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Pain (Flush The Fashion, 1980)

“Pain” Lyrics:

I’m hidden in the scream
When the virgin dies
I’m the ache in the belly
When your baby cries
And I’m the burnin’ sensation
When the convict fries

I’m pain
I’m your pain
Unspeakable pain
I’m your private pain

And I’m the compound fracture
In the twisted car
And I’m the lines on the face
Of the tramp at the bar
And I’m the reds by the bed
Of the suicide star

You know me- I’m pain
I’m your pain
Your own private pain
Unfathomable pain
And it’s a compliment to me
To hear you screamin’ through the night
All night

I’m the holes in your arm
When you’re feeling the shakes
I’m the lump on your head
When you step on the rake
And I’m the loudest one laughing
At the saddest wake

Yes I’m pain
I’m just pain
Dear old pain
You need your pain

And I’m the loudest one laughing
At the saddest wake
I’m the salt in the sweat
On the cuts of the slaves
I was the wound in the side
While Jesus prayed
I was the filthiest word
At the vandalized grave

Yes, pain
Do you love me pain
I love my pain
I’m your pain
It’s a compliment to me
To hear you screamin’ through the night
All night

Flush The Fashion is Alice’s twelfth studio album. Released in 1980, it falls under an umbrella of genres ranging from Hard Rock to New Wave. With a mixture of sarcasm and some story-based songs, the album still delivers a Cooper-based vibe and feel.

“You’re still in the business going, okay? The sound is now moving that way. I’m not going to give up Alice Cooper, but we can make that creepy too…By that time, I wasn’t with the original band. I was on my own, and so I really could stretch in every direction, which was neat.” – Alice Cooper

The album showcases Alice Cooper’s musical prowess without losing sight of Cooper’s character. The creep show and horror of its content had just shifted. And, with songs like: “Grim Facts,” “Clones (We’re All),” “Headlines,” and “Aspirin Damage,” there was still plenty of material for the tour and stage show.

Pain,” a song most recently used on the 2017 ‘Spend The Night With Alice Cooper’ tour, deals with a wide range of agony and grief found within the human experience. The song serves as a reminder that pain is not only physical – it can be mental, psychological, emotional, etc.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then, the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. – Genesis 3:1-8

The Fall. The Struggle. The Battle. The “Pain.” These things entered the picture with the ‘original sin’ – The Fall of Humanity in the above-listed verses. However, Alice also addresses other discomfort and agony in the song.

I’m hidden in the scream when the virgin dies
I’m the ache in the belly when the baby cries
And I’m the burnin’ sensation when the convict fries

And I’m the compound fracture in the twisted car
And I’m the lines on the face at the tramp at the bar
And I’m the reds by the bed of the suicide star
You know me..

Yes, I’m pain
I’m just pain
I’m dear old pain
You need your pain

I’m the holes in your arm when you’re feeling the shakes
And I’m the lump on your head when you step on the rake
And I’m the loudest one laughing at the saddest wake

I’m the salt in the sweat on the cuts of the slaves
I was the wound in the side while Jesus prayed
I was the filthiest word at the vandalized grave

Humankind has done a masterful job of embracing pain and doubling down on it. Refusing to deal with it mentally and spiritually with our Lord, we instead allow the big (and small things) to add up and consume us.

Like a massive sledgehammer to the head (or death by a thousand pricks of the needle), we find ourselves at the mercy of pain. Some pain we choose, some we don’t. But it is a constant, equalizing force on humanity – and the response to it defines our eventual fate.

There are multiple examples of suffering and despair in the Bible. Stories from the book of Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Lamentations (of Jeremiah) are saturated with tales of woe and longing. They ultimately point to God’s creation turning away from Him and His ways.

In turn, the characters in these stories cast damnation upon themselves for refusing to obey Our Creator – turning their backs on Him instead. So, while the above-listed stories apply, let’s look at pain through the prism of the Psalms.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
And day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Psalms 13:1-2

David’s pain is profound. And, we often find him claiming that God was slow to act on his behalf. His writings are a roller coaster of sentiments, expressions, and moods.

Do we feel this way?

Are we staggering along in pain?

Are we waiting for the Lord to deliver us?

Ultimately, David perseveres. He knows God. He knows that God is faithful. He knows that God’s timing (no matter how long) is perfect. Therefore, David continues waiting on God’s unfailing love, rejoicing in the salvation he’s been given (Verse 5).

That struggle of waiting and longing is one of the most challenging aspects of our time spent here – our sorrows, watching those around us grieve, the sad state of the world, etc. Certainly, a proper perspective must be applied during our observations, but it’s not easy.

We must know that the “Pain” on this earth is fleeting – it too will pass. However, the real question lies in whether or not that pain will continue in eternity or find you wrapped in His healing arms instead.

Will you be condemned to death, or will you find healing in His embrace – forever with Him in Paradise?

The full acting out of the self’s surrender to God, therefore, demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination.” – C.S. Lewis

As C.S. Lewis points out, it’s as if God wants to know we are serious about our faith. Are we willing to walk with Him no matter what? Through the good, the bad, and the ugly?

The Psalms give multiple instances where David finds himself trapped within difficult seasons of life – the peaks and valleys. As we’ve mentioned in other posts, it would seem that life is always in one of three phases: before, during, or after a storm.

While pain may seem an unnecessary evil, it’s actually where we often experience the most growth, leaving us stronger and restored in the process. Without pain, would we really want or seek to know Him more?

Wrapping up this week’s post, the topic is “Pain,” but the focus is perseverance. It’s tough to digest the pain we feel and experience in this life. However, a good amount of pain is self-inflicted because of the human condition.

Take David, for example; though highly regarded by both God and humanity, he carried some pretty significant baggage and flaws. He was a murderer, a womanizer, and a poor father, and through his sins and shortcomings, he also brought a certain amount of disgrace to Israel.

In a nutshell, David caused considerable pain for himself and others. However, scripture attests to God’s Love for David – calling him “a man after My Own Heart” (Acts 13:22, 1 Samuel 13:14). God cared most about David’s heart and who he was at his core.

Unfortunately, there is no all-encompassing answer to the reason for suffering in this life – no clear-cut, concise resolution as to why we go through trials and tribulations while we reside in this place. However, the questions left unanswered about pain are met head-on by Christ, who comes to us amid our suffering.

“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
” – Isaiah 53:4-5

Isaiah’s prophecy foretold the coming Messiah and the suffering He would endure, freely forgiving humanity of ALL its sins. He took up our pain and bore our suffering, eternally healing us by His wounds, death, and resurrection.

Perseverance is the key, yet we must first latch on to the redemption of the cross and then to the restoration God brings through His Holy Spirit. That’s where we find the strength and power to persevere. It’s not something we can do on our own. It’s something we must seek and accept.

In conclusion, while critics of Flush The Fashion (and disgruntled fans) seemed lost without a centric theme or concept, the LP displayed a decent transition into the ‘80s.

Unfortunately, in a musical landscape much different than the ‘70s, Hard Rock bands lost a little traction and footing. However, Alice found a way to combine the old and the new. Cooper was not about to hang up his hat or character because of a change in musical direction. He embraced parts of it instead.

“Pain” and a few other songs from the ‘80s made their way into future setlists – leaving their mark in history. However, what came before and after the early to mid-’80s will arguably continue to define Alice Cooper more accurately.

That’s it for this week, be well and catch you next Friday.

Until then, 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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