October 22, 2020

A Man in a Purple Dress

“After watching Mel Gibson’s harrowing 2004 film ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ I immediately wrote three songs. This was one of them. It is not so much a rail against the principles of justice through the ages, but a challenge to the vanity of the men who need to put on some kind of ridiculous outfit in order to pass sentence on one of their peers. It is the idea that men need dress up in order to represent God that appalls me. If I wanted to be as insane as to attempt to represent God, I’d just go ahead and do it. I wouldn’t dress up like a drag-queen.”
Pete premiered this song on the Mar. 22, 2006 webcast In The Attic. It has strong ties in style and vitriol to the songs on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), an album that greatly influenced Pete as a young songwriter (as it did most every other English-language songwriter for that matter). In concert this song was illustrated on the monitors by Francis Bacon’s painting Head VI (1946).