Music: Lyric Sheets: The Pope's Album

His Holiness the Pope is heading for a chart smash with a new CD released this week. Entitled `Abba Pater' (Aramaic and Latin for `Father') the album is described as having a bewildering array of rock, African beats and `ecclesiastical rap'.

"...Yeah like, before we made this one

We prayed a lot, of course we did

And while the bloke retuned the grand

I broke bread with the backing band

And since the theme's traditional,

The A&R man quietly said,

`Forget about the studio tricks

He wants those harps up in the mix'.

At first the guys were skeptical

It stank of Deus ex machina.

The bass-player threw a little fit

And wanted to redo his bit.

We had to move the choir around

The chancel had a `live room' sound.

But tapestries around the wall

Had made it more like `village hall'.

I sent the Papal Legate out

With DAT machine to sample stuff

And screens held up by altar boys

To try and damp the background noise

The good thing with this album is

We've learnt at last that `less-is-more'

Too many churchmen these days think

You've got to have the kitchen sink

But could they take it on the road

With what... a choir? A five-piece band?

When I was starting, in my teens

We just made do with tambourines.

And if, as often happened then

The Guv said, `I can't hear a single'.

He made the congregation sing

You couldn't just remix the thing

And look, I know it's boring but

The stadium ballad has to stay

It keeps the punters hanging there

Like ad captandum vulgas* yeah?"

*to appeal to the crowd