Ben Folds: Jesusland Meaning
Song Released: 2005
Out the gate you go and never stop
Past dollar stores and wig shops
Quarter in a cup for every block
And watch the buildings grow
Smaller as you go
Down the tracks
Beautiful McMansions on a hill
That overlook a...
anonymous May 16th 2006 report
This song is mainly about what would happen if Jesus returned today, and walked through a typical slice of (in this case particularly Midwestern) America today, with the big box stores and "McMansions on a hill", the sharp contrast between the haves and have-nots (such as pointing out there's someone asking for money on every corner), and the constant materialistic focus. As he points out, these people claim to be followers of Jesus who use his name but "don't know" his "face", because if he were to walk through urban/suburban America today most people would just think he was another homeless bum (in the song it describes him as falling asleep on their front lawns).
The point seems to be that these same people who claim to be Christians and say "What would Jesus do?" have strayed so far from what Jesus actually taught and did that walking through predominantly Christian America, Jesus would find himself a "Stranger in a Strange Land", to quote the title of a Robert Heinlein book. Which is why in the song the character described says "a prayer for Jesusland".
anonymous Jan 24th 2006 report
Ben Actually told the audience about this song at a recent concert in Dallas, Texas.
The song is about the things that Jesus would see and think if he were alive today, walking from the inside of a city to the outskirts and suburban areas. It's a commentary about how today's society has become even though it started out as "Jesusland"
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