Gay Messiah

While searching my iTunes for recordings of the 16th-century Christmas carol “Gaudete” — which my grand-daughter had just discovered at school and was delighted by — I came across an old favorite, Rufus Wainwright’s “Gay Messiah” from Want Two (it’s an alphabetization thing). Hard to imagine two pieces of music more different in tone, beyond sharing (at some level) references to Christian beliefs.

As a bonus, the lyrics site I consulted has some fine non-native-speaker text.

(Note: what follows is both sexually explicit and sacrilegious.)

I’ll start with the text at the lyrics site:

Accuracy: These lyrics are from offical source. But you can submit your correct through the facebook comment form.

Avg. Rating: Gay Messiah gets 8.7/10 based on 7 ratings. You can rate it at the bottom (link)

The writer means ‘at the bottom of this page’, not ‘at the bottom of the rating scale’. Then there’s the missing determiner in “from offical source”, the spelling “offical”, and “your correct” for “your correction”.

On to Rufus’s text, which is packed with ambiguities pairing religious references to sexual ones, most notably in the refrain “the gay messiah’s coming” (arriving, ejaculating), but also in the allusion to the beheading of John the Baptist (someone will demand Rufus’s head, and he will give it — that is, give head to them, fellate them), and in “pray for your sins”, combining praying to be forgiven for your sins and praying to engage in sins.

He will then be reborn
From 1970’s porn
Wearing tubesocks with style
And such an innocent smile

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
’cause the gay messiah’s coming

He will fall from the stars
Studio 54
And appear on the sand
Of Fire Island’s shore

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
’cause the gay messiah’s coming

No it will not be me
Rufus the baptist I be
No I won’t be the one
Baptized in cum

What will happen instead
Someone will demand my head
And then I will kneel down
And give it to them looking down

Better pray for your sins
Better pray for your sins
’cause the gay messiah’s coming

Yes, your savior is coming, in tubesocks and a smile.

One Response to “Gay Messiah”

  1. Gestures and symbols | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Gestural ambiguity can be combined with lexical ambiguity, as in Rufus Wainwright’s song “Gay Messiah”, discussed in this 2012 posting: […]

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