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Best tunes of 1991: #27 Ministry “Jesus built my hotrod”

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“Soon I discovered that this rock thing was true
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long”

I had a few friends in university that had the whole monologue to this song memorized, could spout it off in exactly the same tone, and would do so randomly to great effect. (You know who you are.) I personally could only ever remember the last couple of lines and the last bit, the “dang a long ling long”, never failed to make me laugh.

“Jesus built my hot rod” was the first single off Ministry’s fifth album, “Psalm 69: The way to succeed and the way to suck eggs”. It was released in 1992, I know, but this track makes my 1991 list because it was released as a single well in advance of the album, more than six months beforehand, if memory serves.

I blame my friend Elliott for getting me hooked on this track. He had purchased the cassette single, which featured the eight-minute, full version on side A and on side B, the “Short, Pusillanimous, So-They-Can-Fit-More-Commercials-On-The-Radio Edit” version, along with “TV song”. I actually liked the latter B side song first, with its hilarious “Connect the goddamned dots” lyrics, but with the constant rewind and playback of the A-side, I grew to love it as well.

The lyrics on “Jesus built my hot rod” are nonsensical, purportedly laid down by a quite drunken Gibby Haynes (of Butthole Surfers fame), and the aforementioned monologue and outro words were recorded afterwards to try to tie things all together. But this song isn’t about saving the world. It’s about angst and the music has plenty of it. Frenetic drumming and careening guitars match the pace of the samples of NASCAR racers roaring by. You turn it up loud and all you want to do is close your eyes and bop your head to the breakneck tempo as well as you can.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 1991 list, click here.