Who Sang Poem? Larry Norman

Release information
Release Date: 1970
Genre: Rock Non-Music Folk, World, & Country
Style: Pop Rock/Psychedelic Rock/Folk/Folk Rock/Religious
length: 5:53
Some other versions of "Poem"


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 'air was long, me jeans were tight
I loved a knife or buckle fight
Providing 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
Ahh some of us were smokin' cigs;
Ron was sucking candies
We sat in what they called a "pew"

Then looked around to see just who'd come inside
Let me tell you, everyone dressed like dandies
The row behind was full of dames
You should've seen their looks!
And one old dear, she gave me a smile
And offered me some books Ta!
We open 'em, pass 'em around
You shoulda seen the words, all set out like poetry is
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 around and says
"Oh do hush up, you make more noise than us"
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
"Look at the rafters; they're so poor they can't afford a ceiling
"Can't afford electric either; using candles everywhere"
"Shut your face," I says to Sam, "I'm be listening"
So was 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"
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?"
And then there's the minister, 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
I came to church to listen - close
But I can't understand their chatter
It's like "mumble, mumble, shifting sinking sands"
And words like judgment or reprimand
Well, me and me mates can't understand talk quite like that
I'm used to talking with me mates
With words that has a meaning
If people like that sort 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, right now, who can explain to me
Is Christ a myth?
A madman's whim?
Some say 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
Like afterwards, outside, was a beggar on the grass
He held out his hand, and people'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

Vinyl 1
  • 1 Poem
  • 2 Peace Pollution Revolution
  • 3 Right Here in America
  • 4 I Wish We'd All Been Ready
  • 5 The Six O'Clock News
  • 6 She's a Dancer
  • 7 I Don't Wanna Lose You
  • 8 The Price of Living
  • 9 Sigrid Jane

  • Release information
    country(area): United States
    format: Vinyl
    script: Latin