Plastic Jesus


Plastic Jesus

I don't care if it rains of freezes
'Long as I got my Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car.
Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nations
With my Plastic Jesus I'll go far.

Cho. 

Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car ...
I'm afraid He'll have to go.
His magnets ruin my radio
And if I have a wreck He'll leave a scar.

Riding down a 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 eye on me
And any other thing that lies behind.

Cho. 

Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car ...
Though the sunshine on His back
Make Him peel, chip and crack,
A little patching keeps Him up to par.

When I'm in a traffic jam
He don't care if I say "damn"
I can let all my curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
'Cause he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul.

Cho. 

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.

If I weave around at night,
And policemen think I'm tight,
They 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.

Cho. 

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.

-- Version Ernie Marrs

[And a scurrilous final verse ...]

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!

-- Version nobody admits to

There are many more verses in circulation -- some in the "oral tradition" only. The last verse above is perhaps the most outrageous of them, and is a great way to end the song.


The author of Plastic Jesus is unknown, and he probably wants to stay that way.

The first four verses above were collected by Ernie Marrs, corrected for meter and sense, and published in Sing Out! magazine v14#2.

There is a recording by Ernie Marrs and the "Marrs Family" (Eleanor Walden, Bud Foote,and Danny Smith), made in 1965 in Atlanta. It is on CD in "The Best of Broadside Magazine" collection on disk 4 track 19.

There is also a recorded version from the same time-period by the Goldcoast Singers (Ed Rush & George Cromarty) -- Here The Are..., World-Pacific 1806 -- which was a humorous ad spoof. The intro from that recording is as follows ...

This song is based on an incident, a recent incident; maybe you've had the same experience. Driving along a very busy street, in the afternoon traffic, with honking and screaming and scraping of fenders and sweating and swearing and dust and noise and heat, and you're just glued to the wheel, and it's horrible, and the honking, and somebody's bumping into your bumper. And then you look at the car next to you, and the guy that's driving along next to you is all cool and calm, and he has an expression of Buddha-like serenity plastered all over his face. And you wonder why he is so serene. And then, possibly, you look to his dashboard, and there you see, glowing in the afternoon sunlight, about a four-inch high plastic icon that is apparently supplying this serenity to him. Maybe this is how he heard about it and achieved this kind of satori.

*CLICK!*

Spoken:
Good morning, friends, this is the Hour of Reckoning.
Sung:
Hello, friends and neighbors, How do you do? We're here to pick and sing And we hope we bring Some happiness to you.
Spoken:
Hallelujah, friends and neighbors, here we are from Del Rio, Texas, every morning at five-thirty AM, brought to you by... by... the Pink and Pleasant Plastic Icon Company of Del Rio, Texas, every morning at five-thirty AM in the morning (hallelujah). Friends, now we have word for you from our sponsor, the Pink and Pleasant Plastic Icon Company of Del Rio, Texas (hallelujah)...
Sung:
I don't care if it rains or freezes
's 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.
Spoken:
(Hallelujah) friends, yes you too can own one, for only a dollar and ninety-eight cents (no COD's, please), Del Rio, Texas. (Hallelujah) And friends, if you send in this week two dollars and ninety-eight cents, you'll get, in addition to your Pink and Pleasant Plastic Icon, you'll get a gen-u-ine, stimulated, Pink, Plastic Baby Jesus Television Light for your television set, with a halo that glows and rotates, easing eye-strain, and bringing in better reception, and friends (no COD's, please), and friends, if you do send in for this, this week, without fail, and put in fifty cents extra for stamps, (hallelujah), you friends, will receive, every day next week a different, a different member of the Holy Family, with a halo that glows and rotates, a television light antenna. Imagine, friends, the envy of your neighbors when they come in to watch Mitch Miller at your house, and they see the en-tire Holy Family, sitting on top of your television set, with their halos glowing and rotating, easing eye-strain, and bringing in better reception. Friends and neighbors (hallelujah), what better place for a family altar than the top of your television set?
Sung:
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.
(All together now!)
I don't care if it rains or freezes
's long as I've got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car.

*CLICK!*


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