The Scandinavian band Ghost plays music in the genres of heavy metal and metal and, like many representatives of this genre, uses the occult and satanic symbolism. Thus, many of the group’s compositions vary on the theme of blasphemy, exposure, or perversion of religious concepts. The Ghost group does in the song Mary on a cross.
In general, if you deal with criticism of Catholicism or Orthodoxy within the framework of occult and satanic concepts, here you will need to study the issue in sufficient detail, which is quite obviously challenging to do within the framework of a separate article and analysis of a specific song.
Therefore, perhaps, one should only make a preliminary remark that, although this group obviously strives to distort and desecrate religious symbols and meanings, it must be borne in mind that within the framework of the occult concept itself, and in general, if you think aloofly, such criticism can be not only something destructive but also transformative.
At least this argument has some logic. It lies in the fact that a radical disregard for religious symbols can act as a way to rethink them. In addition, it can serve as the impetus for religious societies’ progress. In general, we are talking not about the concept that “not everything is so simple” but about the fact that there is always an opportunity to understand the conceptual foundations better. After all, the Ghost group is quite open to occultists and Satanists, at least, that’s what their fans think.
Glamor and flying
It should be said that this composition does not use direct desecration of religious symbols. The lyrical hero compares his chosen one with the Virgin Mary. Of course, from the point of view of religion, this is quite a serious blasphemy. However, from the point of view of art, it is possible to consider such comparisons as a way to rethink and use the signified symbol.
It should be noted that, for example, for many European and South American countries, the image of the Virgin Mary is practically central to the religion. At least if you look at the mass distribution of worship.
At the same time, in this composition, the image is quite deliberately distorted. The line Mary on a cross can be considered as Mary on the cross, crucified, although it is known that such an image is not used in traditional iconography and contradicts the canon. In addition, Mary on a cross can also be read as Mary at the crossroads because, in English, the word cross is used both to designate a cross, including a cross for crucifixion, and to designate a crossroads.
This option is essential to point out because of the deep symbolism of the crossroads in occultism, where it has a vast range of meanings, ranging from the center of the world and the intersection of different realities to the mystical space for performing occult rites. On this occasion, you can look at the abundance of different beliefs and examples that almost every culture is associated with at a crossroads.
One way or another, in the initial part of the composition, we observe the story of the lyrical hero about some life story and, probably, his own experience. Of course, it is possible to delve into this symbolism separately, but superficially this story is somewhat reminiscent of lines from the songs of modern fashion rappers (chicks, cars, and glamour) or a story about the cool life of crazy rockers.
Moreover, often the story is somewhat reminiscent of a confession and even becomes like whining, in which the lyrical hero frankly tells the audience about how difficult it was to get settled in this world, and in the end, he decided to remain different from everyone else. Let’s give some examples with line-by-line translation.
“But through all the sorrow
We’ve been riding high
A hint of some disappointment in the world may be used here, as well as getting a mystical experience.
“We were scanning the cities
Rocking to pay their dues
But besides all the glamor
All we got was bruised.”
In this part, the aforementioned whining is traced to some extent. At the same time, the lines generally look almost absolute banality. The word dues, which in a more precise sense, can be a contribution, as a contribution, for example, a fee for the opportunity to be part of an organization, an organizational fee, may arouse interest. Here there is an opportunity to reflect on various additional meanings and consonances. For example, we are talking about a more global sense, where every city’s resident needs to pay a certain fee to remain part of it. We can talk about various metaphors of belonging to the community and, in general, the structure of the current society.
It is also curious that the word rocking can be considered not only as playing rock but also as rolling a stone from a cliff or rolling a stone. Rock – stone in English. In this image, a certain fatalism can be traced, a movement doomed by external conditions.
In addition, the word dues are consonant with the word Deus, which can be considered deities. Thus the lines speak of paying some deities or playing rock in order to pay those deities.
“We were searching for reasons
To play by the rules
But we quickly found out
It was just for fools.”
This part is generally somewhat similar to a puberty protest when a certain character understands that he is undoubtedly smarter than everyone else. For example, having read Zeland or Papus, he realizes that he can control reality and neglect stupid Muggles.
What does the song “Mary on a cross” mean?
Well, in the end, let’s consider the refrain of this composition, in the lead-in to which the lyrical hero urgently announces that he is not going to let go, either his chosen one and partner or someone else and, moreover, wants to tickle her from the inside (which is quite obvious hints at the act of penetration by the sexual organ) and sees nothing wrong with it. By the way, the album on which this composition is present has a rather funny name Seven inches of satanic panic, that is, 7 inches (about 18 cm) of satanic panic, which is probably also a hint of a penis, which, in addition to its quite a solid size, also has some mystical ability.
Of course, the imagery, which is supposed to, so to speak, tickle from the inside someone who appears in the image of the Virgin Mary, is also a variant of desecration. It should be noted that in Satanism, reverse photos can also be common when a female representative wants to enter into an intimate relationship with Jesus. One way or another, we note that in this composition, there is still a hint of comparing your chosen one or girlfriend with the Immaculate Virgin, who (the chosen one) is also, let’s say, cool, but also has a pleasant optional opportunity to tickle from the inside. Although, perhaps, the lyrical hero sees someone immaculate whom he wants to seduce.
“Mary on a Mary on a cross
Not just another bloody Mary
Mary on a Mary on a…”
They offer an exciting play on words, where the crucified Virgin Mary (in itself a perverted image) is compared with a popular alcoholic cocktail. Although, more severe sounds can be observed here, which hint at some ordinary dead Mary. Equally interesting is the final line, which sounds like the enduring English expression carry-on, which means keep doing something, keep moving somewhere (on a global scale) and has other similar connotations.
I hope I helped you find the meaning of the song “Mary on a cross” and understand the lyrics. If you have a different vision of the song, write your version in the comments.