Happy Easter, you degenerate rock 'n' roll fans. Most of you listeners of the devil's music probably only know Easter as the one major holiday that does nothing to shorten the workweek.
But, there actually is reason for the holy day. In case you didn't know, Easter commemorates the day when a man who may or may not have been dark-skinned rose from the dead a mere three days after dying at the hands of a power structure that eventually helped give rise to one of the world's largest and most powerful religions.
If you listen to popular music, you're halfway to Hell already, but if you want to hasten the trip, perhaps try putting on one of these songs while Dad is carving the Easter ham on Sunday.
John Lennon: "God"
The ex-Beatle famously loved taunting believers, and he's arguably history's only rocker who could get away with the shit he said and still be popular music's most revered figure. Sample lyric: "God is a concept . . . I don't believe in Jesus." Also check out his most famous post-Beatles composition "Imagine" ("... And no religion, too / Imagine all the people / Living life in peace").
XTC: "Dear God"
Andy Partridge's neo-psychedelic pop band caused nary a ruffle until this 1986 semi-hit. Not surprisingly, his native England wasn't too happy about the tune, as some stores wouldn't stock the single. Sample lyric: "You're always letting us humans down . . . Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is just somebody's unholy hoax."
Tom Waits: "God's Away on Business"
The iconoclastic singer-songwriter and all-around badass also wrote "Chocolate Jesus," among several other tunes that could be potentially objectionable tunes to church-goin' folk. Sample lyric: "If you're looking for someone to pull you out of that ditch / You're out of luck / God's away on business."Stevie Wonder:
The beloved singer/musical genius' best-known song questioned the existence of a higher power and chastised those who do believe. And he sang it on Sesame Street! Very cool. Sample lyric: "When you believe in things you don't understand / Then you suffer / Superstition ain't the way."
Randy Newman: "God's Song"
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Over the course of his long and storied career, the "Short People"/"I Love LA"/Pixar guy has become known less as pop star and more as a great American composer, all while ripping on religiosity in this cynical tune sung from God's point of view. Sample lyric: "You must all be crazy to put your faith in me / That's why I love mankind."
The Damned: "Anti-Pope"
The first British punk band to release a record, The Damned had their best LP in 1979's Machine Gun Etiquette, which featured this nugget. Sample lyric: "So many people are weak enough / To have to seek answers from peddlers of hope / I should know I used to go there myself / That's the day I became anti-Pope."
South Park: "The Most Offensive Song Ever"
Duh. These guys (Matt Stone and Trey Parker) take shots at organized religion just about any chance they get. And they've got a new (and critically acclaimed) Broadway musical called The Book of Mormon that will no doubt offend millions. Thank you for being you, Matt and Trey.The Meatmen:
"Abba God & Me"
This 1980s-era Michigan punk band just performed at the Yucca Tap Room this week. Founding member Tesco Vee was a schoolteacher by trade when he formed a band known for going out of its way to be juvenile and offensive. Sample lyric: "Wallow in depravity . . . Abba, God, and, me."
Slayer: "Skeleton Christ"
Wonder if these thrash-metal gods will play this when they perform this weekend at The Big 4 festival in Indio, California. Also performing are Anthrax, Metallica, and the MVP of heavy metal, Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. Countless Slayer compositions could've made this list, but I like this one for its plainly stated sentiments, as in this sample lyric: "Fuck your God / Erase his name / The pestilence is Jesus Christ."
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The Feederz: "Jesus Entering from the Rear"
The pride and joy of Phoenix's first-wave punk scene, Frank Discussion and the Feederz' best-known contribution to a genre that makes being comically offensive a point of pride is this 1980 gem. Sample lyric: "We nailed you to a cross / But you're still a fucking pain / Dead 2,000 years / Still can't get it through your brain." Charming.