...in excelsis deo
You have to commend Pope Francis for his good taste in music—it’s been announced that Patti Smith is slated to perform at the Vatican Christmas Concert in Rome—but you have to wonder if he’s ever heard The Patti Smith Group’s cover of “Gloria”?
You read that right, the poet/singer who shocked an entire nation nearly forty years ago singing “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” on Saturday Night Live back in 1976 was asked to take part in the festivities at the Auditorium Conciliazione on December 13th after Pope Francis personally invited her, according to The International Business Times.
Obviously Smith, who shook hands with the Pontiff at St. Peter’s Square last April, is an odd choice of performer for the Catholic Church to make and already certain groups are up in arms about it.
The Holy See’s announcement of Smith’s participation comes as one Catholic group is trying to ban “blasphemous” Smith from playing a gig at the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore in Naples set for four days prior to the Vatican concert.
The entire event is set to be broadcast live on TV.
Below, Smith on SNL in 1976. I saw this as it went down on live TV when I was ten years old. It might not seem as shocking now, but back then it was absolutely inconceivable that someone would do or say something like this on television. The date was April 17, 1976 and since Smith didn’t go on until after midnight, this meant that she technically sang this on Easter Sunday!