B called me on Sunday afternoon.
“I was looking through the music you uploaded onto my computer to put together a playlist, and you know what I found?”
“'Stairway to Heaven.'”
“Why are you listening to that? You know it’s Satanic, right?”
“Yeah, if you play it backwards, it has all these Satanic messages.”
“Uh, did you know that it was voted best rock song of all time?”
“But it’s Satanic.”
“You’re still gonna listen to them, knowing they’re Satanic?”
“Uh, yeah. I love Led Zeppelin, and I’m
“I’ll send you the link to the site. Once you listen to it, you won’t want to listen to them anymore.”
Despite telling him I wouldn’t listen to it because I don’t want anything to ruin Led Zeppelin for me, my curiosity got the best of me. And you know happened? I heard a bunch of “snufuglemen…wooswawshooner….snetooomubeeeee.”
I don’t know on which planet that translates into “Satan is cool!,” but definitely not the one I live on.
Oh, I get it. They’re speaking Satanic tongues
. Burn your Led Zep albums! Run! Run, you bastards before God unleashes his wrath and Satan drags us down into the fiery pits!
Or, don’t. In which case, no one can save your soul now, you rock 'n' roll-loving fool
B and I were both raised Catholic, but eventually we grew up, started to question things, and the religion we accepted as absolute truth as children started to segue further into fairy tale, folklore. We still believe in God, but while B sees Him as something to fear, I see mankind as something to fear.
People are stupid. People also happen to “rule” this planet. And look how well that’s
going. God's sitting up there shaking His head and saying, "Jesus Christ, look at them! Killing each other in my
name and Led Zeppelin's the evil ones."
Every now and then, B comes at me with one of his stories. “Nine Inch Nails! They’re Satanic! Marilyn Manson is the High Priest of the Church of the Devaaaaal!” (Unfortunately B likes Nine Inch Nails, so see yis in hell, yeh bastid)
We’ve argued about it numerous times, but have never reached an acceptable middle ground. My
middle ground is that there is no middle ground. One of the beautiful things about democracy is that we’re allowed not
to have a middle ground. We can worship whomever and whatever we want. Would you stop listening to an artist if you found out he was a Jew and said that he believed his religion, and only
his religion, was right?
Worshipping Satan isn’t exactly on the same plane, but the principle itself is still there. Who fucking cares?
If I listen to the music of a so-called Satan worshipper because I like the music for what it is, does that mean I’m suddenly going to be overcome with the urge to kill rodents and drink the blood of virgins while the moon is in its third quarter? Am I slowly being brainwashed into dressing in long black robes, bowing before the Prince of Darkness, and slaughtering thirty-six newborn puppies because when you play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards, they say “snurfy setan?”
By the way, I kind of prefer the words when they’re sung forwards
. But maybe that’s just me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning Satanism. However, I am condemning judgment. It’s bullshit that I should be judged for not
judging. It’s bullshit that some bible-thumper with too much spare time decided to point his goat-sodomizing finger at some warped syllables that could kinda, maybe, sorta sound Satanic in an attempt to ruin respected musicians that make music that doesn’t quite suit their taste.
And you know what the lead singer of Led Zeppelin had to say about it?
"'Stairway To Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music. It's really sad. The first time I heard it was early in the morning when I was living at home, and I heard it on a news program. I was absolutely drained all day. I walked around, and I couldn't actually believe. I couldn't take people seriously who could come up with sketches like that. There are a lot of people who are making money there, and if that's the way they need to do it, then do it without my lyrics. I cherish them far too much."
-Robert Plant (Courtesy of SongFacts.com)
But even before knowing that, I’d still sooner make nice with a Satanist who has ritualistic orgies and keeps bats as pets than, oh let's say, an extremist who straps on a couple kilos of C4 and gets onto a packed train.
So when I’m 66 years-old and I’ve just heard “Stairway to Heaven” for the 666th time and I am gripped with the uncontrollable longing to murder my firstborn child with a lead-tipped dagger, please tell the judge Led Zeppelin made me do it.