Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky


Released in late 1969, this made No 3 in America and No 1 in Britain.

Greenbaum (b 1942) said in 2006 that he was inspired to write the words and the tune after seeing Porter Wagoner singing a gospel song on TV. ‘I thought, “Yeah, I could do that,” knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.’

It is ranked at 333 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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