Everyone who isn't going to burn in a lake of fire after they die, and even some of us, know that Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday only to respawn three days later on Easter. At that point, he emerged from a rabbit hole with a collection of painted eggs -- it was boring being dead, okay? -- and had his trained bunny hide them so that the kids could have a little something to keep them busy while he finished making the homemade chocolate candy that he gave to the multitudes using his famous lunch powers of multiplication.
I did say I was going to hell.
All poking holes in Jesus aside (Ha ha, I kill me), Good Friday isn't a specific date. It moves around quite a bit, and it got me wondering if we happened to have a solid consensus on when Christ might have actually died in the historical sense.
Hell, as you can imagine walking back through several different calendar systems (including the crap observational one that was in use during the life of Christ), is kind of an actuarial nightmare. Luckily, Pontius Pilate is a fairly easy historical reference point, which helps narrow down the possible dates.
In the end, using math, the Bible, and a few other sources, April 3 is generally accepted as the date of the crucifixion. So today, I thought we'd put together a nice collection of tunes mentioning the unfortunate practice of nailing people who piss you off to pieces of wood.
Tori Amos, "Crucify": I've got every Tori album, and most of her singles thanks to the Wife With One F's endless affinity for Ms. Amos, and yet the first tune I ever heard by her remains my absolute favorite. It's full of some of her best lyrics, and speaking as the representative of the Evil One that I am, to me the saddest thing about the Passion story is that anyone should feel the need to die hard for the sins of man. Amos sums up that fallacy perfectly.
Public Enemy, "Welcome to the Terrordome": You might think it's weird following up Tori with Public Enemy, but she almost included a cover of "Fear of a Black Planet" on Strange Little Girls. So she's down, is what I'm saying.
PE makes a point in "Terrordome" about the actual purpose of crucifixion. It's not just that it's a slow, painful way to die. It's also that you take someone who is a threat and you leave them publicly humiliated and defenseless.
Chuck D makes an airtight case about the rise of black acceptance being met with as much betrayal and persecution as the early Christian church, though at least by 1990 it was unacceptable to Stop! Hammer Time dissidents in America. Make no mistake about it, though, if Black Planet had been released in 33 A.D., Public Enemy would be dangling.
XTC, "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead": Still one of the most brilliant music videos and one of the best songs from a band that wrote nothing but, "Peter Pumpkinhead" draws parallels between JFK and Jesus. It's not so much that the band is calling JFK, or any politician a savior. Its more of a cruel contempt for the way we always seem to find a way to end the lives of those who encourage a little peace, love, and understanding in a pool of their own blood.
Soundgarden, "Jesus Christ Pose": For a change of pace, Chris Cornell wrote this song after flipping through a fashion magazine full of male models striking a cruciform pose. It's not an overtly religious track, more of a bitch-slap to people who assume the bearing and manner of enlightened persecution.
Nothing invokes the guilt of someone like claiming that they're responsible for all of your pain. As Cornell says, "You're staring at me like I'm driving in the nails." Bear in mind, though, that anyone trying to pull that kind of thing is also trying to pull some scam.
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Mortis, 'Scar Trek/Parasite God": I'm so grateful Jvstin Whitney got me into Mortis. The Smell of Rain is one of the finest goth albums I've ever heard, and I find new things to love about it every time I listen to it.
It's definitely the most evil song on this playlist, and it serves as a nice anthem to those of us who get tired of being told how often our paths in life are abhorrent. Don't worry, some of us think the same about you.