23 March 2008

Growing Up with Godspell

I discovered the soundtrack to the movie Godspell when I was in junior high school. If I remember correctly, I bought the LP from the local library's annual book sale and recorded it onto a cassette tape. The music was different than what I had heard in the conventional local churches and appealed to the groovy 70s aesthetic I was trying to cultivate at the time. That same well-played cassette traveled with me for over 20 years and influenced how I viewed myself as a Christian. I thought of myself as a gentle peace-and-love Jesus freak who had nothing in common with the Bible thumpers I saw around me.

The funny thing is that I never watched the movie or even paid much attention to the album cover or the liner notes. I've often wondered who sang my favorite song on the album, "O Bless the Lord". You would think that I would have looked it up on the internet by now, but I hadn't. Which leads me to this Easter Sunday.

TCM aired Godspell today as part of their Easter triple feature. Imagine my surprise that the singer of "O Bless the Lord" was Lynne Thigpen! It was also an eye-opener to see Victor Garber, who is known mostly for sneaky and villainous roles these days, playing Jesus.

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