March Monikers: “This Jesus Must Die”

Bob Bingham as Caiaphas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Bob Bingham as Caiaphas in the film of Jesus Christ Superstar

March 2022 at Musical Cyberspace is all about songs with people’s names in the title.

“This Jesus Must Die”, from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, is a creepy little song sung by creepy little men with voices on extreme opposites of the male vocal range. The choice works perfectly to dramatise the moment in which Jesus’ fate is sealed. What also makes sense in a powerful way are the political reasons why Jesus was to be killed. The Bible is very clear on the spiritual reasons, so the shift in perspective away from the traditional narrative offers new layers of understanding to the Christ story. It’s perhaps not the type of song one “enjoys,” but it works like gangbusters in the context of the show.

Given that it has such a specific plot function, “This Jesus Must Die” isn’t one that has a range of recordings outside of the various productions of the show. Thus, the playlist below offers a range of extracts from cast albums and productions of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Keen to share your thoughts on “This Jesus Must Die?” within the context of modern musical theatre classic? Head on to the comment box at the end of this post.

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