Easter is upon us. The holiday celebrating the death and resurrection of the Christian messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Pontius Pilate washed his hands, the Roman emperor Tiberius probably heard nothing about the incident from a far-off province of the empire. To Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Josephus he was not much more than a footnote. But here we are, just shy of two thousand years after the execution of Christ and, as the late Bill Hicks noted, celebrating the event with chocolate candy and bunny rabbits hiding eggs in the night. As a perhaps more fitting tribute to the capacity of the offspring of divine beings to return from the dead, here is a list of some of the best songs about creatures that have returned from the grave.
Entirely too much has been made of vampires and zombies in the pantheon of the risen dead. Elvis Hitler corrected this error on its 1991 albumSupersadomasochisticsexpialidocious
with this, well, ghoulish ditty about the activities of one of the former dead come back to life as an aggressive cannibal. This song is especially fitting for this Easter because it falls on April 20th, the birthday of Adolf Hitler in 1889.6. "Dying to Be Jesus" by Itch
The title track for this band's 1992 album mixes the metaphor a bit because did not Jesus, after all, die and come back to forgive the sins of humankind? Is Itch aspiring to die and come back like Jesus? Did these guys accomplish this? The song makes it a bit ambiguous and like the resurrection myth there are a few unanswered questions. Was the physical immortality bit the clue to the singer coming back from the death. One has to assume so.5. "Resurrection - Sixth Communion" by Christian Death
That string of words might be a bit meta. But perhaps like Itch and Thomas á Kempis, Rozz Williams is suggesting a metaphorical experience of the resurrection on a personal level. But Rozz, it must be admitted, didn't shy away from personal darkness, and he may have had in mind a more literal meaning for the song.4. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus
A simple song about a vampire or zombies would be entirely too mundane for The Resurrection. But this is Bela "Karloff Is Not Worthy To Smell My Shit" Lugosi we're talking about here and his death and rebirth as the godfather of all the vampires worth knowing in this Bauhaus classic must be honored as one of the greatest songs about one of the dead returning to life.3. "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" by Alice Cooper
Alice has come back to life more times on stage than almost anyone and deserves a place high on this list for that alone. But this song was written for the soundtrack toFriday the 13th Part VI
and who has had more unlikely returns from the afterlife than Jason Voorhees? It's a double bonus.2. "Jesus Was Way Cool" by King Missile
King Missile is better known for singing about a detachable penis, but this was an early classic by this strange band. Not only does this song provide an extensive list some of Christ's true virtues but it also talks about his death and resurrection directly. Some may declare this song sarcastic but these naysayers must recognize that it's a better account of Christ's life than that provided by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Except for that bit about "Legion" in Mark 5:9.That
was way cool.1. "Joan Crawford" by Blue Oyster Cult
These guys sang about undead bombers in World War IV and they advised us to not fear the reaper. Blue Oyster Cult are clearly in the known about the perils of death and coming back to life. But its magnum opus in that regard is this ditty from its 1981 albumFire of Unknown Origin
. Who would be more terrifying a figure to rise from the grave than Joan "No Wire Hangers Ever!" Crawford? Probably plenty of names come to mind but you can't hear her telling Christina to come to mother in this song and not get the creeps. Besides, Joan Crawford's eyebrows and piercing stare would put the fear of god into the heart of a Stalin or a Mao. So this piano rock song from the early 80s about a recently dead screen icon coming back from the grave is as perfect as it gets for this sub-micro-genre.
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