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Sex, Death and Money (Dragontown, 2001)

“Sex, Death and Money” Lyrics:

Sex, death, sex, death, sex death…

When I go to the show, all I see on the screen is a stream of pure vulgarity
I wrote down a note, I complained for a day to the House of Representatives
They laughed in my face, they said: “Son, you’re a one-in-a-million minority.”
The name of the game is to titillate the brain, stimulate the immorality

I was so offended as I sat for three hours
It was mental cruelty, I was so shocked
Just a little more flesh
Just a little more blood
A Little closer to the edge
A little deeper in the mud
I’ll never be the same

Sex, death and money, sonny, makes this wicked world go round
Sex, death and money, it’s the Gospel here in Dragontown
Sex, death, and money, honey, grease the wheels and make them fly
Sex, death and money, sonny, that is why we all are gonna fry

Stuck my nose in the door, ended up on the floor in the middle of a nudie show
She danced on my lap, a couple hundred dollars later I was up on a morals rap

I was so offended as I sat for three hours
It was mental cruelty, I was so shocked
Just a little more flesh
Just a little more blood
A Little closer to the edge
A little deeper in the mud
I’ll never be the same

Sex, death, and money, honey, grease the wheels and make them fly
Sex, death, and money, sonny, that is why we all are gonna…
That is why we all are gonna fry
That is why we all are gonna fry
(sex, death, sex, death, sex, death…)

Sex, death and money, it’s the Gospel here in Dragontown
Sex, death and money, honey, that is why we all are gonna
That is why we all are gonna fry
(sex, death, sex, death, sex, death, sex..)

Dragontown, Alice’s 22nd studio album, was released in 2001.  It’s a continuation of the themes found on the previous LP, Brutal Planet – a Brutal Planet part two, so to speak. “Dragontown describes the worst town on Brutal Planet,” according to Alice. The place and characters are metaphors of real-world problems and issues, but they can also serve as a representation of Hell and those that inhabit the dark abyss.

Brutal Planet and Dragontown force the listener to acknowledge the darker side of humanity, the tools of the enemy, and those that have been influenced by the darker elements of this world. The songs from this record are hard-hitting and require the listener to question and think a little deeper about the meaning of life. It focuses on the many aspects of what makes humanity “tick” – the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of this world.

The focus of this week’s post is “Sex, Death and Money” – a thought-provoking song that puts direct emphasis on three of the greatest vices this world has to offer. Interestingly enough, none of these things are inherently dark or evil by their own design. It’s how they are manipulated, twisted, and used by the enemy that inevitably brings about pain, despair, and destruction.

Did you know that most marketing firms use at least one of these elements – sex, death, or money – as their focus and strategy in almost all of their promotional campaigns? Stop and think about commercials and advertisements for a minute…

  • Starting with sex appeal…There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of ads that use it. For example, an old Doritos commercial from the Super Bowl, featuring Ali Landry, comes to mind – seriously, a DORITOS commercial focused on sex. Let’s face it, sex sells – and society loves it more than chocolate and peanut butter. As long as the enemy remains in business, sex will continue to be used as an enticement, distraction, and temptation.
  • What about death? Can you think of any advertisements that push you to ACT NOW before “It’s Too Late?” Most types of insurance definitely have that connotation attached to them, but there are also those “once in a lifetime” sales that are used to entice us as well. Many are “bucket list” items that are sold with the promise or guarantee that “this will make your life complete” after you’ve experienced it. And don’t forget those health and age-defying products that promise to add years to your life (or they at least guarantee to make you look younger). After all, appearances are what really counts, right?
  • And finally, what about money? Can you think of any “do this and save,” or “your chance to be a millionaire is just around the corner” promotional gimmicks? How many lottery billboards do you pass on your way to work every morning? Or how many times are you presented with an ad, video, or post about “the x number of ways to make money fast and get rich quick?”

As a reminder, there’s nothing inherently evil about any of these things. In fact, believe it or not, this song isn’t even really about “Sex, Death, and Money.” If you peel back the narrative and digest it entirely, you find choice as the primary focus. These elements, like many other things in life, are ever-present. Sex isn’t going anywhere – it’s sort of a requirement for the existence of future generations. We are all going to die. And money is necessary for the exchange of goods and services in any economy.

The trouble is the intent and focus of these things that lead us into a world of anxiety and emptiness. Alice does a great job pointing out the fact that it’s our intentions and our two-faced approach to life that leads us to a path of decay – the reason “why we all are gonna fry.

Scripture has so much to say about these topics. Therefore, it makes sense to break down and spend a little time on each separately.

SEX.
Isn’t it fascinating how we, as humanity – God’s creation, fall for the lies and deceit of the enemy time after time? Sex, when looked at from the Word of God, is a sacred and loving union meant to be shared by husband and wife (Mark 10:6-9). Look no further than the Song of Songs for a proper description of what the passion and desire between man and wife should look like…we were created to enjoy each other and come together as one. Song of Songs, Chapter 7 reads:

How beautiful your sandaled feet,
O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
the work of an artist’s hands.
Your navel is a rounded goblet
that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat
encircled by lilies.
Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
looking toward Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
    and your mouth like the best wine.

She

May the wine go straight to my beloved,
flowing gently over lips and teeth.

10 I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.

12 Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
and at our door is every delicacy,
both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my beloved.

Is that not the Biblical equivalent to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On?” Seriously though, it’s everything God intended love, romance, and the interaction of sex to be. The dialogue, communication, and the interaction between a married couple – husband and wife.

What God did NOT intend is for humanity to oversimplify sex, turning something sacred into nothing more than a cheap thrill or high. There’s no need to go into pinpoint detail and accuracy. We’ve all witnessed the ways with which sex has been perverted and redefined. It’s as if our social “norms,” cultural shifts, pornography, and collegiate-level research have recharacterized what sex is and should be.

But this has been going on since the dawn of man – there’s no need to point fingers only at today. Look no further than history and accounts found in the Bible for “what sex was NOT intended to be.” Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:2-9), David’s lust for Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), and Potiphar’s wife attempting to seduce Joseph (Genesis 39) are just a few of the narratives used to show sex being misused by humanity.

This leads us back to choice. It’s pretty simple. Do we believe that the Creator and Author of life (and sex) knows best how it should be used (or do we)?

DEATH.
Life is so uncertain. So many different life experiences during our moments here on Earth, but there is one thing definite – we all must die. Therefore, there’s this underlying feeling and desire that we all share to make the most of our time here – to live life to its fullest. But what exactly does that mean?

Are there any experiences here on Earth that indefinitely fill our hearts, our minds, our souls, etc.? Do we find ourselves living life with expectations that leave us disappointed and unhappy? I know, depressing, right? But seriously, the book of Ecclesiastes does an excellent job of pointing out that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

“Nothing new under the sun,” a phrase which points to humanity’s view of the world, a view void of its Creator. However, life takes on new meaning when we invite Christ and His Spirit to dwell within our hearts, and death takes on new meaning as well. It’s the beginning, not the end.

We often experience the death of a loved one and change our outlook on everything – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. But death changes things – it forces us to look at life differently and decide what is and isn’t necessary – what is and isn’t essential.

Looking at God’s Word, we find that life is actually realized in death – everlasting life. Jesus made it clear that “He was the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).” But it’s not just about eternal life. What we also discover is a life lived more abundantly here on Earth as well.

Christ made it very clear that the things of this world will never satisfy us. Instead, He instructs us to trust in Him and His Word. In John 4:13-15, Jesus explains to the “woman at the well” that we will continue to thirst until we drink from the cup of life (God’s Word). When we do this, we find ourselves satisfied and fulfilled in this world. Not because we have it all, but because we thirst and hunger for righteousness instead of material things and fleeting “happiness” (Matthew 5:6).

With the thoughts of death (and life), we once again find ourselves faced with a choice. Do we acknowledge the fact that the things of this world are simply not enough – or – do we truly believe that the person who “dies with the most toys” wins?

MONEY.
How often have we heard that “money is the root of all evil?” It’s partially true, but there’s an essential element missing from that phrase – the LOVE of money. “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).” Money on its own is neither good nor evil. Like most things on earth, money isn’t the issue, the issue is more profound.

Jesus talks about money in 16 of the 38 parables. He uses them to teach us about Him and His Word. Literally, 1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospel deals with this narrative. Isn’t it then obvious that money has a direct effect on our hearts? The way we choose to use money says a lot about who we are and what we consider most important in life. In many ways, it’s a Litmus test of our hearts.

NOTE: Some folks, like the father and son in Alice’s song, “Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song),” see money as a tool. They use money as a device to give themselves the upper hand over their fellow man. The men in that song have placed their trust in the Almighty dollar and are hell-bent on leaving a legacy of greed and contempt. Check out that post for an in-depth discussion about the inherent difference between wealth and greed.

The truth is, the Love of money (and the things it can provide) alters our thought process. It leaves us dissatisfied with the things we do have (Ecclesiastes 5:10) and prevents us from fully trusting God for the things that we actually need (Hebrews 13:5). The Love of money causes us to focus and stress more on what we do or do not have (instead of on the things God has freely given us).

1 Peter 4:10 reads, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” As we focus on Him and what we’ve been given, we find ourselves less consumed with what we don’t have or what we think we need. In fact, we start to focus more on ways to give back instead.

Again, it all comes back to choice. We must decide if chasing money and possessions is our life’s ambition. Do we merely live our lives pursuing a hefty income, or do we instead focus on the gifts He’s already given us? After discovering those gifts, do we purely profit from them, or do we also share them with the world?

Wrapping up this post, we again find ourselves with questions that must be answered. Our Creator designed us with purpose and intent. When we take time to search our hearts while reading and studying His Word, it becomes obvious. We’ve each been tasked with an individual mission and journey. We all have our own road to walk – one filled with adventure and discovery. As we learn more about our Father, we also learn more about His plans for our future – plans to prosper us and not harm us…to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

The bottom line is “Sex, Death and Money” are ALL a part of life’s highway. What you must decide is how you will react when (not if) they cross your path. How will they affect you? Will these things identify you, or will you define them (according to God’s Word)?

The world is offering one narrative much like the song implies, and God’s Word provides another. Maybe we should take more time worrying about our own path and a little less time being offended by what the world is offering. After all, we can’t get too offended by the things we put in front of ourselves. We’ve been given the free will to abstain from or remove the things that cause us to stumble. We’ve been shown the ramifications of sin. The question is, are we foolish enough to continually repeat the same follies over and over again? Or do we look for a better alternative – an alternative sent and identified by Him & His Love.

In conclusion, Dragontown is one of three albums that really push the moral envelope – the others being Brutal Planet and The Last Temptation. They are albums that make a statement then pose a question. They share the ‘grim facts’ – the dark conditions of this world – then ask, “What are we going to do about it?”

Alice says, “I haven’t let Alice (the character) understand it. Alice is the prophet of doom here. All he’s doing here is he’s telling you about the place (Dragontown). He’s not explaining how to get in or out,” and the real eye-opener is the fact that this character, a notorious villain and criminal, gets it. Alice goes on to say, “I come from a Christian attitude on this thing…by my beliefs, you don’t go to Hell by accepting Christ.” Alice, the character, and Alice, the man, may see things from two different perspectives, but both know something’s not right – humanity has missed the mark.

With songs like “It’s Much Too Late,” “Sister Sara,” and “Every Woman Has A Name,” hopefully, we will get it too. Life is precious. The way we spend our time here matters. Let us all love one another and strive to be better people as we dredge through the “Sex, Death and Money” of our own personal Dragontown(s).

That’s it for this week, see you next Friday.

Until then, 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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