Plastic Jesus

Ernie Marrs

I don’t care if it rains of freezes
‘Long as I got my Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car.

Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nations
With my Plastic Jesus I’ll go far.
Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car

I’m afraid He’ll have to go.
His magnets ruin my radio
And if I have a wreck He’ll leave a scar.
Riding down a thoroughfare
With His nose up in the air,
A wreck may be ahead, but He don’t mind.

Trouble coming He don’t see,
He just keeps His eye on me
And any other thing that lies behind.
Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car …

Though the sunshine on His back
Make Him peel, chip and crack,
A little patching keeps Him up to par.
When I’m in a traffic jam
He don’t care if I say "damn"
I can let all my curses roll

Plastic Jesus doesn’t hear
‘Cause he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul.
Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car …

Once His robe was snowy white,
Now it isn’t quite so bright –
Stained by the smoke of my cigar.
If I weave around at night,
And policemen think I’m tight,
They never find my bottle – though they ask.

Plastic Jesus shelters me,
For His head comes off, you see
He’s hollow, and I use Him for a flask.
Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,

Riding on the dashboard of my car …
Ride with me and have a dram
Of the blood of the Lamb –
Plastic Jesus is a holy bar.

[Plastic Jesus has become quite entrenched in the folk tradition, so there are considerably more folk verses than there were original ones. Following are folk additions and emendations, as well as additions from recording artists who have covered this song.]

Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

I could go a hundred miles an hour
Long as I got the Almighty Power
Glued up there with my pair of fuzzy dice
{Refrain – repeat between every verse}
Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far.
I don’t care if it rains or freezes
As long as I’ve got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car,

You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He’s Pink and Pleasant,
Take Him with you when you’re travelling far

I don’t care if it’s dark or scary
Long as I have magnetic Mary
Ridin’ on the dashboard of my car

I feel I’m protected amply
I’ve got the whole damn Holy Family
Riding on the dashboard of my car

You can buy a Sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell

Goin’ ninety, I’m not wary
‘Cause I’ve got my Virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won’t go to Hell

I don’t care what they say, I’m gonna
Keep on prayin’ to that pink madonna
Melted to the dashboard of my car.

I don’t care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the Twelve Apostles
Bolted to the dashboard of my car

Don’t I have a pious mess
Such a crowd of holiness
Strung across the dashboard of my car

No, I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

But I think he’ll have to go
His magnet ruins my radio
And if we have a wreck he’ll leave a scar

Riding through the thoroughfare
With his nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead, but he don’t mind

Trouble coming, he don’t see
He just keeps his eyes on me
And any other thing that lies behind
{as refrain}

Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Though the sun shines on his back
Makes him peel, chip, and crack
A little patching keeps him up to par

When pedestrians try to cross
I let them know who’s boss
I never blow my horn or give them warning

I ride all over town
Trying to run them down
And it’s seldom that they live to see the morning
{as refrain}
Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

His halo fits just right
And I use it as a sight
And they’ll scatter or they’ll splatter near and far

When I’m in a traffic jam
He don’t care if I say Damn
I can let all sorts of curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn’t hear
For he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul
{as refrain}
Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

Once his robe was snowy white
Now it isn’t quite so bright
Stained by the smoke of my cigar

God made Christ a Holy Jew
God made Him a Christian too
Paradoxes populate my car

Joseph beams with a feigned elan
From the shaggy dash of my furlined van
Famous cuckold in the master plan

Naughty Mary, smug and smiling
Jesus dainty and beguiling
Knee-deep in the piling of my van

His message clear by night or day
My phosphorescent plastic Gay
Simpering from the dashboard of my van

You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He’s Pink and Pleasant,
Take Him with you when you’re travelling far.

You can buy a Sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell.
Goin’ ninety, I’m not wary’
Cause I’ve got my Virgin Mary,
Guaranteeing I won’t go to Hell.

Rain and Snow are not an issue
long as I got my plastic Vishnu
Sittin on the dashboard of my car

When I’m goin’ fornicatin
I got my ceramic Satan
Sinnin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home

The women know I’m on the level
Thanks to the wild-eyed stoneware devil
Ridin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
Sneerin’ from the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
Leering from the dashboard of my van

I don’t care if I’m broke or starvin’
As long as I’ve got a fish named Darwin
Glued to the trunklid of my car

God, I’m feeling so evolved
Drivin’ with my problems solved
Proclaiming what I think of what we are

Riding home one foggy night,
With my honey cuddled tight,
I missed a curve and off the road we veered.

My windshield got smashed-up good,
And my darling graced the hood.
Plastic Jesus, He had disappeared.
{As refrain}
Plastic Jesus! Plastic Jesus,
No longer chides me with His holy grin.

Doctors in the X-ray room
Found Him in my darling’s womb.
Someday, He’ll be born again!

I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

He’s the dude with the rusty nails,
Walks on water, don’t need no sails
Riding on the dashboard of me car

I don’t care if the night is scary
As long as I got the Virgin Mary
Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.

She don’t slip and she don’t slide
Cuz her ass is magnetized
Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.

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5 comments on “Plastic Jesus
  1. Kevin says:

    Wondering if this song was ever recorded by the Grateful Dead, or Janis Joplin or Country Joe, or othe Hippie era group that can be tracked.

  2. Jim says:

    Funny you should ask, Kevin. I remember it on the S.F. radio stations in the sixties but the lyrics were substantially different, much simpler and scanned better. If it were any of those you mentioned I’d go for Country Joe & the Fish, but not sure if it was.

  3. Josh Fuller says:

    Never by those groups. It was before their time, It was done also by a fellow called Brother Dave. Not a preacher, but a comedian who poked fun at anyone and everything.

  4. Josh Fuller says:

    Never by those groups. It was before their time, It was done also by a fellow called Brother Dave. Not a preacher, but a comedian who poked fun at anyone and everything.

  5. Kim says:

    This is also playing on the radio when Carrie Fisher picks up Jay and Silent Bob hitchhiking, in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

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