make it to Heaven! Cheers.

  4. Many thanks, Tracy, I am so glad you enjoyed it. Always a bit dodgy writing about religion, but TiTers are a great bunch, as you know, and seem to have taken the song in the spirit to which it was intended. You are too kind about the accent, though! I went onto You Tube and looked out some videos on how to speak ‘Oirish’. throuble is Shane has spent much of his lifein London as well as Ireland and it is hard to pin down his accent. Still, it’s only a bit of fun! Thanks, again. Cheers.

  5. Love it & especially the subject – one very close to my heart. Love the light heartedness instilled into a serious subject. Clever lyrics, made me roar with laughter in places. Well done, thought provoking and still fun to listen to. The ending was really clever leaving us hanging with the question – food for thought!

  6. Many thanks, Louise, I really appreciate your kind words. As a vicar’s son the subject is close to my heart, too, even though I have never had Faith, as such. I’m glad you found it amusing, because that, of course, was my intention. I also didn’t want to offend anyone, and thus far nobody has mentioned they thought it in poor taste; I suspect on TiT we are a pretty reasonable bunch of people. I’m glad you liked the ending, as I have long been fascinated by the concept of doing things in God’s name that are clearly against any Biblical or humanitarian values. Thanks again, Phil

  7. Shane MacGowan with much better teeth! For the son of a vicar that is radical stuff. In the words of a wise man – “If you haven´t offended someone you´re not trying hard enough”. However, I do agree that you have to try pretty hard to offend TisTers. I like your point about doing things in God´s name when God doesn´t seem to have mentioned these things. (Roe v Wade being a recent example.) “Touching up young choirboys” is a great line too. Nice take and clever lyrics.

    I have a couple of songs on religion and the afterlife on my YouTube channel but I hate people who link to their own songs on someone else´s entry so you´ll have to find them yourself (The Song of Mister Happy – which echoes your last point – and The Last of the Wine – about why no-one is gone until the last bottle of wine they made has been drunk).

  8. Hi Andy, I’m not sure about the better teeth! I was going to use the word ‘buggering’ rather than ‘touching up young choirboys’, but a TiT member said I shouldn’t swear in my songs (and I had used a four letter one in last month’s challange), so thought I would tone it down. Don’t get me started on Roe v Wade!!!! I gave your songs a whirl and have subscribed to your YouTube channel. Both songs are really good, very well produced (something that I need to work on), well-written and well- sung. You’ll not be surprised though that ‘Mr Happy’ is my fave. You are prophetic in predicting the outrage against Rushdie, though it doesn’t take a mind reader, sadly. I love the ‘doesn’t want my foreskin’ line. I got stopped by an evangelical on Saturday who banged on about God being a Jealous God, the reality of Hell etc, etc. I do wish I had listened to your song prior to this as I would love to hear what he had to say about someone with no bollocks being allowed in Heaven! Keep being controversial, mate! Cheers.

  9. You always produce something thought-provoking & interesting, Phil. This made me smile because your Shane MacGowan tribute is great! Although my beliefs have changed substantially over the last decade or so, I’ve happy for people to believe whatever they wish. Like you, the hypocrisy is what frustrates me. Keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s great. Stay fresh & feisty!!

  10. Thanks for the kind words, Suzanne. This was a fun one to write (though I hate performing). Interesting that you say your beliefs have changed over the last decade; I think that is a positive thing to be willing to change. As you can see from my reply to Andy, above, I got buttonholed by a fundamentalist Christian who was clearly very certain about his beliefs. I wish in a way I had that level of certainty, but in another way I very much don’t want it as it is good to keep an open mind, and all faiths (and none) can teach us something. I’ll stay fresh and feisty if you keep writing amazing songs, which I am sure you will!

  11. Thanks, Ian. I have put my cross against the Middleton candidate for the great pasta pastiche. Actually, did you see that the bloke who won the best Edinburgh joke this year did so with a pasta gag? As ever, my friend, you are ahead of the curve. Cheers.