Here’s news usually reserved for The Onion: Pope Francis just released a prog-rock song. He really did. Titled Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward! comes off an upcoming album, similarly titled Wake Up!
The news comes as he embarks on a historical tour of the United States. Considering his progressive remarks about issues like technology and modernity, amongst other topics of contention within the Catholic Church.
It’s not even that bad of a track. After the opening sound (which sounds strangely similar to the opening of San Cisco’s Snow), one might be justified in mistaking Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward! for a new Parkway Drive single from its heavy, dark guitar chords that build and build, layered with an almost ominous sounding harpsichord production. All of this, of course, gives way to a much more appropriate trumpet fanfare as Pope Francis’ voice rings out. “Wake up! Wake up!” he implores, followed by a smattering of applause that fades out.
This style of track is apparently typical of the entire album, which features excerpts of Pope Francis’ most acclaimed and famous speeches and inspirational lyrics in multiple languages, including English, Italian, and Portuguese. “For many years, I’ve been the producer and the artistic director of albums by the Pope. I had the honor to work with John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis,” Don Giulio Neroni (papal artistic director) told Rolling Stone. “As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality. For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns.”
It seems like rock music is no longer the music of the devil anymore, and we’re glad it only took 266 popes to realise this.