The song One of us by Joan Osborne

Has anyone here heard the song,One of us by Joan Osborne?If you have seen the lyrics with a particular reference to…What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us… ,won’t you say that that song was a little bit disrespectful to think that the lady is a Catholic.

Yes I have heard it, and I do not see why that point is disrespectful. She was saying one of us, as in humanity, and lets face it, compared to the ultimate order we are slobs.

Wow I didn’t know she was Catholic. I don’t like that song, but it’s not because of the lyrics. It just sucks.

I don’t see anything disrespectful in there. Technically we are slobs which is WHY God became one of us.

'And the Word was made flesh and dwelt (literally ‘set up His dwelling’) among us.

I likewise find nothing disrespectful in it.

By the way, it was the theme song for the short-lived series Joan of Arcadia. I was really sorry to see that one go as it was truly well done.

Here are the full lyrics in question - I’ve never thought them disrespectful, in fact I’ve always liked the song. I think it asks some very serious questions.

Tile :Joan Osborne - **What If God Was One Of Us
**This is lyrics from
If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with him
In all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

*And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that
you would have to believe
in things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints
and all the prophets (*)

Trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
’cept for the Pope maybe in Rome(*)

Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
’cept for the Pope maybe in Rome


i agree. the song puts me to sleep. boring indeed.

I don’t know, but I thought his name was Jesus :wink:

I was never particularly offended by the song, I just found it a bit silly. The song always instilled in me this vision of someone staring out a bus window wondering what life would be like if God came down and became one of us. It already happened! He DID become one of us! It’s all written out in the Bible! :slight_smile:

I think this song’s very Catholic–it actually says that the only one seriously talking to God is the Pope himself.

The Catholic League was offended, as one might expect:

Her songs and videos offer a curious mix of both [politics and prejudices], the effect of which is to dance awfully close to the line of Catholic baiting. If even her admirers see something of the sacrilegious in her work, it is hard to maintain that Osborne doesn't have an agenda. It is our hope that she doesn't let her sentiments regarding Catholicism get in the way of whatever artistic abilities she has."

…The league is delighted that Osborne failed to win an award, but nonetheless pledges to track her work in the future.

I was casually reading the Wikipedia entry on the above song and mentioned that William Donohue said that it was sort of “borderline sacrilegious,” and that even some of her fans agreed with that sentiment.
I personally feel the song is merely ok but I CAN understand why some would feel the way they do.

It sort of reduces God to somebody we can relate to-----a “slob like one of us.”:rolleyes:
And the final part where she sings that nobody is “calling on the phone-----except for the Pope maybe in Rome” is iffy to me. “Maybe”—smacks of religious doubt. As well as some of the other lyrics on the song.

To me, this song has often been interpreted as a statement of faith----but it is actually more "ambigous than that. More about religious questioning and reductionism of God to something relatable to “us.” In other words, our “buddy,” which how a lot of self-help authors and New Age Gurus see Him.

That is my opinion, anyway.

What about folks here?

I’ve been conflicted about it myself. However I would not be surprised if it was meant to be sacrilegious because the singer Joan Osborne is very, very pro-abortion and these kind of people tend to be against organized religion. It’s my understanding she didn’t write the song though.:shrug:

Yeah, she didn’t write it: I was also right about her stance on abortion: Fembot: You’ve been very publicly involved with Planned Parenthood and other women’s organizations. Why are you so active in this arena?

Joan Osborne: I’ve been helped out by Planned Parenthood in the past, and I feel like it’s incumbent upon all of us as human beings to take some action. And this is where I choose to do that. I want to support them and do my part.

Fembot: Why Planned Parenthood in particular?

JO: Because it has a broad based approach to women’s health. It’s not just about abortions and contraceptives. It’s about healthcare for people who need it.

Fembot: What does your position on the advisory board mean?

JO: It’s a symbolic position. I show up at events and publicly show my support for them. For some reason, fame has a certain attraction for some people. They are more likely to show up at fundraisers if there’s a celebrity there. They want to rub shoulders with them, I guess. But if it helps, I’m happy to do it.

Oh, and here’s a classic line: “Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions and unwanted pregnancies than all the pro-life groups combined.”

That song made me cringe when first I heard it.
I now just punch the radio button to change stations when it comes on.

Liked the song when it came out but have heard it said that the problem with it is that it denies the divinity of God.

Hadn’t thought about this song in a long time and now it’s stuck in my head since reading this thankyouverymuch:)Will have to put on some music while I clean to get the questionable song out of my head:)

What about “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode, which was popularized by Johnny Cash as a CHRISTIAN song? Those lyrics are much more about Jesus being our “buddy,” yet you don’t see anyone ripping on either version.

So sorry about that, Keran. Seriously. Had not idea that some folks considered it that bad. :frowning:

I do agree it does tend to get stuck in one’s head.

Oh, dear.:rolleyes:

I would counter by saying Johnny cash could transform a song into anything he pretty much wanted it to be. Take the song by Nine-Inch-Nails he sang just before his death. (Forgot the name). He transformed that song about addiction that was TOTALLY depressing to it being SAD. And about other things other than addiction.

Same with “Personal Jesus.” You DO know Depeche Mode intended it to be about a phone sex operator? (That’s what I’ve always believed, anyway. And that is what the lyrics clearly suggest). With Cash singing it, he certainly changed the meaning by his singing to a more Christian message. He was a musical genius. And garnered enough “good will” that people would overlook any bad ,essage in his songs. Also, Johnny was considered by most to be more of a “mainstream” singer who tended to sing about more “traditional” things like country, God, and Patriotism. The Depeche Mode version actually garnered some controversy when it came out. You think the DM verion was “dubious?” Try Marilyn Manson’s cover of it. what was HE implying?

As always, my opinion.

Yes------not surprised about Osborne’s leadership role in PP. This is the same woman who (I think) wrote (and also sang, of course) “St. Theresa,” who is really about a prostitute she knew she nicknamed “St. Theresa.” :rolleyes:

Did you know that the guy who wrote “One Of Us” wrote it to impress his girlfriend at the time, who later became his wife? Wrote it pretty quickly inside a car. :):stuck_out_tongue:

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