Pope Francis just dropped the debut single from his upcoming record, Wake Up!, which comes out on November 27. Yes, we’re serious.
Entitled Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!, the first release is an anthemic prog rocker with an inspiring spoken interlude from the Pope himself. “Wake up, wake up,” says the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church to listeners. He then speaks of our duty to “not allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness” and encourages listeners to “sing, dance and rejoice.”
On the upcoming eleven track record, the Pope speaks in Italian, English, Spanish, and Portuguese on issues including “peace, dignity, environmental concerns and helping those most in need,” according to Rolling Stone.
While it’s Pope Francis’ first record, there is a precedent of Papal albums: John Paul II and Benedict XVI have also released music in the past. The producer for John Paul and Benedict’s records, Don Giulio Neroni, was also the artistic director of the latest Papal release.
“As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality,” he told Rolling Stone. “For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns.”
Tony Pagliuca, formerly of the ‘70s prog-rock band Le Orme, composed the single as well as several other songs on the record. “Putting my music in the service of the words and the voice of Pope Francis has been a fantastic experience and a very interesting artistic challenge,” said the musician to Rolling Stone.
The record announcement comes as the Argentinean-born Pope Francis wraps up his visit to the U.S. this week. After speaking to the Congress yesterday, he gave a much-anticipated Mass to a crowd of 20,000 people at New York City’s Madison Square Garden today. He’ll spend the weekend in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families before heading back to the Vatican on Sunday night.