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Pass The Gun Around (DaDa, 1983)

“Pass The Gun Around” Lyrics:

Sonny wakes up in the morning feeling kinda sick
Needs a little Stoli Vodka, needs it really quick
Sees a little blood run from his eyes
Feels a little hotel paralyzed

Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, you gotta
Pass the gun around
And throw me in the local river, let me float away

I wake up watching cartoons… the television’s on
There’s a couple of party balloons and all my money’s gone
She was just a reason to unwind
And actually the last thing I could find

Why don’t you, pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, you better
Pass the gun around
And dump me in the local river, let me float away
float away, ah float away

Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, why don’t you

Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, we’re gonna

Sonny wakes up in the morning, there’s a stranger in his bed
Someone’s pounding on the hotel door, he wishes he was dead
I’ve had so many blackout nights before
I don’t think I can take this anymore

Why don’t you, pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, why don’t you
Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, we’re gonna
Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, we’re gonna
Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, you gotta
Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, you gotta
Pass the gun around
Give everyone a shot… give everyone a shot, you gotta
Pass the gun around

Da Da

Alice’s 8th solo album, “DaDa,” was released in 1983. The last of three albums referred to as the “blackout” albums – it winds up being his final album for Warner Bros. Records. The cover art is based on a painting by surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and the album’s name references Dadaism, an early 20th century, European avant-garde art movement. However, areas of the LP also focus on the word Dada – with a child or infant calling for their father.

One of the darkest albums ever recorded, the concept seems to focus mainly on mental illness. Various songs point to scenarios and characters that are going insane or are trapped in their fantasies, nightmares, or hallucinations. Quite honestly, the songs off of this album are fascinating. Each song tells a narrative. Multiple stories can be derived from some of them. They are an open book and can be read or interpreted in many different ways. Alice has stated that he doesn’t remember or know much about the “blackout” songs. He says, “I don’t remember recording them, I don’t remember touring with them…if there was a time in my life that I was on automatic pilot, that was it.” As the album plays out, the listener is left asking several questions. Are these songs based on real-life experiences? Do some songs represent multiple personalities or characters locked away in a person’s psyche? Is this the story of an adult reverting to a child-like state?

In this post, we will be focusing on the final track, “Pass The Gun Around.” The song tells the tale of “Sonny,” a man who has reached the end of his rope. There are no specifics linked to what the character has done, but it’s hard not to see parallels between Alice and Sonny during this period in Alice’s life. In hindsight, it’s tough to think about what Alice, his family, his friends, and his colleagues were going through. Thankfully, Alice is still around today to share his story and his walk with others. What a testimony to God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace. A story of Hope, Grit, and Perseverance. As we reference this song, think about the times in your life when it seems all hope was lost. The times when you felt as if nothing would ever go your way. All you wanted was a break – an escape – a way out. As if your sins had finally caught up with you and all guns were pointed at you – ready to take that final shot. Have you ever been that deep? That far gone?

Life is tough. We live a fallen world populated by fallen people – including ourselves. There’s no question, we will be hurt by others, and we will also hurt others during our journey here on earth. Being hurt is part of the human experience. It’s part of this life. How do you react when you are hurt? Do you fall back into isolation? Do you become paralyzed by fear and rejection? Compounded hurt and frustration can lead to some very dark thoughts. Thoughts that consume us and alter our minds. The further and further we slip, the more lies we believe about ourselves. Loser, cheater, fraud, worthless, unlovable, etc…this is what we begin to think about who and what we are. We start to replace God’s Word with lies from the enemy instead. We become ensnared – held captive by our actions and thoughts, instead of embracing the freedom our Heavenly Father freely gives.

There’s a right and wrong way to handle hurt. The Word clearly spells out that “two wrongs don’t make a right” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Therefore, we should learn how to handle our distress as taught by our Loving Father. Maybe the best way to go about explaining this is by using the following talking points: 1) How to move forward when we hurt others, 2) How to move forward when others hurt us, and 3) How and when to confront others about our hurt.

How To Move Forward When We Hurt Others.
At times, we can be the problem…the one hurting someone else…the one with a “gun” pointed at us. We may even deserve what’s coming to us. How well we treat others is often linked to our relationship with the Lord. Transformation is a never-ending process. However, one of the most essential elements for growth and maturity in Christ is a humble heart. The wisdom and courage to know and admit when you are wrong.

Matthew 5:23-24 reads, “23Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” In these verses, we are reminded that damaged relationships can hamper our relationship with God. It’s hypocritical for us to claim we Love God while allowing grievances with others to fester. Asking others for their forgiveness is a form of love. The Bible goes on to ask a sincere question of us. Paraphrasing 1 John 4:20, If we aren’t willing to love our brothers and sisters, whom we see and interact, how can we honestly claim to love God, whom we’ve never seen? The real test of our love for God is found in how we treat others – His creation made in His image.

How To Move Forward When Others Hurt Us.
This one seems easy, right? This scenario has you as the “good guy”…holding the “gun.” Ready to pull the hypothetical trigger. Ready to call the other person out. To punish them. After all, they are the ones that committed the crime or have sinned against us. They deserve what’s coming to them, right? If it were only that easy. Unfortunately, it’s not. Human nature is not our Heavenly Father’s nature. We are asked, by Him, to go against the grain. Against our primal instincts. Relying more on our spirit and soul rather than our feeble minds. Revenge doesn’t free us. Anger doesn’t free us. Forgiveness frees us.

If we are genuinely to walk and act like Christ, we must study His actions and responses. In 1 Peter 2:21-23 it reads, “21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him, who judges justly.” What? Seriously? Read that again. That’s the example we’ve been given? Turn the other cheek? Not retaliate? That’s correct, Christ died for all humanity. He was guiltless. When He was threatened, He expressed no threats in return. When He was despised, He instead offered Love. Even with no sin, He took the blame. Following His lead, we are asked to do the same.

This is such a harsh lesson to learn. But it’s an amazing one. When faced with such trials, we must remember our place. We must not forget that our vindication comes from the Lord, not from the flesh (Isaiah 54:17). Instead of seeking confrontation, we are asked to holster our emotions and learn to wait upon Him. Psalm 62:1 reads, “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him alone is my salvation.” As we seek Him in silence, it’s in those moments that we often grow and mature the most. The Holy Spirit cultivates the heart leaving room for forgiveness and acceptance (instead of bitterness and resentment). Where harsh words would have deepened the hurt…patience and guidance from the Spirit heals the wound with His Love.

There are times when confrontation may still be the answer. However, it’s a last resort, and it takes more effort, patience, and hard work – if it is to be done correctly. Matthew 7:5 states, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Time alone in silence is still needed before any problematic discussions take place. A humble heart is necessary. A heart cooperating with the proper approach is paramount.

Confronting someone takes the right mindset, the right tone, and the right words. It’s territory that we should tread lightly. You must realize your faults and sins are just as great as the person you are speaking to.  It only takes a single speck of ingenuine contact to derail the healing process. The wrong words, improper attitude, or other nonverbal actions could lead to further resentment between the parties involved – which should never be the intention. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers and sisters if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit, should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” If there is even the slightest bit of vitriol, a “look what you’ve done” or “I wouldn’t have done things that way” attitude, a conversation is not the proper action. If things go awry, you must be able to discern from the Spirit the appropriate words and demeanor to use. If that’s not possible, silence is still the better option. Your goal should be to say something kind and uplifting. If that can’t be done, you should say nothing at all (Ephesians 4:29-31). The bottom line, discernment and caution are the keys to handling any and all confrontations.

Wrapping this up, this song was a tough one for me. I’ve been on both sides of the gun in my life, as I suspect most have. We’ve either been in the crosshairs of someone we’ve wronged or we’ve been ready to hypothetically fire at someone that has hurt us. The answer to both scenarios relies again on us believing and knowing that the Love of Christ is the common denominator in all of life’s decisions and struggles. It’s cliché to say “What Would Jesus Do,” yet the premise holds massive amounts of water. What would He do? Jesus would often spend time in solitude praying and urging His disciples to do the same. His example leads us to a better understanding of what it takes to grow more in tune with His Spirit. It’s in those quiet moments through prayer that we find His Will and our reward (Matthew 6:6).

In conclusion, “Pass The Gun Around” is a powerful song. It stops you dead in your tracks. Forcing you to think about anyone pointing proverbial guns of fault and decree towards you – ready to fire that shot. Wanting to take you down. Forcing you to succumb to the death and sins of this world. On the flip side, it also forces us to look at those we may be pointing a gun of judgment and blame towards. So, what do we take away from this? How can we overcome this recurring obstacle? Instead of “pass(ing) the gun around,” pass it to God. We are to be like Christ. He came not to judge the world, but to save the world (John 3:17). And with that, we are called to do the same. To show the world Him and His Spirit through us. Giving “everyone a shot” of His Love.

SIDE NOTE: In two previous discussions (“Going Home” and “My God”), it was noted that Alice ended both “Alice Cooper Goes To Hell” and “Lace and Whiskey” with songs that were “prodigal-based” in nature or with a feeling of spiritual awakening. “Pass The Gun Around” subtly does this as well, but with one word, “Da Da.” As if he is crying out to his father. His Heavenly Father.

We should have included this in the initial post (thanks to David Newman for the suggestion):

If anyone reading this post has any thoughts of self-harm or suicide…

Seek out help immediately, dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital…

There is help! Ask for it! You deserve it!

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

In the meantime, 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 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.

NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.

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