Ben Folds - Jesusland Lyrics

Take a walk
out the gate you go and never stop
past all the stores and wig shops
quarter in a cup for every block
and watch the buildings grow
smaller as you go

Down the tracks
beautiful McMansions on a hill
that overlook a highway
with riverboat casinos and you still
have yet to see a soul


Town to town
broadcast to each house, they drop your name
but no one knows your face
Billboards quoting things you'd never say
you hang your head and pray

for Jesusland

Miles and miles
and the sun goin' down
Pulses glow
from their homes
You're not alone
Lights come on
as you lay your weary head on their lawn

Parking lots
cracked and growing grass you see it all
from offices to farms
crosses flying high above the malls
A longer walk

through Jesusland

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Ben Folds Jesusland Comments
  1. ProNorden Agrarian-Nationalism

    Depicting non-Christian/anti-Christian culture & economics ..and the effects ...and then seeming to mock/disparage some of the despairing victims who have sought solace in their attempts at faith.
    What in hell is wrong with #BenFolds ?

  2. Call me Sully

    This song was the lynch pin in my deconversion from Christianity into Humanity.

  3. Hazel Fuller

    I really, really like this song, but I found it because of my favorite movie, Driving Lessons.

  4. Akira Yamaoka

    Such a fucking criminally underrated musician and songwriter.


    OMG This is Art an awesome

  6. Captain David Starr

    I think this is supposed to be funny but DAMN that's some nice music !

  7. Botão do Volume oficial


  8. BellyButton3004

    Such a beautiful, intricate piano melody on this!

  9. Edson Faigmane

    Why are we still here? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg… and my arm… even my fingers. The body I’ve lost… the comrades I’ve lost… won’t stop hurting… It’s like they’re all still there. You feel it, too, don’t you?

  10. Nathan Judd

    He is an absolute genius musician and lyricist. His voice is fine, but his piano skills and songwriting skills are unreal.

  11. Christopher Adams

    And there is power in the name of my God Jesus.

  12. Lindi Lawson

    Here because it's Easter. Happy Jesus Day, folks.

  13. Leonardo Abreu

    Its a country music, but without banjo

  14. 09nob

    Brilliant always brilliant.

  15. Erik Helmersen

    "forever and Ever Amen"

  16. William Taylor

    it's fitting and disturbing that the redhead is the souless devil in this video.

  17. Justin Adams

    Was the preacher supposed to be Donald trump?


    Justin Adams
    Probably not since this song came out in 2000

  18. David Banks

    Such a beautiful song

  19. Caleb Strohl

    I love ben folds to death but this song is a total rip off of easy by the commodores. Specifically the "ahh ahh aah" in verses of jesusland are in the chorus of easy. Also i still like both songs.

  20. Catherine Novis

    Underrated gem.

  21. Sam Harrison

    This song is a masterpiece. Ben Folds, wherever you are, you nailed it with this one.

  22. Maarten DJ

    My gf used to think he sang "She's a snaaaail".

    When I asked her why the hell he would sing that, the replied "It's Ben..."


    And now I can't unhear it.

    Chad Dickhaut

    It's a step up from a brick, anyway. 🙂

    Bryan Diemer

    To me, I originally thought the chorus was "Jesus Slaves," which in my mind is wholly accurate! Too bad I now find it's land...

  23. giovanni bienne

    Anyone know where this was shot?

    The Penguin Council


    giovanni bienne

    The Penguin Council aren't you the comedian!

    The Penguin Council

    giovanni bienne thanks?

  24. Jack kebbell

    jesus saves because he shops at k-mart

  25. mrhawkeye293

    My favorite Ben Folds song. When I listen to this I envision Jesus walking through towns in today's America. Shaking his head and wondering what the hell happened. Maybe that's not what Ben envisioned but it's what I hear. Love the song.

  26. Crash UK

    Is that Matt Lucas ?

  27. Alican Kunt

    Thank you Religulous for introducing me to this song!

  28. Angela_ SoManyThings

    This band has always been absolutely horrible.. and their fans... Do you seriously like the sound of his voice, and these multi layered dissonant melodies?

    Angela_ SoManyThings

    Absolite Okay So "This Band has always been horrible To Me", so again with my other questions. Thanks


    That's the first time I've heard someone describe these as having dissonant melodies - most of Ben's stuff is pretty harmonious to the point of being too poppy. But trashing his vocal style- its the same near-falsetto you hear out of dave matthews or adam levine or tons of more modern artists - if you hate all that stuff, at least you're consistent. What makes ben great is the piano/snare/bass.

    Matthew Davies

    Pissed of Christian right there lol


    Yeah anyone responding to this comment rationally is wasting their time, this person does not actually care or know about the music and is just an offended religious rube


    yeah... looked at your playlist... You like girls that sing to cows and marijuana. You are truly a music expert.

  29. Beatrix Wickson

    Satan is my master!

  30. Chris Ducat

    Still makes me tear up, all these years later. Stunning video.

  31. Daniel Garside

    its an ironic take on the wealth behind religion in comparison to the needy.

  32. CartoonPiano

    There should be a Gsus chord in this song.

    R S

    nope, just the Fsus

  33. Johnny Coull

    Whenever I'm on a long road trip on the highway, I feel the urge to put this on. There's just something so fluid and moving about the melody...

  34. John Gaquin

    the little hymn sounding thing at the beginnig sounds like a backwards message.. anyone know if he's saying anything?

    Greg Elchert

    Just "Land."

  35. jrm78

    11 years later, it's not the religious themes of the song that stand out to me, but the economic devastation shown in the video.

    Robert Blanchard

    jrm78 That's the point of it. Jesusland describes the Bible Belt and the major issue of economic disparities in such small areas.

    For example, within a five mile radius of where I live, there are two suburbs, one poor and one middle class, two supermarkets, at least a dozen fast food joints, a mansion, and not a local business in sight. And this isn't even close to one of the bad ones.

    Bob Dole

    I always took it as the song was talking about how televangelists were taking advantage of the poor, downtrodden, and despairing - and did it so much that they were blinding those people to a real connection with a higher power.

  36. YepImClueless

    drivin thru the south with this song on like

    Batman Anderson

    I understand where you come from, but you have to spend time there to really understand what they are about. Most honest, upfront, forthright, steadfast people in the country. Sure, they lack some things, but there are also things they have in spades!


    Bill Maher brought me here.

  38. Scrappleton II

    Aww Ben it's not all that bleak, is it? After all, Jesus Land produced you. But hey, it's "hip" to fixate on the negative and impress our European and Aussie "friends".


    Your tone seems very pointed right now.

    Scrappleton II

    I was dealing with an amazing case of the crabs when I wrote that.

    Rusty Ralston

    jwahh That's the point, he's concerned about his hometown

    Matthew Davies

    America first, America alone.

  39. Daniel •

    Reflection in the cupboard. Whoops!

    The Penguin Council

    nothings perfect

  40. sarahizzahsum

    I cant describe how much I love this song!!

  41. Milly S

    I can't see you perform in Canberra tomorrow! I am a human Christian and you are right about humans Ben!

  42. Dave Snuggly

    The preacher guy on TV looks like a baby faced Donald Trump to me.

    The Fakey Cake Maker

    This was made long before DT became POTUS so if it does it's a coinky dink.

    evan blann

    It's a parody of peter popoff.


    It's an older Baron Trump

    Chris Ducat

    Seems very prescient now...Trump might not be a preacher, but he certainly acted like one in order to get elected. All those pie-in-the-sky promises, the simplistic nature of his message, the (sometimes literal) hand-waving of problems (the preacher would say "Let Jesus take care of it").

    Birdgit Mayse


  43. Scott N

    this song describes my hometown

    -Juno- Strat Daddy

    me3 bro

  44. Гаврил Вильямович

    Thank God there's a talent like Ben out there. Listening to the crap produced today is enough to make me want to slit a vein. ------------- Gav in Jesusland

    John Tyerman

    talent does stand out though doesn't it

  45. Chris Adams

    Is that "preacher" Matt Lucas!? The Legend.

  46. Ashley Taccone

    Sounds A LOT like the descent of stan!!

    Cyan Muirhead

    +Ashley Taccone I agree but... it's "ascent".... *slowly walks away*

    Ashley Taccone

    +Cyan Muirhead Oh sorry? ....quickly runs away

    Aaron Weiss

    well cyan already called you out on the title but yes absolutely the rhythm of the main piano riff is heavily influenced by ascent of stan -- lots of "up 16ths" :)

  47. Noel Johnson

    Is it not about how the believers in Jesus preached, originally, he stood for one thing, and yet, now, those ideals have been diluted and corrupted, with the eventual result being that there is nothing left of the original message, wherever it came from, and whatever it stood for?

    Dustin Rodriguez

    Yes, particularly with the rise of the "prosperity gospel" stuff of millionaires like Joel Osteen who tell poor people that Jesus will make them rich. It's amazing how Jesus could be so direct about saying that the rich are evil and that the only proper use of wealth is to give it to the poor and yet his name is used to facilitate the most egregious acts of greed and the most insidious hatred of the poor. He also said 'turn the other cheek so that they may strike that one also' and yet somehow his name is used to justify retaliatory military strikes all the time.

    R S

    Christ has become the mascot of the GOP, and they've brought him down the toilet with them.

  48. Movie Nerd

    I'm living in Jesusland. 😕

  49. Walter Schultz

    Having a little problem conceiving of an infinite, timeless, all-seeing, omnipotent creative force that can be somehow be surprised, disappointed, unhappy? (qualities characteristic of finite, time-bound, limited, relatively impotent human beings) about the way things unfold in a comparatively infinitely tiny segment of space-time.

    Aron puma

    +Walter Schultz Well, it was writen by a finite, time-bound, limited, relatively impotent human being, and well... it's inteded for humans to listen to. What gives them a better view into the message of how Jesus's name is being used than to allow the audiance to enter the song through such a perspective?

  50. DeathInANoose

    0:46 Dammit Randal, you left the coffee pot on again ! (Clerks)

    ryan schlichting

    +DeathInANuse what?


    It's a quote from the movies "Clerks" 1 and 2.

    Stephen Childs

    That quote made my day so much better.

  51. Cyan Muirhead

    I read in an interview that this song is about Ben Folds "touring through middle America, appalled by the amassing wealth and the use of Jesus' name to push consumerism."

    Mariah Conklin

    +Cyan Muirhead nice

    The Fakey Cake Maker

    I'd agree and I agree even without the song. It upsets me how many people are suckered in by the "American" way. Jesus hung out with fisherman who were rough and ready and his accountant was a thief, He didn't need a slick flyer or to "look the part" these people spend more on amassing wealth than solving social problems and are the type of people Jesus would call out and tell off and they are also the people who crucified Him.

    Chris Ducat

    And then you see the humanity of simplicity, and mild poverty. Decent people trying not to be steamrolled by corporate consumerism. We've created monsters and demons in this blessed country, in the name of consumerism and efficiency.

  52. Cliff C

    Wow!  Calcifer, you may be the only other person in the world that understood that this song is mostly about the deterioration of the belt.

    Aron puma

    +Cliff C It is. It's also according to interviews, writen with the intention to comment on how the beauty of America is covered by billboards and condos and sold in the name of Jesus. Both are valid interpreations to me anyways.

  53. Calcifer Boheme

    The song isn't directly about religion, though it is connected. It's mostly about the deterioration of towns and cities in the bible belt. Ben is from Chapel Hill, NC. I'm from a couple hours from there and the song/video are very reminiscent of this area.

    Rory Monaghan

    @Calcifer Boheme I kind of took it to highlight that it is the deeply religious parts and there's people begging everywhere. Mansions on the hills but the rest cast down to poverty. You lay your weary hand on their's like a class system. Those working in Offices and going to malls have crosses above them. I guess that's the beauty of a song like this. It's just vague enough that it could be interpreted a few different way

    Susan Young

    @Calcifer Boheme No this video is not about religion but the effects of a man made religious culture that gives false and commercial hope to many but salvation to very few...

    Sam Harrison

    +Calcifer Boheme I took it to be about the second coming of jesus, and him not recognising himself in the idol they worship...


    +Sam Harrison me too and that could make me laugh

  54. Wi To

    Reminds me of the Reverend Ike's promised riches, gold chains, and Rolls Royces!

  55. Lewku Dluffy

    Matt Lucas is awesome


    @Lewku Dluffy Is it him? I was thinking it was some American who looked like him?

    Lewku Dluffy

    yep it's him

  56. KristalynJ

    Nope Ben is Jewish...he is mocking the stupidity of his followers......and what it does to people or....doesn't people......I have met him 4 times....first at a Bat might want to re listen to this song

    Kelly McRae

    Apparently he isn't Jewish.  He just played Bat Mitzvahs for cash gigs.  Not that their is much difference between the followers of any organized religion.


    @Kelly McRae
    win xD

    chase faddis

    Oh the hilarity of when someone thinks they know something but they don't, how did you even figure out what the Internet was I thought you were still just learning dial telephones XD

  57. Boneblastable

    I have read the comments that people have been posting and i dont think that you realize the saying behind the song. Its about Jesus coming back and being disgusted by the people who worship him.

    Chris Myers

    @KristalynJ Despite the fact that Ben Folds has Jewish family members, got his break as a bar mitzvah singer and named his latest album after a Jewish guy, he swears he is not Jewish.
    "Look, let me get this straight, I am not Jewish,” the platinum-selling musician said in an interview with the AJN from Adelaide, where he spends part of the year with his Australian wife, Frally Hynes, who is a photographer, and their two children.
    But American-born Folds understands why the misconception about his religious background frequently occurs.


    @KristalynJ How is it stupidity of followers? Maybe a misconception of (some of) His followers.


    Boneblastable You're an idiot


    ben is an atheist

    Chris Ducat

    Not sure why Ben would need to be Christian to understand the hypocrisy of faith in a world consumed by greed and avarice. It's not limited to one religion or group of people: It's a human failing we each have to struggle with on our own.

  58. Robin S.

    Jesus saves souls and redeems them for valuable prizes! Thank you, Jebus!

  59. scot scottie

    Rev Lukas Clearhart on the TV is Matt Lucas from 'Little Britain' taking the mickey.


    He's the only gay in the village.

  60. Mitchell

    love this song

  61. ispeakmovieProd

    For school I have to write a play. I have an idea  and if it were going to be a film instead of a play this song would be so perfect :D

  62. rftulie

    What I like about Ben Folds's lyrics is that they show that he is thinking. A lot of songs seem like nobody's put much thought into them. Many of Ben's songs are like short stories -- you get to listen to them and find out something that happened to someone in the story, just the way you would from reading a short story, except with excellent music to hear at the same time. 

    Coherent Osin Ello

    Thank you for your observation.

    Belinda Short

    It's considered modern folk


    rftulie Michael Praytor, Five Years Later does this best in my opinion

  63. jason mossman

    Can any drummer tell me the name of the snare drum beat they use in this song? How would I describe that beat for a drummer. 

    Miguel Guerrero

    choo choo here comes the train

    Fin Taylor

    It's a train groove. Used a lot in country. Also used in rockabilly and bluegrass. It's usually accompanied with four-on-the-floor kick and hi-hat pedal on the offbeat, with a splash cymbal replacing the crash for fills. Played almost exclusively with brushes or rods. 


    @Fin Taylor ha... you said RODS


    Yup Train Beat it is.

    Aaron Weiss

    chugga chugga~

  64. gabriel barbosa


  65. halluhmee

    The song is beautiful but the video adds so much too. I come revisit this video pretty often. It might be my favorite video on youtube. Very very affecting.

  66. Poodle Shooter

    Just realized the guy on the T.V was Matt Lucas...

  67. Jack Hulse

    Such a good movie

  68. Thrillcekr

    Kind of silly to stop by and watch his videos if you don't like the way he sings. My guess is that you're some kind of Christian fundamentalist that's sore because he wrote a song that doesn't present your way of life in the best light.

  69. gextvedde

    Is that Matt Lucas?

  70. Marten Dekker

    Ben, sure wish you'd try and sing beautifully at times and not always in a humourous ( correct canadian spelling ) voice, or in a high voice , ( keeps one out of their real emotions ) - I'd love to hear your natural and feeling voice in a serious song. thx.

  71. nmcvicker03

    Songs can be interpreted many ways but I believe you are actually missing the point. This song is a commentary on the united states and is supposed to be from the perspective of Jesus coming back and seeing how warped our interpretation of bible or how Jesus wanted everyone to live. The "you" he's referring to in the song is Jesus.

    Its just showing how hypocritical it all has become with the Joel Osteen's of the world out there "If you pray you'll be rich!!! If you are poor you don't believe!"

  72. isaybuckedy

    Yup - cameo Baby

  73. humdrummer

    Jesus accepts all major credit cards

  74. Morgan Montz

    lol ya i heard the bit of this song in the movie, and i was like

  75. Morgan Montz

    This song is so beautiful.

  76. Ramblin' Martin

    I was born in the south and I have to move a lot for my job and whenever I feel homesick I listen to this song. I honestly cry every time I here it. P.S this song is more about southern U.S states and its an extremely good representation. It's not so much about religion. It's called Jesusland because people in the south are very religious (too religious in many cases.)

  77. BigLu757

    will sasso and coppercab had a baby! lol

  78. Robert Sanlis

    haha its good to see that someone else has seen religilous too.

  79. BetaMaxxX

    Is that Matt Lucas from Little Britain?

  80. BetaMaxxX

    I saw him live in Knoxville tn a few years ago - fantastic show

  81. BetaMaxxX

    Such a great song - I could listen to Ben's voice all day long

  82. Darthdaffy

    This song is not a statement on how to believe. It's a statement about how believing in something bigger affects humanity as a unit. God's greatest weapon is not man. Man's greatest weapon is God.

  83. Carlusha

    I agree with you Miller Moose Man.

  84. ichbinthor

    Saw him in St. Louis and Normal, fact the show he drove to when he wrote Effington! :-)

  85. ichbinthor

    I agree!

  86. The Green Heart

    This whole video is telling the story about businessmen using religion as a money making scheme. If you remove the televangelist then it would just become incredibly vague just showing pictures of housing areas that the different classes live in. Also, using Matt Lucas as the televangelist well illustrates the point that what he is preaching is a joke and a trap for money. I personally think this is a good video..

  87. andiamojoe

    This video would be so much more powerful and beautiful w/ out the campy televangelist. It ruins this piece, to the point where it ain't even worth sharing. Sorry Benny.

  88. Sean DeMarco

    Well it is either the display or my internet and I am going to bet it is my display. This is a cheaper Samsung tv that I thought I got a good deal on but I think it has a small flaw that shows up at times.

  89. ethan laidlaw

    I think it's just your internet, it's not choppy on mine at all

  90. Sean DeMarco

    Any1 else have a problem with this video being choppy as it moves sideways ?

  91. Sean DeMarco

    I dream of the day I see him live. If I ever met him I would bow and most likely cry.

  92. Hamza Ben

    just use an ad block

  93. Brady Hession

    He truly is amazing live

  94. ppeter1982

    Now Vevo, we need to have a talk. I clicked on here to listen to Ben Folds. If I wanted to see an advert for One Direction's new album I would have clicked on One Direction. Kindly, in future, target your adverts correctly.

  95. Kanye East

    Who hates it? I've honesty never met a Ben Folds fan that dislikes it.

  96. AnnymsVoice

    I hope so, cause I don't care for anyone that doesn't like origami!!