…oh set me up with the spirit in the sky

Born in 1942 in Malden, Massachusetts, Norman Greenbaum, who attended Hebrew school, was raised in a traditional Jewish household.  He went on to study music at Boston University where he (let’s say it by rote) performed-at-local-coffeehouses, before dropping out and moving to L.A.

In Los Angeles he joined Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band, with whom he had a novelty hit with the psychedelic, “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago” in 1968.  I don’t remember that one either. The following year, after leaving the Junk Band, he was inspired to write a song that you WILL remember, however, after watching Porter Wagner and Dolly Parton perform on a Sunday morning gospel show.

“I thought, yeah, I can do that,” said Greenbaum, who conceded that he knew nothing about such music, “so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy and I wrote it in 15 minutes.”

Released in 1969, “Spirit in the Sky” reached Number Three on the U.S. Billboard charts and hit number one on the UK, Australian and Canadian charts in 1970.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Friday 15 June

Sprit in the Sky

When I die and they lay me to rest

Gonna’ go to the place that’s the best

When I lay me down to die

Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky

Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky

That’s where I’m gonna go when I die

When I die and they lay me to rest

Gonna’ go to the place that’s the best

Prepare yourself you know it’s a must

Gotta have a friend in Jesus

So you know that when you die

He’s gonna recommend you

To the spirit in the sky

Gonna recommend you

To the spirit in the sky

That’s where you’re gonna go when you die

When you die and they lay you to rest

You’re gonna go to the place that’s the best

Never been a sinner I never sinned

I got a friend in Jesus

So you know that when I die

He’s gonna set me up with

The spirit in the sky

Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky

That’s where I’m gonna go when I die

When I die and they lay me to rest

I’m gonna go to the place that’s the best

Go to the place that’s the best

 

 

 

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