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As I Sit To Play The Organ in the Notre Dame Cathedral – Sparks

I’m publishing this blog entry in advance, and this song gives an indication, better than any other piece of pop music than I can think of, of what I’ll be doing this Sunday morning (although of course my circumstances won’t be quite so grandiose).

Sparks started their career in the early 1970s, a contemporary of glam-era Bowie and early Queen – Russell Mael’s operatic delivery arguably paved the way for Freddie Mercury, as Sparks’ biggest hit ‘This Town Isn’t Big Enough For Us’ was released in 1974, slightly before Queen broke through with ‘Killer Queen’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Keyboardist Ron Mael’s Hitler moustache was also a memorable visual prop for the band. But Spark never capitalised on the success, and remained on the fringes as a cult act, fading away with a series of weak albums in the 1980s.

But they’ve made some acclaimed albums in the 21st century, and ‘As I Sit To Play The Organ in the Notre Dame Cathedral’ is drawn from 2006’s Hello Young Lovers. It tells the story of a Church musician who is upset that God is getting all the attention (“You know you’re gonna be upstaged, upstaged by Him”) and who instead resorts to looking for attractive ladies in the congregation. At seven minutes it’s a grand epic, starting with a series of Russell Mael vocal improvisations before launching into the proper song.

 

Bye, bye, bye, my baby,
Now it’s time, time, time for me to go to
Work, work, work,
So you might want to make your way from here
[x3]

Bye, bye, bye, my baby,
Now it’s time, time, time for me to go to
Work, work, work,
So you might want to make your way from here
Finish up your beer

Bye, bye, bye, baby, now,
Time, time, time, me to go, work, work, work,
You might want to make your way from here
[x2]

Bye, bye, bye, my baby, now,
It’s time, time, time for me to go, to work, work, work,
So you might want to make your way from here
Bye, bye, bye, my baby, now,
It’s time, time, time for me to go, to work, work, work,
So you might want to make your way from here
Finish up your beer

Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye,
Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye

As I sit down to play the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral
As I sit down to play the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral
You know you’re gonna be upstaged, again and again
You know you’re gonna be upstaged, upstaged by Him

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

I got faith, I got faith, I got a deep, abiding faith,
I got faith, I got faith, I got a deep, abiding faith
That in that sea of faces, that sea of believing faces, (We got faith)
There’s always one face that’s here to escape the rain

She is here from Japan
She is here from Milan
She is here, time on her hands

As I sit down to play the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral
As I sit down to play the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral

You know you’re gonna be upstaged, again and again
You know you’re gonna be upstaged, upstaged by Him

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

I got faith, I got faith, I got a deep, abiding faith,
I got faith, I got faith, I got a deep, abiding faith
That in that sea of faces, that sea of believing faces, (We got faith)
There’s always one face that just might be game

She is here from Brazil
She is here from Seville
She is here searching out some thrills

And as we walk along the Seine
And as we walk past cafes and restaurants
And as we walk past museums and monuments
I invite her up to my apartment to escape the rain

I believe, I believe, I believe,
[x4]

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I believe, I believe, I believe,
[x4]

Bye, bye, bye, my baby,
Now it’s time, time, time for me to go to
Work, work, work, so you had better finish up your beer
Bye, bye, bye, my baby,
Now it’s time, time, time for me to go to
Work, work, work,
So you might want to make your way from here
Finish up your beer

As I sit down to play the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral
It doesn’t matter that I’m upstaged, upstaged again

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
[x4]

The congregation sways, the congregation says amen
The congregation sways, and says amen, amen again
But my message is lost on them, lost on all of them
It only reaches one of them
It only reaches one of them

I believe, I believe, I believe,
[x8]

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
[x8]

7 thoughts on “As I Sit To Play The Organ in the Notre Dame Cathedral – Sparks Leave a comment

  1. Boy, that is one odd tune. Weirdly enjoyable in its own way but I can’t say it’s something I’d buy or listen to often. It’s one of those songs where you say, How the hell did someone think of this?

    Liked by 1 person

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