As Pat Boone rattles off the list of artists that his single "Under God" has passed on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales Chart (currently at Number Twenty-five), it's clear the clean-living crooner takes pride at creeping ahead of the likes of J.Lo and Jay-Z and having struck a chord with a new generation of fans.
The song was written in response to a lawsuit filed in San Francisco by an agnostic who claimed his daughter's Constitutional rights were violated by having to say the words "under God" each day when her school recites the Pledge of Allegiance.
"It is a musical, four-minute synopsis of the early history of why 'under God' is in the pledge of allegiance," says Boone of the track. "It's what the framers and founding fathers were intending when they established something we now call the United States of America.
"The ACLU stoutly defends the Nazis' right to march and wear swastikas," he continues. "But they don't want kids to say 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance. There's a terrific dichotomy and contradiction there."
And Boone doesn't see any contradiction between his pro-God stance and covering the Prince of Darkness. "I think that's what Ozzy [Osbourne] was getting at in 'Crazy Train,'" he says. "It's the reason I like the song so much and recorded it (on 1997's In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy). It talks about the contradictions and hypocrisy young people face today and he says, 'It's driving me insane/And I'm running off the rails of a crazy train.'"
Strangely, Boone claims that market research has shown his single is popular with a demographic that was thirty years from being born when the sixty-eight-year-old singer first broke through in 1955 with his version of "Ain't That a Shame."
"That's psychology," says Boone. "You don't tell kids what they can't listen to."