A few notes from Wikipedia: Norman Greenbaum: If you ask me what I based “Spirit In The Sky” on … what did we grow up watching? Westerns! These mean and nasty varmints get shot and they wanted to die with their boots on. So to me that was spiritual, they wanted to die with their boots on.
“I had to use Christianity because I had to use something. But more important it wasn’t the Jesus part, it was the spirit in the sky. Funny enough … I wanted to die with my boots on.”
“According to The New York Times article, Greenbaum used a Fender Telecaster guitar with a fuzz box built into the body to generate the song’s characteristic guitar sound.”
Greenbaum daringly defies any and all Anti-Hand-Clapping ordinances in the above performance, and Ms. Hagen takes a commendable swing at the immortal song, as well.