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God is the subject of latest hit singles

Joan Osborne, Dishwalla, and Dog’s Eye View all sing about the Big Guy

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If Nietzsche went CD shopping, he’d have to seriously rethink his claim that God is dead. First, Joan Osborne put us face-to-face with the Holy One on her quasi-sacrilegious hit, ”One of Us.” Now the Almighty’s truly omnipresent, thanks to a number of recent singles on the Billboard charts. There’s Sophie B. Hawkins’ ”Only Love,” which wonders, ”When’s God gonna help us through?” There’s also the chorus of ”Counting Blue Cars,” the single from grungepoppers Dishwalla, that begs, ”Tell me all your thoughts on God/’Cause I’d really like to meet Her.” And on ”Everything Falls Apart,” the folksy Dog’s Eye View sing the line ”I met God this afternoon.”

But a host of bands go even further: Godflesh, godheadSilo, God Street Wine, Eyehategod, God Lives Underwater, and the straightforward God all give new meaning to using the Lord’s name in vain. So why is it so hip to be devout? Monsignor Tom Hartman, who represents half of Good Morning America‘s ”God Squad” (sort of the Siskel and Ebert of religion), chalks it up to the spirit of the times. ”As we get closer to the end of the century, it’s only natural that songs raise basic questions,” he explains. ”Where are we going? What are we doing? Is there a God?” And if so, will His comeback be bigger than the Beatles’?

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