11/12/2013 01:11 pm ET

'The Love Boat' Theme Song Is Really About Jesus, Says Actor Gavin MacLeod

"The Love Boat" theme song is about what now?

Gavin MacLeod, the actor who popularized the character Capt. Merrill Stubing on ABC's "The Love Boat," says the tune for the iconic maritime sitcom can be interpreted as a song praising Jesus Christ.

"If you listen to the lyrics ["The Love Boat's" theme song is] all about Jesus," MacLeod told the hosts of the conservative American Family Association's radio show '"Today's Issues," according to a clip of the show posted online Monday. "It's a whole new approach to that song. I do that whenever I get to a group of believers... It's really about, 'Come aboard, Jesus will take care of you. There's a new love waiting for you. A love that will never let you down.'"

The lyrics of "The Love Boat," as written by Charles Fox and Paul Williams, are pretty generic, with their talk of "Love, life's sweetest reward," and assurances that "Love won't hurt anymore/ It's an open smile on a friendly shore." However, add a bit of Jesus à la MacLeod, and they take on a whole new meaning.

The born-again MacLeod, 82, is currently promoting his new memoir, This Is Your Captain Speaking. The tell-all book includes several discussions about the actor's faith, including the moment he decided to recommit himself to Christianity in 1984.

"My mother developed a cyst on the left side of her brain," MacLeod told Fox News. "She was in her 70s and there was going to be an operation and the doctors didn't know if she'd be a vegetable. The morning of the operation I woke up in my big beautiful bedroom in Beverly Hills... and I just prayed to Jesus that if he would give my mother more time I'd turn my life over to him."

MacLeod also credits Christianity with helping repair his relationship with his second wife, Patti.

"We have what you call a three fold marriage," MacLoed explained to Fox. "You make a triangle with your hands and you can see Jesus is at the top and we're below. That's pretty solid. You're a threefold covenant. There's three people in this marriage.



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