Music

Top 5 Punkest Passover Songs

What do Hank Williams and the dude from Rancid have in common with Pesach? Now you know. Read More

By / April 7, 2011
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With Passover just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to dissect five contemporary songs that just might be about everybody’s favorite third most important Jewish holiday.   The word punk, is being used loosely here, there’s are merely songs that have an edge to them.  Essentially, these are songs by bands that you wouldn’t expect to be referencing Passover, songs that would be perfect for some kind of Pesach themed mixtape.

5. Lars Fredrickson & the Bastards- Ten Plagues of Egypt

Want to really amp up your seder?  Once you get to that point in the where, instead of downing another glass of ‘shevitz you stick your recently washed pinky in your glass and say the name of the plagues as you dip, “dam, tzefardea, etc,” once you get there, whip out the old boom box and pump up this Rancid side projects’ song about the ten plagues.  Of all these songs, this one most obviously references the Passover story.  Check out these lyrics.

Enter a series of calamites/ All things considered humanities
All the days of biotech will witness/All the days of darkness
Well the river turned to blood and the fish died/The lice arrived and so did the flies
Sickness to the animals sickness to the humans/And hunger hit and the land was stripped/Hail storm the locust swarm

4. Hank Williams: The Angel of Death

This one may be a little iffy as he does refer to “The Book Of John” in the beginning of the song, but it’s a good, cold song that sets the proper mood for the dark ending of the Passover story.  Hank Williams has that old country folk mystique that can evoke a deathly malaise.

3. Joy Division: Passover

Who knows what to make of Joy Division’s lyrics?  While their band name sounds so incredibly cool and T-shirt friendly, it’s actually a ghastly reference to houses of prostitution during the holocaust.  This song has a personal, “I’m so tortured” vibe, but towards the end is a rather clear Passover reference.  This band’s relationship to Judaism is quite strange.

Moving along in our God given way/,Safety is sat by the fire,
Sanctuary from these feverish smiles/Left with a mark on the door,
Is this the gift that I wanted to give?/Forgive and forget’s what they teach,
Or pass through the deserts and wastelands once more,/And watch as they drop by the beach.

2.  Isis: Red Sea

Isis was one of the better math rock/noise metal bands from that stint after 2001 when a ton of those bands popped up.  This song is actually from an entire album entitled, “Red Sea,” although all the songs are not about the Jew’s escape from Egypt.  In fact, this song, might not have anything to do with the red sea.  It might be about heroin.  You decide.

“Eyes in black suns direction/Feet burning insects stinging
Sweat soaked yellow shroud/Breathless protection
Daggers where the eyes should be/Blood running down your cheeks
Begin/Inject/Remove/The point
The ocean spreads beneath the skin/Fluid fills blackened lungs
Tar seeps across the eyes/Away in the sea of red”

1. Bad Religion: Generator

Like many young punks, the lyrics of Bad Religion helped me take it upon myself to have a solid vocabulary, thereby allowing me to differentiate myself from the mindless normies that walked the halls of my middle school.  I didn’t want to be as Gregg Graffin put it.  “A misanthropic anthropoid with nothing to say.”  Bad Religion was actually the first live band that I ever saw besides watching The Beach Boys with my parents when I was five.  From that point forward I’d spend many nights in my room with my Bad Religon CD’s, lyrics and a dictionary.

Now, what on earth is this song about?    It would seem that the song is about everything.  There’s an all-encompassing idea to this song.  The “Generator” is that which creates, it’s god.  Then, of course, there’s the refrain, “Like the blood on my door,” which sounds like a reference to the Passover story, an interesting one.  Tell us what you think “The Generator” is.

Like a rock/like a planet/Like a fucking atom bomb,
I’ll remain unperturbed by the joy and the madness
that I encounter everywhere I turn
I’ve seen it all along/In book and magazines
like a twitch before dying/like a pornographic sea
there’s a flower behind the window/there’s an ugly laughing man
like a hummingbird in silence/like the blood on the door
it’s the generator/oh yeah, oh yeah, like the blood on my door
wash me clean and I will run/until i reach the shore
I’ve known it all along/like the bone under my skin
like actors in a photograph/like paper in the wind
there’s a hammer by the window/there’s a knife on the floor
like turbines in darkness/like the blood on my door
it’s the generator