Galileo Goes on Trial 1633

“The Boys in Red” from Aristotle’s Prayer

By on 10-27-2005 in Aristotle's Prayer

by Gary Powell

This painting depicting Galileo’s trial in front of the Catholic church tribunal hung in my brother’s, Joe Powell, house for years. While researching the seminal events where individuals stood up against the institution, this great painting came to mind. When I found the image, I asked my brother, “Is this the painting you had in your house?” He answered, “Yes it is, how about those BOYS IN RED?” The song title was born in that instant and I knew I had another historical piece to interpret musically where power tries to subdue truth.

Perhaps people who focus on their own ethical standards don’t have time to tell the rest of us what’s right.
Joe M. Powell, Director
The Rice University Building Institute

Painting of Galileo's Trial

The Boys in Red

Music and Lyrics by Gary Powell

Verse 1
We’re elevated cats and even though we cavort
We don’t get too concerned with the appellant court
We blow a little smoke, but to keep your head
Your’re gonna have to answer to the boys in red

The boys in red, we’re a light-hearted clan
We try to comprehend the new ideas that we ban
We burn at the stake and just as often behead
So, listen very closely to the boys in red
The boys in red

Chorus 1
We’re the boys in red and behind closed doors
We’re ramping up rhetoric for the Punic Wars
We’re the boys in red and our claim to fame
Is spinning up the fear with a sense shame
Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame, shame

Verse 2
Yes, you know who we are, and that’s a real plus
‘Cause we talk to God, you don’t, you talk to us
Since we’re the holy rollers and it’s not widespread
You’re gonna have to answer to the boys in red

To sit in judgment is a wonderful thing
We’re wanna-be pontiffs of the most right-wing
We decide who starves and we decide who’s fed
Cause everybody answers to the boys in red

I see the scientific legacy won’t be born here in this court
Critical analysis is nothing soon you will support
There is no higher standard than what nature really is
God or not your red hats are hot so take this little quiz

Do you believe…
in the uniform rate of acceleration?
…that a falling body is proportional to the square of the number of seconds it has been falling?

Do you believe…
in inertia or the first law of motion?
……that a moving body without retarding forces like friction would continue moving indefinitely?

Do you believe…
that Copernicus was right? And if God really does have the whole world in his hands, he is not juggling it around us!

Verse 3
Take a gander gather round this heretic
He’s saying crazy stuff that makes us just sick
He looks at night to heaven, but before it all spreads
Now he’ll have to answer to the boys in red

Rational thought is not a man’s thing
He’s a spiritual mandate from the far left-wing
So don’t think, feel, and we’ll decide what’s read
So you’ll never have to answer to the boys
The boys in red
The boys is red

(Copyright Jesmax Music, BMI 2005)


  1. Power and truth are often odd bedfellows

  2. The contradiction is startling.

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