If you don’t like this song, then frankly, I can’t help you.
I mean, what’s not to like? It’s got a great, 80′s style beat, and one of the coolest riffs this side of Freddie Mercury.
The song’s lyrics could just as easily have been written by Orwell himself, and their anthemic rebellion against all things corporate have prompted more than a few to speculate on just who their lyrics are meant to target (I’m not sure either).
The video is immensely entertaining, though it doesn’t exactly give the song greater definition, and don’t ask any questions about the giant, be-fanged bears, because I’ll just tell you that I don’t know.
But what is clear is that we love songs about overcoming the bondage of corrupt systems and finding freedom. And this just happens to be one of the ways of interpreting the events we celebrate at Easter.
The cross of Jesus Christ is, at once, a sign of weakness and power (1 Corinthians 1:18). While many writers over the centuries struggled to understand the cross as a type of “victory,” it was the very recent writings of Gustaf Aulen which pulled together these ideas and gave them their fullest definition in the theory known as Christus Victor, literally, “Christ the victor.”
In this view, the cross is seen as nothing less than an invasion into hostile territory, where on the splintered wood Christ won the “wondrous battle.” For salvation to occur, Christ had to achieve victory over the enemies of God and man by first capitulating to them in the weakness of the cross, but triumphing over them in the resurrection.
You don’t have to look very far to find evidence of such themes in the Bible, whose writers are fond of mentioning the day when Christ would turn his enemies into a “footstool” (Hebrews 10:13). Talk about an Ottoman Empire (rimshot). To the Colossians Paul mentions that Christ “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him (Colossians 2:15). These reasons render these powers as merely “weak and worthless elementary principles of the world” (Galatians 4:9).
And so Muse is hardly the first to put to music the themes of victory and freedom. It was Johann Sebastian Bach who, in his “Easter” Cantata (more specifically, Cantata 4 for all you history nerds) wrote:
Lo, Judah’s lion wins with might
And now victorious ends the fight:
‘It is finished!’
Ok. So I’m sure Muse didn’t mean all that – I certainly don’t wish to speak for the band’s spiritual principles, and the song’s reference to our “third eye” invites some pantheistic overtones not exactly conducive to Christian spirituality.
But nonetheless we can affirm our desire for victory, and our desire to tear down the enslaving things of the past.
And isn’t that what the resurrection is all about?
The resurrection is the ultimae “Uprising” (pardon the pun). And through the resurrection we can find victory not only against political conspirators (both real and imagined), but victory over the “last enemy” (1 Cor 15:26) of death.
So if you’ll permit me to mess with the lyrics a bit, through Christ we can find our voice to sing,
Death will not stop us.
Death will stop degrading us.
Death will not control us.
We will be victorious.
So come on.
So come on.