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The First Time That I Went To Church
Words and Music by: Larry Norman (Live concert in Hollywood) The first time that I went to church was on a Sunday morning And from what I’d heard, I figured I’d spend me whole time yawning At 18 years of age or so, I thought I knew it all Me hair was long, me jeans were tight I loved a knife or buckle fight Provided mates stood left and right And those we fought were small But me mates and me, we’d never been So off to church we filed We marched inside, about three abreast Straight down the middle aisle Ah, some of us were smokin’ cigs Ron was sucking candies We sat in what they call a “pew” Then looked around to see just who’d come inside Let me tell you, everyone dressed like dandies And the row behind was full of dames You shoulda seen their looks! And one old dear, she gave me a smile And offered me some books, Tah! We open ‘em, pass ‘em around You shoulda seen the words, all set out like poetry is And the words put us in a tizz And Fred says through his lemon fizz “These books is fer the birds” “Shhhh! Tsk tsk tsk tsk!” One old lady says  And the whole place buzzed And Sam turns and says “Oh do hush up, you make more noise than us” And we looked around the building then It really was revealing Sam says, “Hey mates, I get the score “There ain’t no carpets on the floor “See the rafters; they’re so poor they can’t afford a ceiling “Can’t afford electric either; using candles everywhere” "Colored windows like my grannies" "At the bottom of the stairs" “Shut your face,” I says to Sammy, “I’m be listening”  So is Ron  And from the left, without a noise Came a line of little boys And Sam says, in a puzzled voice, “Coo, they’ve all got nighties on” Oh well then Then came men, in robes and banners “Look at that one, must be queer “ And they dare condemn us for the way we choose our gear?” Ah, and then there’s the minister, you know, who’s job’s to preach The Minister, what's-his-name  Those real long prayers, and what he preaches Sounds just about the same Ah, I came to church to listen, close But I can’t dig their chat  It’s like “mumble, mumble, shifting sinking sands” And words like judgment or reprimand Well, me and me mates don't understand a language quite like that I’m used to talking with me mates In words that have a meaning But that there church is just about the weirdest place I've been in If people like that kind of stuff Well, let them, that’s okay. But let me tell you what I feel I feel we need someone who’ll deal in words and thoughts And things that’s real — I’d listen to what he’d say Me mum once said, “Son, Jesus came to help young men like you” But Jesus came so long ago, mum And I don’t think it’s true. But is there anyone here, who can explain to me, right now Is Christ a myth? A madman’s whim? Some say that Christ can cure our sin Is there a way to contact Him? Or will I die not knowing how? Listen, I only came to church to see if they could offer hope But everything that happened there, was way outside my scope You know, like afterwards, outside, was a beggar on the grass He held his hand out to the people They'd smile, then they’d pass I’m sure he reached for something real For something more than cash He begged them for a little cheer And they all pretended not to hear I get the message, loud and clear Church is middle class.