jesus christ was an only child – A Divine Paradox in Modern Society


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Modest Mouse's jesus christ was an only child at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Reflection on Divinity and Discontent
  5. The Ephemeral Quest for ‘Internet Cash’
  6. Subversive Imagery: From Divine Protagonist to ‘Little Fucker’
  7. Penetrating the Illusion of Security with ‘Hide Your Kids’
  8. The Sisyphean Wisdom of Hindsight

Lyrics

Well Jesus Christ was an only child
He went down to the river
And he drank and smiled

And his dad was oh-so-mad
Should have insured that planet
Before it crashed

Working real hard to make internet cash
Work your fingers to the bone sitting on your ass

I know now what I knew then
But I didn’t know then what I know now

Penny found out as her hair was styled
Well you should hide you kids
While the dogs run wild

Jesus Christ was an only child
He went down to the river
And he drank and smiled
And his dad was oh-so-mad
Should have killed that little fucker
Before he even had

Well Jesus Christ was an only child
He went down to the river
And he drank and smiled

And his dad was oh-so-mad
Should have insured that planet
Before it crashed

Working real hard to make internet cash
Work your fingers to the bone sitting on your ass

Penny found out as her hair was styled
Well you should hide you kids
While the dogs run wild

I know now what I knew then
But I didn’t know then what I know now

Well I know now what I knew then, yeah
I know now what I knew then, yeah
I know now what I knew then
But I didn’t know then what I know now

Full Lyrics

In the tapestry of alternative rock music, Modest Mouse’s ‘jesus christ was an only child’ emerges as a particularly compelling thread. Far from a straightforward narrative, the track offers a layered exploration of contemporary life, contrasting the deeply individualistic quest for meaning against the backdrop of collective societal values.

Decoding Modest Mouse’s artistry requires looking beyond the surface layers and into the more profound commentary entrenched within their lyrics. It’s an invitation to peel back the layers of the human condition, question established norms, and confront the uncomfortable juxtapositions between past and present, sacred and profane. Let us delve into the finer nuances of a song that confidently straddles the line between blasphemy and enlightenment.

A Reflection on Divinity and Discontent

The titular reference to Jesus Christ sets a tone of biblical proportions, yet it is quickly undercut by a sense of casual irreverence—Jesus, sipping at the river, evokes a deity far removed from divine expectations. Modest Mouse doesn’t stop at spiritual contemplation; they catapult us into a scenario where even the messiah grapples with societal letdowns and personal disappointments.

The repeated image of an ‘oh-so-mad’ divine father figure, frustrated by his creation, poses existential questions about responsibility and control in the face of chaos. It’s a bold commentary likening the abandonment of a world—potentially by God himself—to an individual’s struggle to maintain sanity in a rapidly disintegrating society.

The Ephemeral Quest for ‘Internet Cash’

The modern-day Sisyphean struggle manifests in the lyrics’ mention of striving ‘to make internet cash,’ depictions which speak volumes about the relentless nature of digital hustling. Modest Mouse captures the inherent irony of contemporary capitalism—a world where hard work is often virtual, disembodied, and deeply unsatisfying.

This line serves as a metaphor for the broader human condition: the endless toil for wealth and the subsequent realization that material success fails to quench the deeper thirst for meaning. The digital age has ushered in new avenues for prosperity, yet the band questions whether this progress truly enriches the soul.

Subversive Imagery: From Divine Protagonist to ‘Little Fucker’

Modest Mouse doesn’t shy away from controversy. Instead, they welcome it, turning the song into a stage for their dramatic upheaval of tradition. The transition from a benign ‘only child’ to an unwelcome ‘little fucker’ paints an unorthodox narrative, reflecting society’s penchant for building up idols only to later tear them down.

The apparent blasphemy is more than mere shock value; it’s a remark on the fickle nature of human loyalty and the ease with which we demote icons from pedestals when they cease to serve our interests. The song osmoses this trend in its fabric, poking at the underlying hypocrisy of revered figures and cherished beliefs.

Penetrating the Illusion of Security with ‘Hide Your Kids’

Introducing Penny, whose salvation comes through a styled facade, underscores the pretense of personal fortification. The directive to ‘hide your kids’ amidst ‘dogs run wild’ symbolizes the encroaching chaos—a thinly-veiled warning against naively presuming safety within our constructed environments.

Modest Mouse deftly uses narrative to nudge us into recognizing futility in our efforts of safeguarding against the primal and unpredictable. The hidden message here serves to both unsettle and liberate, as it admits to the impossibility of total control in a world that is inherently untamed.

The Sisyphean Wisdom of Hindsight

In what may be the song’s most poignant existential shrug, the lines ‘I know now what I knew then, but I didn’t know then what I know now’ encapsulate the maddening learning curve of life. It is the admission that knowledge is not static, but rather an ever-evolving realization often seen only through the rearview mirror of experience.

This lyrical loop serves as a reminder that wisdom is often a bitter pill—earned post-factum, understood after the moment of need has passed. It is a sentiment that resonates deeply in the human psyche, reflecting our shared journey marked by retrospective clarity and the often futile pursuit of foresight.

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