Lay Down and Die, Goodbye (Easy Action, 1970)
“Lay Down and Die, Goodbye” Lyrics:
You are the only censor. If you don’t like what I say, you have a
choice. You can turn me off..
You are the only censor
If you don’t like what I say, you have a choice. You can turn me off..
Well I’ve written home to mother
The ink ran from my tear
I said “Momma, momma please
Tell me why you brought me”
Easy Action, the 2nd Alice Cooper (Band) LP, was released in 1970. It follows in the footsteps of its predecessor Pretties For You, in that it still displays experimental doses of psychedelic breakout and fanfare. However, it is still a much different album.
In fact, we find glimpses of who the band would soon become in songs like “Mr. and Misdemeanor,” “Shoe Salesman,” “Refrigerator Heaven,” “Return of the Spiders,” and “Beautiful Flyaway.”
The Easy Action LP and the band seem more in sync (in comparison to Pretties For You) – an indication that proves the group has progressed and developed between this record and their previous endeavor. However, they were still searching for a home – a place where they could be understood entirely.
“We didn’t fit in at all. We finally said the first place that gives us a standing ovation; we’re going to move to. We got this gig at the Saugatuck Pop Festival in Michigan, and that’s what happened. I’m from Detroit; that’s my hometown. We did our show, and the audience loved it – just the total opposite of L.A. – this band had attitude, and they loved that.” – Alice Cooper
“Lay Down and Die, Goodbye” is where our journey leads us this week. A song that is essentially an instrumental demonstration but begins with Tom Smothers (one of the Smothers Brothers) saying, “You are the only censor. If you don’t like what I say, you have a choice. You can turn me off…”
Are those not words of wisdom for all generations, all walks of life, and all people?
Alice goes on to revisit this idea on later songs and albums. A concept that asks the question, “When you have the freedom and choice to opt-out of participating in whatever it is that offends you, why continue to watch or listen?”
This past year, we have experienced extraordinary events. We have witnessed a virus destroy our everyday lives. We’ve seen cities born and civil unrest expose the very worst of humanity. And then, last week, we witnessed an act of violence that threatens the peaceful civilities we deem sacred.
However, as we take a step back and observe these things, should there be a call to suppress the very rights we have been given? Should we abandon the truths and freedoms bestowed upon us, NOT by each other or any governing authority, but instead, by our Creator?
As we’ve alluded to in many previous posts, the right to free speech has been under attack long before now. For example, this blog has endured various attacks seeking to silence religious expression (both publicly and privately). It would seem that many believe some forms of speech or specific individuals should be allowed to speak freely, while others are required to remain silent.
We believe that our speech should be peaceful, and we also believe in others’ rights to speak freely. It seems, society has found itself in a bit of a conundrum at this point.
It appears that if the powers that be, whether that’s big tech, media, government, or the social ‘norm,’ disapprove of what you have to say, then “you have the right to remain silent” – instead of the right to speak your mind or express your ideas.
Make no mistake; we are treading on a dangerous place for the field of ideas and free-thinking. Something that we as a free people and society need to examine and take seriously.
Instead of squashing ideas and jumping to the offense, it would benefit us all to stop, take a deep breath, and consider each other’s point of view. We might learn something about each other and ourselves in the process (If nothing more, perhaps a better understanding of the other side of the coin).
Looking at this issue from God’s Word, we find quite a few things to consider. Keeping this brief and to the point, it seems the Beatitudes are where we find the answers to our current atmosphere concerning society’s thoughts and speech today.
Christ spoke one of his most famous sermons on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. During “The Sermon on the Mount,” he gives us a list of blessings known as the Beatitudes. They are as follows:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:3-12
It would seem as if Christ is calling us to be peaceful, tolerant, and willing to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). Tolerance is a word that is thrown around often these days. However, it seems as if it has become a one-way street.
It is frequently asked for but seldom returned in the process. Tolerance stems from the word tolerate, which means “to allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with – without interference.”
Stop and think about that for a moment. Who are the people we often tolerate the most in this world? Wouldn’t it seem as if our friends and family are the people we accept most in life? The very people that we love the most. Wouldn’t that actually mean that tolerating others is linked to love?
Christ has already abolished sin in this world. Through His blood, the sins of those that accept Him are washed clean (Ephesians 1:7). We may not agree with others’ opinions in this world, but that does not mean we alienate ourselves from those we disagree with.
On a global and governing level, it makes sense to vote for your conscience and stand up for what you believe. However, it requires that we bestow Love and tolerance on those that disagree with us – that we strive to share both our opinion and viewpoint along with the mercy and grace of Christ (the very things shown and given to us by Him).
In the process, we strive to learn from each other and allow others to see Christ’s Love through our respectful interactions, as we strive to emulate Him.
We can’t expect the world to understand and come to know Christ if we aren’t willing to bring Him to them. We must find ways to act amorously when faced with difficulty, disappointment, and disagreement – to know that “going against human nature” leaves us blessed beyond measure.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:7-12
When we apply God’s Word to our walk, we show others around us that we are serious about our new life. Serious about our transformation through Him. Serious about His commands and principles such as The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).
In other words, be willing to walk in another man’s shoes – treating them the way you would want to be treated and trying to understand why they may act the way they do.
Kindness is an underrated tool. In today’s “cancel culture,” compassion and a chance at redemption are two commodities we ought to work hard at bringing back to an atmosphere that has grown toxic with excessive vitriol and hatred.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
As we walk side by side with the rest of humanity, we must ask ourselves, am I allowing the Holy Spirit to guide my path? As I step forward, do I leave traces of the traits listed above, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as I walk this earth?
The truth will set you free, and the truth is, when you meet others head-on with His principles, it makes the ways of the world look foolish. When love battles hate, love wins. When joy faces sorrow, joy triumphs. When peace encounters war, peace prevails. When God’s plan is applied, it works.
For too long, we’ve fought the enemy using his strategies instead of the ones we’ve been given – the ones found in God’s Word. Now is the time to change course. Now is the time to apply God’s Love.
Wrapping this up, the ways of the world are oppressive. For those who live in countries that value freedom, it’s incomprehensible to imagine places in the world where a post such as this would guarantee punishment, imprisonment, or death. Yet, it is still happening in many parts of the world, even today.
In fact, the assault on freedom is alive and well. We often take liberty for granted and forget that He is the author of such things. The Founders of the United States of America were adamant about declaring that those freedoms do not come from man, government, or anything of the like. They come from our CREATOR.
Our Lord in Heaven is our ultimate authority (Matthew 28:18), and we remain unseparated from Him and His Love, which is given to us FREELY in Jesus Christ, our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). May we find ways to respectfully share that Love, knowing that He is the great mediator and equalizer in this world.
SIDE NOTE: A documentary entitled, No Safe Spaces – starring Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager – was released late last year. The film takes a closer look at the 1st amendment and its importance. After having private conversations with multiple individuals about the film, it seems fitting to include the movie trailer with this post.
After viewing the trailer, check out their website (if interested) for shows near you at https://nosafespaces.com.
Also, feel free to check out the Song & Verse Ministries Podcast – Episode #24 “We’re Not Gonna Take It” https://youtu.be/pD5sgLV0kRs
In conclusion, Alice is no stranger to oppressive behavior and conduct. During Alice’s career, he’s been subject to many forms of censorship and slander. He’s been banned from certain places in the world. A portion of his music and specific albums have dealt with this type of harassment and tyranny.
Songs such as “Lay Down and Die, Goodbye,” “Freedom,” and “Sex, Death, and Money” drive home the fact that you are free to control what you watch, experience, and hear. “Sex, Death, and Money” offers up the lyrics, “I was so offended as I sat *(freely and willingly)* for three hours…I’ll never be the same.”
At what point did we become so lazy, upset, and close-minded that we would rather infringe on the rights of others than practice our right to “just get up and leave.” Freedom is a two-way street. You have the right to exercise your freedoms, but you must also stand up for the freedoms of those you disagree with as well.
That’s it for this week. Be well and catch you next Friday!
In the meantime, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!
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"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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