September 25, 2015


The Pope Goes Prog: Listen to Pope Francis' New Rock Song Immediately

Can the Pope come to America more often? Because when he does, we get prog rock songs set to His Holiness' speeches. What a time to be alive indeed.

Rolling Stone premiered today the Pope Francis song "Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!" (a rousing entrant into our National Punctuation Day playlist!!!) ahead of the release of an entire album of these songs.

OK, so, writing about a Pope Francis song. Let's do this. "Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!" features the Pope's speech addressing an audience in South Korea, but not before an extended intro of wailing guitars, triumphant horns and drums.

When it's the Pope's turn to pontificate, he commands, to applause, "Wake up! Wake up!" He adds: "No one who sleeps can sing, dance and rejoice," with another command to wake up as the drum beat increases slightly (oh man, we're getting ready for an all-important coda, aren't we?).

Suddenly, there's a singing voice, but we're very sad to report it isn't Pope Francis doing the vocals anymore. Maybe his solo comes later in the album. We're banking on a redo of the bridge from Blues Traveler's "Hook," to be honest.

The entire 11-song album, titled Wake Up!, performed in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish in addition to English, is out in November. Don Giulio Neroni, who has worked with the previous two Popes, is the producer and artistic director. He told Rolling Stone:

"As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality. For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns."

Pope rock: It's a thing, and we're all better for it.