I’m Jewish and proud of it, but I have no problem admitting that Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel” is a damn (have I already sinned in the first sentence?) good song that I thoroughly enjoy belting in the privacy of, say, my car. I also love to sing along to the Byrds’ “The Christian Life” whenever Sweetheart of the Rodeo pops up on my iPod. Still, I found it curious to learn that “Jesus, Take the Wheel” has apparently made it to the synagogue circuit. Nashville songwriter Hillary Lindsey, who collaborated with Underwood (pictured) on the Grammy Award-winning tune, told me last night at the Global Green pre-Oscar party that a friend from New York recently called to say he’d heard it played at a bar mitzvah (one can only assume it was a Reform affair). “Talk about crossing over!” she chuckled.
The next morning, I called a photographer pal of mine who specializes in shooting New York-area weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs and he, too, recalled hearing the song at a Jewish function. Inappropriate? Some would say so. Certainly my mom did whenever I’d break into some spiritual twang (and not of the klezmer variety), but at the same time, doesn’t it feel nice to bridge a cultural divide with something as simple as an undeniable melody?
addCredit(“Carrie Underwood: Andrew Eccles”)