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September 09, 2015

New Philly papal visit song, 'Frankie da Pope,' released by Brewerytown resident

Local puppeteer and improv comedian pens holy tune

The "Miracle at the Meadowlands." The Declaration of Independence. The Citywide Special. Pretzels. And of course, SEPTA.

Those are a few of the Philadelphia images conjured up in the new theme song released for Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the city.

Referring to Pope Francis as 'Frankie da Pope,' the new tune is from Keys to the Moon, the moniker for 34-year-old Mike Connor, a Brewerytown resident.

Connor, a former Catholic altar boy, is a puppeteer for children at the Please Touch Museum, where he also designs educational content. 

In his free time, he likes to write and perform silly songs, which prompted his mother to prod him about penning a papal ballad.

"So a few days ago, my mother texted me asking why no one has written a song about the pope," Connor said in an email. "Obviously she's baiting me - and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

When asked about his voice sounding strangely similar to the voice of Charlie Day, aka Charlie from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' Connor said he had never heard that before. 

"I've gotten the Tom Waits comparison before from a few people," Connor said. "Either way, I take it as a very generous compliment."

"Philadelphia: a tough town in need of a hero," reads the description, and the song takes an uber-dramatic, humorous take on the papal visit, portraying "Frankie" as a beacon of light for a city waiting for one. 

Take a listen here: 

In addition to his role with the museum (which is not affiliated with the song, he stresses), Connor is the owner of and performer for a local improv comedy group called the N Crowd.

You can catch their show every Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Actor's Center located at 257 N. 3rd St, and you can check out more of Connor's music here