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"Spirit in the Sky" - Norman Greenbaum - HD with lyrics on screen

Set to be a “religious-Rock” song, Jewish Norman Greenbaum used “Jesus” thinking (correctly) that it would be more marketable this way…he was right. In his own words – “"I’m just some Jewish musician who really dug Gospel music. I decided there was a larger Jesus Gospel market out there than a Jehovah one.”

The singers take on the song –

“It appeals to one’s inner self and the need for redemption, plus, heck, who wants to go to hell?”

"Spirit in the Sky" is a song written and originally recorded[4] by Norman Greenbaum and released in late 1969. The single sold two million copies from 1969 to 1970 and reached number three in the U.S. Billboard chart (April 18, 1970) where it listed for 15 weeks in the Top 100. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 22 song of 1970. It also climbed to number one on the UK, Australian and Canadian charts in 1970. Rolling Stone ranked "Spirit in the Sky" No. 333 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was featured on the 1969 album of the same name.

He was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner on TV singing a gospel song. Greenbaum later said: "I thought, 'Yeah, I could do that,' knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes."

The sound is an innovative and compelling combination of gospel and psychedelic rock music, with loud drums, distorted electric guitar, clapping hands, and tambourines. The production team brought in the Stovall Sisters, an Oakland-based gospel trio, to sing backing vocals. Because of its unusual lyrics and style, the record company was initially reluctant to issue it, but was finally released as a single after two other singles from the album had poor sales. "Spirit in the Sky" became a worldwide hit, and was at the time the best-selling single ever for the Reprise label.

Lyrics to "Spirit 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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