“Hard Hearted Alice” Lyrics:

Life
Coast to coast
White hot as a ghost
When you live
In a countdown

Time
Is free as a jailbird
At least that’s what I heard
When you live
In a hideout

Love
Comes cheap at a swap meet
It all comes so dirt cheap
When you live
In a bedroom

Love
Cuts deep as a razor
But that ain’t amazin’
When you live
In a cancer

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah

Mind
Gets scrambled like eggs
Get bruised and erased
When you live
In a brainstorm

Noise
Seems logically right
Ringing ears in the night
When you live
In an airport

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah
Ah

Hard hearted Alice
Is what we want to be
Hard hearted Alice
Is what you want to see

Hard hearted Alice
Is what we want to be
Hard hearted Alice
Is what you want to see

Muscle of Love,” released on November 20, 1973, was the last album recorded by the Alice Cooper Group (ACG). An album stripped of theatrical flair – it returned to the basics of Rock & Roll. Receiving mixed reviews, it managed to hit #10 on the U.S. charts. With Bob Ezrin out, the production duties were split between Jack Richardson (The Guess Who & others) and Jack Douglas (Aerosmith & others). While things may have seemed fine on the surface, they were definitely changing behind the scenes. Alice states, “I could tell that the band was starting to fade. Either we needed to rest or we needed to take time off…Unfortunately, we didn’t.” Notable tracks from the album are: “Never Been Sold Before,” “Muscle of Love,” and “Teenage Lament ’74”. “Muscle of Love” was a solid Rock album, yet it was a huge step away from ACG’s previous work.

“Hard Hearted Alice” is an exciting track. It starts slow, a bit groggy or dreamy to the ear but matches the lyrical content perfectly. As the song picks up steam, it’s as if the show is starting and the crowd ends up getting what they want – a show filled with high energy and ‘hard-hearted’ antics. The track covers life on the road in biographical detail. The time it takes. The cheap connections made. The scrambled mind and noise that leads to exhaustion. Michael Bruce, song co-writer and original Alice Cooper guitarist, states, “I think (the song) was really about the band – I think my intuition was telling me that the band was breaking up.” He was right. With members unwilling to agree and some wanting to branch out on their own, ACG was slowly but surely falling apart. The band denied claims of a breakup, but within a few months, they would perform their last concert as a band. Various ‘band’ meetings took place during Alice’s “Welcome To My Nightmare” tour in 1975, but it didn’t take long for them to realize that ‘Alice Cooper’ was now a solo act.

There are many ways to interpret the song “Hard Hearted Alice.” From one perspective, we find pure exhaustion. After going non-stop for several years, it seems the drugs & alcohol, steady pressure to succeed, life on the road, etc. had finally caught up to them. Another perspective finds the band straining to continue “doing what they do.” The lines, “Hard Hearted Alice, Is what we want to be,” “Hard Hearted Alice, Is what you want to see,” leave you wondering…Do they really want to be the villains of Rock & Roll? Is that their true nature? Are they just playing roles that they think the fans want them to play? Are they becoming something they are not – just for the sake of the show? Finally, the last perspective is one that relates more to humanity in general – not only the Alice Cooper Group. It focuses on the actual heart. Not the physical blood-pumping organ but instead the combination of both spirit and soul. The real person behind the mask and façade we present to the world. While the song itself doesn’t claim that Alice or any other members of the band have become hard-hearted, it does allow us to see how they, or anyone, could quickly become hardened by the everyday mundane tasks that are required of them. Such responsibilities can quickly become the breeding ground for the “enemies of the heart.” That is where our focus lies in this week’s post.

This past Saturday, I spent a reasonable amount of time praying and meditating on what this week’s topics should be. What song? What era? Any certain topic? Late that evening, “Hard Hearted Alice” was laid on my heart. I remember thinking, “wow, this is the one,” but without much more thought or direction, I headed to bed. What’s interesting is the following morning at church, our pastor’s message focused on Andy Stanley’s book, “Enemies of the Heart.” During his sermon, the focus was placed on four key emotions that can bind us and hinder us from fully walking with God. Those four emotions are Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy. Emotions which can ultimately lead to a hardened heart. How amazing is that? So, let’s take a closer look at each emotion and maybe do some soul searching as well.

Guilt.
While there’s an absolute need to confess our sins and the actions of our past before moving forward in our Faith, the actual emotion of guilt can lead us straight into a trap. Trapped into a submissive state, we find ourselves attached to our sins and the enemy. Walking around smitten by the things that Christ has already claimed victory over. He willingly gave His life so that all condemnation would be removed from those that call Him Lord (Romans 8:1). Carrying remorse for the actions of our past gives ownership of our spirit and soul to those transgressions. But we belong to our Creator. We are His to mold and use according to His Will.

1 John 1:9 reads, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Christ asks nothing more of us. Do you realize how powerful that is? You have been made righteous through Him. We are made guiltless through His bloodshed, His death, and His resurrection. He has given us freedom – breaking the bonds and chains sin once held. This is vitally important. John 3:17-18 reads, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” It’s much easier to see what the present and future holds once you’ve let go of your past. Work on laying your guilt aside and accepting Christ’s love and forgiveness. Don’t allow the enemy to imprison you. He’s the one that’s trapped. You are free.

Anger.
With anger, we often find someone trapped in isolation. Hurting. Depressed. Unwilling to forgive. At anger’s core, we find blame. There’s this sense of entitlement also attached to it. As if someone owes you something. Once we start believing others owe us, we tend to be less forgiving towards them. Jesus warns us about forgiveness in the book of Matthew. In Chapter 6 verses 14-15, He makes it crystal clear that forgiveness is a two-way street. If we want forgiveness, we must be willing to also give forgiveness. We can’t expect to benefit from being forgiven if we live life bitter and angry at everyone around us.

Ephesians 4:31-32 reads “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” When we allow anger to consume us, we harden our hearts – refusing to allow the fruit of His Spirit to grow and dwell within our hearts. A life lived grudgingly towards others blocks us from fully experiencing His Love here on earth. Do your best to forgive others. It is only through the forgiveness of others that we, ourselves, will also be freed.

Greed.
The hardest emotion to diagnose or recognize is Greed. Stop and ask yourself some tough questions. Are you greedy? Do you consume almost everything you earn or receive? Is there anything leftover? As Americans, this is a TOUGH pill to swallow. We often consume in mass quantities and give very little thought to conservation or giving. After all, we earned it didn’t we? Don’t we deserve it? When and if you do give, is it just enough to feel better about yourself? Just to check off that “I’m a good person” box? Don’t know about you, but this hit close to home. It’s a TOUGH discussion point. It hurts. But let’s be honest with ourselves…in a world that has so much to offer, there is very little we actually ‘need’ (John 4:13-14).

Luke 12:13-15 reads, “Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” The basic needs of humanity AREN’T found in things, yet we amass oddities, trinkets, and commodities at an alarming rate. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people are motivated in 5 different ways: 1) Physiologically, 2) Safety, 3) Love and Belongingness, 4) Esteem, and 5) Self-actualization. Apart from food, clothing, and shelter, there are no other necessities that can be purchased. Consider focusing on tuning out expensive ‘distractions’ and instead focus on leading a fulfilling, more engaged life. A life lived in a relationship with our Lord and doing His work.

BRIEF SIDE NOTE: We should notice and heed the examples of others. Those that have large amounts of wealth but have also figured out, “it doesn’t buy happiness.” This isn’t to say being successful or having nice things is bad, but balancing life with Christ at the center is the key. The testimonies of celebrities, millionaires, leaders of industry, etc. prove this.

Jealousy.
The last emotion we find is jealousy or envy. An attitude or mindset that continually leaves you thinking, “the grass is greener on the other side.” At the heart of this emotion, we find displacement or a trace of bitterness towards God. Instead of rejoicing in what we’ve been given or what God has created us to be, we end up focusing instead on what we don’t have or who we would rather be. Ultimately, we end up wasting away – slowly dying on the inside (Proverbs 14:30). Rather than focusing on matters promised and offered to us, jealousy causes us to question God and His plan. It is continually causing us to wonder “what if I had or was someone else” instead of “thank you for what I have and who you created me to be.”

James 4:1-3 reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet, but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” When we align our hearts with God, we find Him answering our prayers. The more we submit to His will, the more peace we find dwelling inside – His peace flowing internally through our spirit and soul. Work on aligning your heart and thoughts with His will and nature instead of your own.

Wrapping this up, we find a great deal of personal strife attached to these emotions. We’ve mentioned many times before that life is a process. A good part of this process requires a reconditioning of the heart. As you walk with Him, try not to get too hung up on your weaknesses but work on resolving them. Try to begin seeing others and yourself as He sees you – as His creation. Diligence and repetition are what form healthy habits. As you spend time in His Word, you will learn more about your Creator and who you become through Him. You will begin to notice your heart softening (Hebrews 4:12). You will start to see people in a different light (Acts 26:23), focusing less on yourself and more on them (Philippians 2:3). You begin to realize more and more what this life is about – Loving God and Loving People (Matthew 22:36-40).

In conclusion, many reviews and articles have been written about the album “Muscle of Love.” Many of those opinions focused on the sexual connotation and innuendo derived from the name, the photos, the individual songs, etc. However, as you pull back the layers of this album and what the band members were experiencing, you find the album had less to do with sex and more to do with the heart. As it came to an end, you can’t help wondering what the individual and collective conditions of their hearts were as they amicably went their separate ways. As the years have passed, the original members have reunited many times to collaborate and celebrate their revolutionary contribution to Rock & Roll. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and remain near and dear to their fans to this day. That does it for this week. Be well and catch you next Friday.

Keep walkin’ in Faith and rockin’ with Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

 

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