For almost as long as there have been pop songs, there have been parodies of those pop songs – people wanting to roll on the tail end of a hit with their own unique twist. Sometimes it can be funny, as seen in the work of Weird Al Yankovich. Sometimes these are boring, as seen in most others. And sometimes they’re entirely sanctified, as you can see in YouTube’s deep and wide rabbit hole of parodies of Christian pop songs, in which no Christian message is too over the top to slap on a number one hit.
There are virtually no limits to these ungodly concoctions, but there is a ranking. After a frankly absurd time scraping the barrel of the internet, here are the ones that were the most confusing.
“All About This Christ” (Parody of “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor)
With that, we see what will be a recurring theme in these, in which the line between vanity project and Christian message becomes a bit blurred. Suffice it to say, if your parody requires you to repeatedly refer to him as “That Christ,” your parody still needs a reason to exist.
“Save me” (Parody of “Baby” by Justin Bieber)
Honestly nothing but love for these guys. They look like they’re having a good time and put just about the right amount of effort into it to make it feel kind of…healthy? “Save Me” is good in our book.
“Modest Ladies” (Parody of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”)
Pretty disastrous, no two ways about it. In the immediate wake of “Single Ladies”, there was no shortage of parodies – many of them quite cringe – but “modest” is no oblique rhyme close to “single” and, hey , the song is already about a woman telling her man, he should have locked her up when he had the chance. Not really a message that needs a Christian polish.
“Power Off” (Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” parody)
Alright so what this one actually reveals is what the original version of a Taylor unicorn is, because absent his mega power personality, not much happens in this song and you can’t really blame the team here for how long it all took. But opening with about two minutes of marital quarrels doesn’t help matters, admittedly.
“Holy Spirit Funk” (Parody of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars)
There are vanity projects and then there is anything, which doesn’t so much replace “Uptown Funk” with a Christian message as an advertisement for the “HSC” (“Holy Spirit Conference”, apparently.)
“Read it” (Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” parody)
Seasoned veterans of the Christian subculture won’t be surprised that there are puppet parodies involved here. The puppet ministry is an age-old mainstay of Christian ministry and we certainly have no problem with it. Although, again, this falls into the trap of trading a “Christian message” for a song that is already pretty sound ethically, as far as its own morals go.
“The True Savior From Sin” (Parody of Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady”)
You can’t talk about Christian parodies of pop songs without mentioning the group ApologetiX, who made a small career out of them in the pre-viral era of the Internet. This whole list could easily turn into a simple ApologetiX tracklist, but we’ll just pick this parody of Eminem because it’s such a swing. Just when Eminem’s lyrics were inciting a small moral panic for their violence and misogyny, ApologetiX saw the biggest challenge of his career and rose to the occasion.
“Party Carol” (Parody of LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”)
Hey, if you want to do a Christian parody of a pop song, why not choose a pop song with just a few dozen words? Minimal effort for maximum impact. “Every day I praise him.”
“I am blessed and I know it” (Parody of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It”)
It looks more like a guy who just really wanted to make a music video than a real parody, especially because “blessed” doesn’t really replace “sexy” with any rhythm. They say “blessed-ED”, which is still a bit of an exaggeration. “He set me free and I know it” was right there.
“Faith Works” (Parody of “Firework” by Katy Perry)
It’s a tough song. There are no two ways to do it.
“Boom, boom, power” (Parody of “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas)
It’s another tough song but all credit goes to this team, it comes together pretty well, thanks in large part to the sense of humor they have about the whole thing. Modest goals yield better results.
“I have a feeling (tonight is going to be a divine night)” (Parody of “I Got a Feelin'” by the Black Eyed Peas)
Yes, another puppet. This one was a bit less successful than the “Read It” parody mainly because “I Got a Feelin'” couldn’t hit “Beat It” as a song. Repeating “and praise it” a dozen times gets old pretty fast. But it’s not that unlike many modern worship songs we could mention. Extra points for the puppet playing the keys the whole time.
“YHWH” (Parody of the villagers’ “YMCA”)
Terrible. Besides “YHWH” not mapping cleanly enough to “YMCA” for this to work, it’s getting dangerously close to the line between fun and disrespect.
“Shine Your Light” (Parody of “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz)
“Shine Your Light” at least matches “Dynamite,” but what’s going on with the vocal production here? This man looks like a squeaky toy being pushed down the stairs one step at a time.
“Born Again Child” (Parody of “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf)
No notes here. An all-time banger, faithfully covered with a few more decent truths. What more could you ask for from a parody of Christian pop culture?