Pope Francis is Releasing a Prog-Rock Album
Religion & Liberty Online

Pope Francis is Releasing a Prog-Rock Album

1035x1035-UntitledDuring his visit to the U.S. Pope Francis has been treated like a rock star. So it’s probably not surprising that he’ll soon be doing what real rock start do: releasing an actual rock album. A prog-rock album.

According to Rolling Stone magazine,

The Vatican-approved LP, a collaboration with Believe Digital, features the Pontiff delivering sacred hymns and excerpts of his most moving speeches in multiple languages paired with uplifting musical accompaniment ranging from pop-rock to Gregorian chant. Wake Up! arrives November 27th, with the iTunes pre-order now available with an instant download of “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” . . .

“Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” finds Pope Francis addressing a South Korean audience in English last year amid atmospheric synths, trumpeting horns and skyscraping electric guitars reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Wake up / Wake up,” Pope Francis says on the track. “The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you / It is a duty to be vigilant / Not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.” Later on the moving track, the Pope tells his audience, “No one who sleeps can sing, dance and rejoice,” as he urges them to wake up and go.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to be too young to have lived through the prog-rock era of the 1960s and 1970s, Wikipedia helpfully explains prog-rock as having “developed from psychedelic rock, and originated as an attempt to give greater artistic weight and credibility to rock music. Bands abandoned the short pop single in favor of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz or classical music in an effort to give rock music the same level of musical sophistication and critical respect.” (Think of bands such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and (pre-1980s) Genesis).

Click here to listen to Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).