One of XTC’s best songs:

I actually heard this on the radio the other night, hence my looking for it on YouTube. I hadn’t heard the song in several years, and I don’t recall ever hearing it on the radio. In any case, it caught my mood this morning.


  1. #1 Mike O'Risal
    February 24, 2008

    Sunday morning is an appropriate time for this song! Too bad it’s not being played in churches with “Senses Working Overtime” as a B-side.

    Synchronicituitously, I was feeling a bit inspired myself today because of some things said by Michael Dowd.

  2. #2 notmercury
    February 24, 2008

    Always liked that one. I don’t really remember seeing the video though. Thanks

  3. #3 Barn Owl
    February 24, 2008

    I always suspected you were a really cool guy, Orac, but now that I know you’re an XTC fan, I’m absolutely certain you’re Totally Cool.

    One of the Best. Intellectual Bands. Evah.


  4. #4 Janine
    February 24, 2008

    The song was more of a college radio hit, it did not reach the level of “Mayor Of Simpleton”. It was not on the original pressings of “Skylarking” but “Dear God” was popular enough, it was placed on the album.

    Funny thing, this came out in 1986, when the PMRC was in full swing. I read a lot of literature from them at that time (I was a college DJ and Frank Zappa sent sent copies of their work to every radio station.) and the PMRC did not condemn XTC.

  5. #5 Paul Hutch
    February 24, 2008

    Dear God was a big radio hit in Boston among us who where 25-30 years old back in 86. The 1992 “The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead” has a good take on religion as well.

    “Peter pumpkinhead came to town
    Spreading wisdom and cash around
    Fed the starving and housed the poor
    Showed the vatican what gold’s for”

  6. #6 Abel Pharmboy
    February 24, 2008

    Funny that you should post on this today – I just heard it on Thursday on Sirius 18 (The Spectrum) on Carol Miller’s slot (the WNEW-FM legend from my adolescence). What a fabulous song – and what a fabulous band!

  7. #7 notmercury
    February 24, 2008

    I liked them way back when “Making Plans for Nigel” came out. Was that ’82 or something? I liked the album with “The Hop” on it but I haven’t heard that stuff in decades. Time to add some stuff to the pod.

  8. #8 Janine
    February 24, 2008

    Slightly off topic but if you enjoy “Skylarking” era XTC, you must check out The Dukes Of The Stratosphere. Yep, an XTC side project. Call it an extension of the psychedelic sound of that era. “Chips From the Chocolate Fireball” has everything they did as The Dukes, the “25 O’Clock” ep and the “Psonic Psunspot” lp. I happen to really like “Bike Ride To The Moon” and “Have You Seen Jackie?”

  9. #9 gimpy
    February 24, 2008

    Cool song, I came by it via Tricky’s cover which is well worth a listen.

  10. #10 Sid Schwab
    February 24, 2008

    By coincidence I posted today on the same subject, if less artistically and entertainingly.

  11. #11 Pink Bendy Straw
    February 24, 2008

    That is a powerful song… and a new favorite of mine.

  12. #12 Leni
    February 24, 2008

    This an awesome song.

    It reminds me of being 13 again. This used to be on MTV’s 120 minutes all the time, which I watched and recorded obsessively. I probably still have some ancient and unplayable VHS tapes with this video on it.

    And not to dis Ed Brayton but holy crap. You, dear Orac, have much better taste in music. Please do more lazy Sunday blogging 🙂

  13. #13 Barn Owl
    February 24, 2008

    My favorite XTC album is English Settlement…it’s full of brilliant social commentary.

    From “Melt the Guns”-

    I’m speaking to the justice league of America
    the U.S of A, hey you, yes you in particular!
    when it comes to – the judgement day
    and you’re stood at the gates with your weaponry
    you dare clasp your hands in prayer
    and start quoting me’ cos we say….
    our father we’ve managed to contain the epidemic
    in one place now
    let’s hope they shoot themselves instead of others
    help to sterilize the race now.
    we’ve trapped the cause of the plague
    in the land of the free and the home of the brave
    if we listen quietly we can hear them shooting
    from grave to grave.
    you ought to melt the guns melt the guns
    melt the guns and never more to fire them
    melt the guns melt the guns
    melt the guns and never more desire them.

    “Senses Working Overtime” and “No Thugs in Our House” are also especially wonderful.

  14. #14 Unlce Dave
    February 24, 2008

    Lets not forget the popular hit “Generals and Majors”
    I was considerably older than 13 I hate to say
    also “Respectable Street…..

  15. #15 BGT
    February 24, 2008

    I remember this song well. Call me “emotional” but, at a certain point in my life it really hit home.

    Besides, as a guitar player, I have to admire XTC’s work even if it didn’t have any lyrics. 🙂

  16. #16 Don
    February 25, 2008

    XTC is the kind of band where you want to claim them as your own little find. I must relate this little tidbit.

    I saw them play at the very old-time California Theatre on 4th Ave downtown San Diego California, on April 3 1982. Jools Holland opened for them.

    As it turns out, this little performance was their last ever live concert.

    It was the first night of a new North American tour supporting the English Settlement album, the first show they attempted after Andy Partridge had a nervous breakdown attempting a show in Paris the previous month.

    They got through what I thought was a spectacular show, and the next night they were scheduled at the Hollywood Bowl.

    They refused to go onstage, flew out of town, and the rest is history.

    Go ahead and hate me if you want. I’ve got my little piece of history and I’m perfectly happy with it. 🙂

  17. #17 J
    February 25, 2008

    Dear God is indeed a gripping song. But Sarah McLachlan’s cover of it was a significant improvement over the original in every way.

  18. #18 Tlazolteotl
    February 25, 2008

    Dear Don: I hate you! 😉

  19. #19 has
    February 25, 2008

    Cheers Orac, needed that. My previous (young) XTC exposure was “Nigel”, which is fine work, but sticks in the head something awful.

    Credit also to J – Sarah McLachan cover is fine (ignoring the video, wot is cheese). Ditto the Tricky cover, which is curious, but, hey, that man could make the shipping forecasts sound good.

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