Pop Goes the Bible! Radio 4, Saturday
I'd always thought that lyrics inspired by the Bible didn't come much better than Dylan's "God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son' / Abe said, 'Man, you must be putting me on'," in Highway 61 Revisited. But Paul Gambaccini revealed some decent competition in Pop Goes the Bible!.
"Now Adam and Evil they go hand in hand / Eve taught him sin, that's the way it began," sang Elvis, while Gene McDaniels's A Hundred Pounds of Clay retold Genesis: "He created a woman – and lots of lovin' for a man." The BBC banned it because it suggested that Eve was created out of building materials.
Bible boffin Diana Lipton explained why biblical plots make great source material – "We have a rich treasury of resonances and images in our mind connected with them" – and also pointed out that it's a two-way process: "Popular songs enable us to look back at the Bible and see it in a new light. They refresh the Bible."
That's certainly true of the magnificent Shadrack, written by Robert MacGimsey, a white songwriter everyone assumed was black. "We ain't going to bow to no golden idol! / Shadrack, Meshach, Abednego!..."
Arts & Ents blogs
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
Coronation Street triumphs over EastEnders at British Soap Awards 2013
The Hangover III star Heather Graham: I'll miss playing a sexy stripper because my real life is pretty boring
Hollywood practices random acts of red-carpet kindness
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Cannes Film Festival 2013: And why exactly are vous here?
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.