American Idol winner Trent Harmon may be a religious guy–he’s freely shared his faith and church going ways with fans–but his convictions don’t preclude singing frankly sexual lyrics, as he explains to Rolling Stone about performing his coronation single, the Keith Urban penned “Falling.”
“We were listening to [the demo] and reading through the lyric sheet and I said, ‘Oh, wow. Cool, bro!,” Trent remembered. “I really didn’t know what to say.”
“Falling” is a pretty sexy song from beginning to end, but the second verse is very explicitly about oral sex: “You slide your fingers through my hair and tell me ‘take it slow’/And I know what you want/And so I go down on my knees/I’m here to please.” It couldn’t be about anything else, right?
The American Idol judge’s response when Trent revealed he would only be singing the first verse on the live broadcast was, “That’s probably for the best!” But when it came to recording the single, Trent didn’t even THINK of altering the lyrics. “You’ve got to grow up sometime,” the singer simply said.
There are American Idol contestants who have refused to sing a song or a set of lyrics, citing their religious beliefs and/or personal moral code. In Scotty McCreery’s new book, Go Big Or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, the Season 10 winner tells the story of how, during movie week, he refused to sing Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” when he learned the song was the theme to the X rated film, Midnight Cowboy. When producers balked at changing the song at the eleventh hour, Scotty warned that if they refused to change the song, he’d refuse to take the stage.
Season 7 runner-up, David Archuleta, informed producers that he’d be singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” but without the verse that contained the lyric, “…No religion too,” as it ran counter to his devout Mormon beliefs.
The history of rock and country music is littered with artists who were devoutly religious on one hand, yet willing to express sexuality in their music and performances on the other. Elvis Presley could sing a gospel tune with sincerity AND drive a teenage girl wild with desire with only the swivel of his hips. Some understand sex to be a deeply spiritual experience. And really, if Trent is singing the song from the perspective of a committed couple, should the lyrics really run counter to even the most conservative religious beliefs?
Fittingly, Trent will be headlining a June 3 concert at the Elvis Festival in Tupelo Mississippi. Currently he’s working on a soul tinged country album for Big Machine Records.