The brilliance of Steve Martin: "Atheists don't have no songs"

We loved him with “King Tut,” and he’s gone and done it again, with this inspired Bluegrass tune, accompanied by the Steep Canyon Rangers.    (In a related vein, Heather King ruminates on the idea that “atheists have no story…”)
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12 responses to “The brilliance of Steve Martin: "Atheists don't have no songs"”

  1. Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of believers. I hope the atheists realize that it was only intended in the spirit in which it was meant.

  2. “we’ll be just fine..”
    No Christina, you won’t bc life without music is only half a life.

  3. Actually atheists are really involved in music, not many hymns, of course, but a few other tunes, like Somewhere over the Rainbow, for example, not to mention Pink Floyd’ David Gilmour and a host of other musical folks.

  4. I’m an atheist, and I love this. All of my atheist friends love this, and I know of at least two that described it as “badass.”

    In fact, by my interpretation, this is more of a farce on religion than atheism. Or has Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and past Steve Martin jokes simply made me see satire when satire isn’t there? Hmm… seems more probable that this actually is satire in the first place, but whatever.

    Either way, according to the lyrics atheists get the musical stylings of the blues and rock-n-roll, so we’ll be just fine, lol.

  5. Steve Martin’s (admittedly very few) statements about spirituality would seem to put him in the atheist, or at the least agnostic, camp. I find it funny that so many believers couldn’t tell this song was satirical.

  6. Actually we have plenty of songs. they are just not about gods or religion. Consider these musicians who are all atheists…
    Hector Berlioz (1803–1869): French composer.
    Isaac Brock (1975–): American singer, guitarist, banjoist, and songwriter for the indie rock band Modest Mouse.
    Sussex, best known for his vast repertoire of songs, many of which were collected in the folksong revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
    Eddie Collins (a.k.a. Greydon Square) (September 28, 1981–): African-American hip hop artist.
    Wayne Coyne (1961–): American rock musician, lead singer of The Flaming Lips.
    Ani DiFranco (1970–): Singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
    Beth Ditto (1981–): American vocalist with the band Gossip.
    Brian Eno (1948–): English electronic musician, music theorist and record producer, known as the father of modern ambient music.
    Bob Geldof, (1951–): Irish singer/songwriter, organized the Live Aid and Live 8 charity concerts.
    David Gilmour CBE (1946–): English guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Pink Floyd.
    Greg Graffin (1964–): Lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion. Received his zoology PhD with the thesis Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.[31][32]
    Percy Grainger, (1882–1961): Australian-born composer and pianist.[33]
    David Gray (1968–): English Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who came to prominence with his multi-platinum selling album White Ladder.[34]
    Jeff Hanneman (1964–): American guitarist, a founding member of the thrash metal band Slayer.
    Yip Harburg (1896–1981) Hollywood lyricist and poet, most notably wrote the lyrics for Somewhere Over the Rainbow and It’s Only a Paper Moon.
    Roy Harper (1941–): English rock / folk singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for his longtime associations with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and for his guest lead vocals on Pink Floyd’s song ‘Have a Cigar’.
    Stephan Jenkins (1964—): Musician, lead singer for the American rock band, Third Eye Blind.
    Kerry King (1964—): American guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the thrash metal band Slayer.
    Simon Le Bon (1958–): English lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia.
    Geddy Lee (1953–) : Canadian singer and bassist of the progressive rock band Rush.
    Lemmy (1945–): English rock singer and bass guitarist, most famous for founding the rock band Motörhead.
    Till Lindemann (1963–): Lead singer of the German industrial metal band, Rammstein.
    Dave Lombardo (1965–): Cuban American heavy metal drummer, best known for his work with American thrash metal band Slayer.
    Emcee Lynx (1980–): anarchist hip hop musician
    George Marshall-Hall (1862–1915): English-born Australian composer, conductor and professor of music.
    Nick Mason: English drummer for Pink Floyd.
    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CBE (1934–): English composer and conductor, currently Master of the Queen’s Music.
    Andy Mckee (1979–): American composer and guitarist.
    Tim Minchin (1975–): British-Australian comedian, actor, and musician. Many of his songs and beat poems involve Tim’s thoughts on his own atheism and organized religion.
    Simon Napier-Bell (1939–): English music producer, songwriter, journalist and author, best known as manager of (among others) The Yardbirds, Marc Bolan, T. Rex and Wham!.
    Jim Reid (1961—): Scottish singer, songwriter and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain.
    Marc Riley (1961—): British musician, alternative rock critic and radio DJ.
    Richard Rodgers (1902–1979): American composer of the music for more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals, best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II.
    Henry Rollins (1961–): American punk/rock musician, author, spoken word performer
    Robert Smith (1959–): British musician, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the band The Cure.
    Sir Michael Tippett OM (1905–1998): English composer, regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century.
    Björn Ulvaeus (1945–): Swedish musician, composer, a former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA.
    Eddie Vedder (1964–): lead singer and lyricist of the band Pearl Jam.
    Roger Waters (1943–): English rock musician; singer, bassist, guitarist, songwriter and composer, best known for his career with Pink Floyd.
    Jerry Wexler (1917–2008): American music journalist and producer, regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s, coiner of the term Rhythm & Blues.
    Frank Zappa (1940–1993): American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director.[94]

    …and many many more. Not to mention all of the great non religious music by performers who happen to be believers in one religion or another.

  7. David:

    It probably will not make any difference since this blog-stream is not that current, but you are violating one of the Terms of Service rules for this blog in a big way.

    I have jumped on other commentators — and that’s why you are my target now.

    Common courtesy rule: “Be Brief, Be Concise or Be gone.” That means practically speaking: one theme only; three sub-topics limit; 200 word limit.

    Follow those rules; and the rest of this blog-community will welcome you ! Violate them again and Deacon Greg might just ban you permanently

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