As a huge Tom Petty fan, I’m proud to see him come out with properly scathing criticism towards the Catholic Church. He has a song called “Playing Dumb” on the album Hypnotic Eye, which he released this week and I just got the chance to hear for the first time. It’s all about his moral incredulity towards the Church. Here’s Billboard‘s report on their interview with him:
When asked about “Playing Dumb,” Petty arches an eyebrow at the digital recorder before him. “Catholics, don’t write me,” he says. “I’m fine with whatever religion you want to have, but it can’t tell anybody it’s OK to kill people, and it can’t abuse children systematically for God knows how many years.”
Petty pauses, as if he’s momentarily reluctant to continue. “If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club. And I wouldn’t give them any more money.
“I just felt that I was being asked to play dumb,” says Petty, describing how the song emerged. “That, ‘OK, well, they paid some money, so it’s all over.’ I don’t trust that.
“Religion seems to me to be at the base of all wars,” continues Petty, who was raised, unconvinced, among Southern Baptists. “I’ve nothing against defending yourself, but I don’t think, spiritually speaking, that there’s any conception of God that should be telling you to be violent. It seems to me that no one’s got Christ more wrong than the Christians.”
There’s no video of the song on YouTube yet, so here are the lyrics:
Got an image of angels a nun and a man
Slappin a ruler cross my little boy hand
Now I turn around, 60 winters on my head.
I’m still throwin’ up some of that food my mind was fed.
Honey I’ve had enough
Honey my time has come
I’m fed up, fed up, fed up
with playing dumb
Well let’s light a candle for every kid
For every soul that was done away with
For every confession that wasn’t on the level
For every man of God that lives with hidden Devils
Honey I’ve had enough
You live in a mansion with drivers and Gophers
You pad down the hallway in red leather loafers
This may not be your fault but man you in so deep
How can you know all that you know and get to sleep?
I’m fed up with playing dumb
Dumb, dumb, dumb