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Going Home (Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, 1976)

“Going Home” Lyrics:

I’m going home
There I am, there in my bedroom
I’m safe and I’m snug and snoring
And so glad to be there.

I’m going home
None of this ever happened
But, God, I really did it
Still nothing has changed.

I’m going home
I’m going home
To my own room
To all the mess
To all the dirty laundry
It looks so good I don’t care
I’m just so glad to be home, sweet home

Wonder if anyone missed me?
Or have I been gone so far
They thought that I died
How many said
I wonder what happened to Alice?
How many shrugged, or laughed,
How many cried,
But I don’t give a damn!

I’m going home
I’m going home
To my own room
To all the mess
To all the dirty laundry
It looks so good I don’t care
I’m just so glad to be home, sweet home

I’m going home
Nothing can stop me now

This week we once again travel back to 1976. Revisiting Alice Cooper Goes To Hell,’ we find ‘Going Home’ as the final track on the LP. The song is beautifully written and offers a peaceful ending to the nightmarish ordeals that precede it. The listener finds Steven, the beloved character of many Alice albums, back in his room – happy to be home even amongst his ‘dirty laundry.’ When this album was first released, many would most likely believe it was just part of the bedtime story. However, it seems there may have been more going on. Whether Alice was cognizant of it or not, the song has ‘Prodigal Son’ undertones. For the listener some 40 years later, it doesn’t seem coincidental that this album ends with ‘Going Home’ and the next album, ‘Lace and Whiskey,’ ends with ‘My God.’ It’s as if Alice is being drawn back to the comforts of his friends and family. To his innocence. To his upbringing. To his Faith.

This past week has been an amazing one. On Friday, my daughter and I traveled up to Nashville, TN. Our reasons for visiting were two-fold. We were heading up to spend time with my best friend, Josh, and his family. Then on Sunday evening, we would be attending Alice’s “Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back” show at the Grand Ole Opry. Coincidentally, this would be Alice’s first-time performing at this historic venue (and my first time seeing him in concert). The show was all we could ever hope for and more. His band and stage show are top-notch. It was impressive to see such a tightly-knit group with so much talent and energy. Couple that with an incredible stage show, and you wind up with one remarkable evening. After the show, we were also able to spend some quality time meeting both Alice and Sheryl. The Spirit of our Lord radiates from within them, and they are a very inspiring couple. It was an absolute blessing to meet them. As we made our way back home to Florida, the search began for this week’s topic. It only seemed fitting that this week’s post should be ‘Going Home.’

There are many different ways to decipher the lyrics to ‘Going Home.‘ It can merely be a return home after a long trip, or maybe returning home after a stay in the hospital. It could also represent returning to a specific state of mind or righting the ship after drifting off course. Even still, It may be about coming back to your roots or reaching our final destination, Heaven. Honestly, the possibilities for allegory and analogy in reference to ‘Going Home’ are endless. It’s not always easy returning home. Many times, it means we must face our past or the ‘dirty laundry’ we’ve left behind. It takes courage to meet those things head-on. Our focus for this post will be the person returning home – not the place. That person’s experience. Their thought process. Their emotions. Their journey.

Are you now or have you ever been in a scenario like that? For most of us, it isn’t something that happens abruptly. It’s the small decisions we make every day. Decisions that can lead you down an unintended path…a detour here, a compromise there, dabbling in something “just to try it.” It’s like this voice tells you, “you only live once. Experience it all. It’s only a taste!” However, in time, those tiny detours become larger ones. Ultimately, they alter or derail your path. One day, you wake up not knowing how you ended up here and may not know how to get back. For others of us, it is a particular event or action that has thrown us off course. You know exactly how you got there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the path back is clear or easy. Whatever the circumstances are, at some point there’s this aching, gnawing feeling that grabs us and won’t let go. It’s that yearning inside our heart and soul begging us to return. Return to an earlier time. A different state of mind. A healthier life. That voice is calling us home.

There are two sides to every story – sometimes more. Alice often refers to himself as the modern-day Prodigal Son. Therefore, it seems fitting that we look at that parable (Luke 15:11-32). In these verses, we see three different sides of the story…the older brother’s perspective, the younger brother’s perspective, and the father’s perspective. The parable is listed below, keep in mind Christ told this story.

The Story of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32 (MSG)

Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’

“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’

“The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’

“His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”

Does that story remind you of anyone in your life? Have you encountered a similar story or situation with friends or family? How did you react based on your scenario? It’s interesting. It seems, based on scenarios, seasons in life, or other stipulations, we may play different roles throughout our lifetime. In our youth, we may seem more like the younger brother. As we grow old and watch others’ slide’ by in life, we may feel more like the older brother. Or even still, we may be the father. Waiting for that one day when our loved one returns. This story on the surface seems pretty straight forward, yet there is so much more to the message. Let’s go one step deeper. Quickly looking at each character and what they represent, we find other analogies within the story.

Older Brother
The Older Brother in the parable resembles the Pharisee mindset. People that are a bit pious and ‘holier than thou’ in their thoughts and nature. Often, they see their way as the only way. However, it’s usually a perspective grounded in ritual and tradition. A viewpoint that doesn’t fully apply the teachings or characteristics of Christ. This is a dangerous place to be. The truth is, we all have ‘dirty laundry.’ Things we don’t want to be aired out in the open. The ‘Older Brother’ mentality leaves a person ignoring their downfalls and instead focusing on the mishaps of others. In turn, this childish mentality never leads to growth and causes stagnation in a person’s Faith and walk (1 Corinthians 13:11-13).

Younger Brother
The Younger Brother resembles carelessness, rebellion, and immaturity – a person that wants to live and do as they please. It often takes them reaching rock bottom before they come to their senses. However, when they do decide to change the transformation is exceptional. The misguided past becomes a focused and determined present/future. The ‘Younger Brother’ mentality leaves a person changed. Willing to do whatever it takes to walk again in grace. Willing to swallow their pride and set aside fear, guilt, and shame. Ready to set aside their ego. With a repentant nature, this mindset embraces something greater. A servant’s heart (Ephesians 6:7).

The Father
The Father resembles our Heavenly Father. He stands ready. Waiting for us to come home. He greets us at the door. As we turn to Him, He’s willing to meet us and come to our rescue. All we must do is ask. He is saddened when we are eager to eat ‘pig slop’ instead of accepting His blessings. The Father cares not about our mistakes and shortcomings. He does not rejoice when a child abandons Him. He celebrates when they are found. When they come home (Matthew 18:12-14).

After looking closer at those perspectives, which one are you? Are you the older son? Younger son? The father? Maybe all three? You may even have areas of your life and different relationships that fit in each category. Life is a journey. As it unfolds, we tend to find several peaks and valleys along the way. However, we must remember that God never abandons us (Hebrews 13:5). We may stray and lose sight of Him. But He’s always at the ready – waiting for you to come back. Prepared to embrace you as you approach Him (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Wrapping this up, it’s often been said that ‘Home is Where Your Heart Is.’ Where do you feel most at home? With family? With Friends? In your congregation? We tend to consider ‘home’ as a place where the things we care about most are found. Looking inside your heart, can Christ be found there? Is He one of those things you cherish and have allowed to dwell within your heart? In your home? If not, maybe it’s time to consider making that journey back’ home,’ back to your roots. Perhaps you’ve never really known much about our Lord or His nature. Maybe it’s time to consider searching for Him in His Word. If you take nothing else away from this post, know this…He doesn’t want you settling for ‘pig slop.’ Your creator wants more for you. As one of His own, He wants you as part of the family. He rejoices when you come to know Christ. He celebrates that you are alive and renewed, no longer withering or dead.

In conclusion, Alice hints at some apprehension about ‘going home.’ He declares “Wonder if anyone missed me?”, “Have I been gone so far? They thought that I died?” how many “wonder what happened to Alice?”. It’s as if he wonders if he will still be accepted once he’s home. Ultimately, he proclaims, “I don’t give a damn!” That still, small voice. That yearning inside was strong enough to allow him to ignore those that would hinder him from making it home. We must know that. It’s crucial for us to not place too much importance on what others think. The Father wants us home, in His presence. If he’s willing to overlook our faults, does it matter what anyone else thinks? If He is for us, who could be against us (Romans 8:31)? Be well and catch you next week!

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"

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