Nashville Songwriter Opines "I Should Have Been God"

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Singer-songwriter Luke Powers escapes the traumas of war insanity and elective dysfunction by imagining himself as the Almighty at the helm of a kinder, gentler universe.

Singer-songwriter Luke Powers has joined the ranks of formerly secular artists who have made the career jump to religious music. His latest release “I Should Have Been God” is available for free download in mp3 on

The song grew out of a chance utterance by Powers' precocious five-year-old daughter Phoebe. Despite sporadic Sunday School attendance and her parent's guilt-stricken purchase of A Child's Illustrated Bible at a half-price bookstore, the youngster uttered the heretical remark while watching the news with her father.

She demanded to know how a supposedly “Perfect God” could have created such a screwed-up world. When her father offered a lame explanation about free will and mother nature, she blurted out: “I should have been God!”

Like most Nashvillians, her father had a guitar handy and—knowing a good line when he heard one--quickly went to work on a tune.

“The rest sorta wrote itself,” he admits.

The song begins: “I should have been God/I would have done a pretty good job.” Gone are nuisances like poverty, disease and war. Even the devil is forced to “retire”—and give up “earthquake, flood, famine and fire.”

At time the tone gets downright theological:

"I'd abolish original sin;

free will's fine but what's the use in the end?

Moses, Mohammed, Jesus Christ,

Buddha and Krishna, it's just a roll of the dice."

Life is in this kinder, gentler universe is a zonked-out california wetdream--a religionless paradise ala John Lennon's "Imagine." The singer-cum-Lord concludes: “I'd give away eternal bliss/you can bet your sweet ass there'd be no atheists.”

Powers has made several unsuccessful attempts to pitch the song to Nashville's Christian Music market. One publisher listened halfway through the demo and said, “We need something for a fifteen-year-old girl out of Kentucky. Got anything like that?” Another pursed his lips in disgust and simply intoned, “Go to hell!”

Powers insists that he means no disrespect to the Lord Almighty and anyone associated with Him.

“It's one of those double-reverse fake-out things,” he offers cryptically. “Hello, Randy Newman? Zevon? Irony? Ever heard of it? Like God spelled backwards is dog? Idiots!”

He watches the news nightly with his daughter, waiting for the next epiphany.

Asked if she will receive writing credit for the song, he demures: “Did Pink Floyd write The Wall? Well, maybe the other guys wrote some stuff, but everybody knows it was Roger Waters' baby." He pauses. "Maybe if she can come up with more than one line, I'll give her say, 5 points, on the next one.”

He does have a follow-up in the works—which he thinks will be right up Christian Music's alley. The tentative title: “Hey John Lennon, Who's Bigger than Jesus Now?!”


Luke Powers is a college professor with a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (which he attended on the prestigious Morehead Scholarship). The specialist on British poet William Blake sidelines as a songwriter. He collaborates with Austin, Texas, producer and wild man Tommy Spurlock (who has worked with Rodney Crowell, Chip Taylor, David Olney and The Band). Powers' song "I Saw John Kennedy Today" (produced by Spurlock) has been widely distributed on the internet and picked up by internet radio stations such as WSVN. Powers has also worked with such Music City luminaries as Brian Ahern (producer of EmmyLou Harris, George Jones and Johnny Cash), Mark Collie and Earl "Bud" Lee (author of "Friends in Low Places"). He also writes and records with his brother Sam Powers, who has played with bands including Superdrag and Guided by Voices. Poetry, song-clips, illustrated lyrics and scholarly work are available on Luke’s website (


Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC, is a limited liability company established in 2001 to produce, publish and release creative work including original songs and literature. Its motto is “Words & Music.” As a music publisher it is affiliated with BMI. In cooperation with Waterline Records, it released Sandy Madaris' debut CD "Way Back Home" (2002) featuring songs written by Powers. Powers’ own album “Picture Book,” produced by Tommy Spurlock, will include "I Should Have Been God" and "I Saw John Kennedy Today" and is scheduled for release in January 2005.


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Adam Zero