Song of the Week - We Don't Need Religion

What a song! Written by Belfast singer/songwriter Brian Houston. 

Bob Harris, the legendary BBC DJ said of Brian when reviewing one of his albums; “It was thirty seconds in when I realized what a really special piece of music this was. One of Britain’s great song writers!”  

Praise indeed.  


Religion was never going to be a solution to the troubles of Northern Ireland and perhaps some would say, it was at the root of it all.  

Brian's original lyrics reflected the situation in Northern Ireland and the refrain “We don't need religion, but we could use the love of God”, made a powerful statement, within that culture. 

I remember Brian telling me that when he sang this song in the bars of Belfast, it was incredible to see people singing those lines with real passion. Though religion had divided a nation, the love of God could bring healing to those wounds.  

There are very few songs that are truly prophetic, that speak into a culture and challenge the status quo. This song is one of those. It reminds me of John Lennon's “Give Peace A Chance”. A song that can be sung by people of faith and those with no faith. 

Many might say that religion is the cause of so much suffering in our world today – be it right wing conservative Christianity, Islamic fundamentalism or everything in between. 

Religion always has a vindictive, angry God at the centre of it's world view. 

Religion, with it's rules, dogma and legalism, will never connect humankind with a loving God. 

Take a listen to this version of the song recorded by The Hudson Taylors which has slightly amended lyrics, to make it resonate with people in other nations. 

This is still very much a song for our times, wherever we live.  

More than ever, we are in need of the love of God. 

Also, make sure you visit Brian's website. 


Well I see the people in the balconies 
On the streets and in their cars 
The party going animals out in the back rooms 
And the bars saying we don't need religion 
We don't need religion 
And I been a timber jack been a labourer 
Been a shipyard man and a shirker 
Been builder building houses 
And heard a million Macdonald's workers 
Saying we don't need religion 
We don't need religion 
We don't need religion 
But we could use the love of God 

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh yeah yeah yeah 

Well I've got false prophets on my TV telling me 
This union's doomed 
While the spirit filled believers 
Shake up the floor space in the room 
Saying we don't need religion we don't need religion 
So come all you Preachers and Pastors 
All you Priests and Nuns and scholars 
Come on and walk down the road without those robes 
Crucifixes and Orange collars singing 
We don't bleed religion 
We don't bleed religion we don't need religion 
But we could use the love of God 

Now is it Saturday or is it Sunday 
The fact is I'm never sure 
There's a Sabbath in there some way 
How come we never try Yom Kippur 
We can't eat religion we don't need religion 
And while we're all so busy fighting 
Using up God's precious time 
There's a thousand starving homeless people saying 
Buddy can you spare a dime saying 
We can't eat religion we can't eat religion yeah 
We don't need religion but we 
Could use the love of God 

Brian Houston © 2011 Thankyou Music 

CCLI Number: 4505503

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