Jesus Is On the Mainline: The Son Of God In Rock & Roll

With Easter Sunday coming up, we delved into all the instances of Jesus Christ in rock and roll. He's been a popular lyrical subject since he was born over 2,000 years ago, and his family enterprise runs neck and neck with sex when it comes to the entire lyrical history of music. Hymns or love songs. Plus, most love songs equate a lover with God, so there's that.

Jesus works best in rock lyrics as a sort of catch-all, shorthand for an authority figure, plus His name looks cool on a metal album, denoting some sort of danger or blasphemy. If you grew up in a Christian family, you probably wouldn't be able to bring any Christian Death or Slayer in the house. Just look at the cover of the latter's Christ Illusion.

Do a Google search to find your favorite blasphemous album cover, there are plenty. Ours is probably this Irreverent compilation with hanging popes and Jesus on an inverted cross.

His name rolls off the tongue when you sing too. Just try it. Jesus! Jee-suss. Jay-suss. Hey-zeus. Try it in a Danzig voice, a Sinatra croon, or even a Gaga bellow. It sounds cool. God must have had a very good PR company working for Him when it came to naming His son.

"We need a name that will look cool on oversized T-shirts for fat kids, books you read in the bathroom, kick-ass '80s Slayer albums, cholo tattoos. I want big letters, with a big sound. Do it," said the creator, holding His "I'm The Boss" coffee mug as an angelic Don Draper assembled his notes.

We assembled the best-known and most-beloved songs with the Lord's name in the title, from Wilco to Kanye, to Carrie Underwood to Ministry, plus a few that you may not know yet. You really can't get any cooler than that opening riff on Bad Religion's "American Jesus," can you?

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty