Enter the name for this tabbed section: WORMWOOD CD
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First Release
CD - 1998 - East Side Digital - ESD 81332 - US
Enter the name for this tabbed section: credits - tracks
THE RESIDENTS
with guests:
C. Fabrizio
R. Marriott
Pavers
D. Alden
L. Amat
W. Doba
L. Goldstein
M. Harvey
The Mystery Dude


Tracks:

• In the Beginning
• Fire Fall
• They are the Meat
• Melancholy Clumps
• How to Get a Head
• Cain and Abel
• Mr. Misery
• Tent Peg in the Temple
• God's Magic Finger
• Spilling the Seed
• Dinah and the Unclean Skin
• Bathsheba Bathes
• Bridegroom of Blood
• Hanging by his Hair
• The Seven Ugly Cows
• Burn Baby Burn
• KILL HIM!
• I Hate Heaven
• Judas Saves
• Revelation
Enter the name for this tabbed section: notes
WORMWOOD
Wormwood Liner Notes

The word Bible means "book." In about 100 C.E., Christian scholars collected writings about the prophet, Jesus of Nazareth. Selecting certain texts, eliminating others, they canonized what is now the New Testament. This they combined with the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, to give a historical and philosophical context for their new teaching. While the Old Testament introduces us to the Israelite God, YHWH, as a dark figure bringing death whenever he appears, Jesus revolutionized the concept of God as a father figure. All Bibles are translations of translations of no longer existing original writings and, unavoidably, reflect the politics and religious prejudices of the organization paying the cost of the translation. Today, many narrow-minded people wield the Bible as some sort of razor with which to slash their enemies. Allowing those people to decide what is important in the Bible is dangerous to the freedom of individual thought. Though some of the Bible is abysmal and boring, much of it is entertaining and important reading. The Residents have tackled this book in all its complexity without the responsibility of the scholar. Though many months have gone into research, the intent of the music and lyrics remain within the realm of the inspired poet. The stories and ideas represented here are definitely in the Bible. The desire is to neither vilify nor sanctify the book, but to allow it to be humanized. For the Bible to be looked upon as spiritually uplifting is good and useful, but that view overlooks the Bible's abundant images of plague, torture, and cruelty. It is this dichotomy that gives balance and substance to the book. Without both, the dark and the light, there is no measure of either, only the bland reassurances that pass for organized religion today. -- Uncle Willie


The third angel blew his trumpet; and a great star shot from the sky flaming like a torch; and it fell on a third of the rivers and springs. The name of the star was Wormwood. Revelation 8: 10
1. In the Beginning
The Israelite God, YHWH, does not create the earth. It already exists, though without form. He creates man and woman, then makes another woman from the male's rib. The man is Adam, Hebrew for man, and the new woman is Eve, whose name may mean life. Against 's wishes, Adam and Eve eat some fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There is a second tree, the tree of life, and He is afraid they will also eat its fruit and become immortal. To protect his realm He asks them to leave the Garden. Look it up. Genesis 1-3
2. Fire Fall
Sung by Lot, nephew of Abraham
Lot, his wife, and his two daughters escape the Israelite God's destruction of Sodom, a town that has a reputation of being wild. YHWH kills the wife by turning her into a pillar of salt because she looked back at the city's destruction. Then the two daughters get their Dad drunk and have sex with him. The Bible paints Lot as innocent in this orgy (he was drunk, after all) but maybe Lot and family actually were just good citizens of Sodom. Look it up. Genesis 19
3. They are the Meat
Sung by Ezekiel, son of Buzi
YHWH humiliates Ezekiel by ordering him to eat only bread baked using human dung fuel and to lie on his left side for thirteen months. Ezekiel has some strange visions. Look it up. Ezekiel 4:4-151, 8-11
4. Melancholy Clumps
Sung by the ark passengers: Noah, son of Lamech, and his family
The sons of the gods become sexually excited by earth women and keep impregnating them. YHWH blames the earth people for the problem and decides to kill everyone. Almost everyone. He tells Noah and family to build a boat and to gather up seven pairs of each "clean" animal and one pair of each "unclean" animal to put in the boat. Noah ignores the seven pair order. After forty days of rain and seven months of floating on an endless sea, Noah releases one raven and it flies back and forth until the land is dry. As soon as Noah and family get off the boat, Noah builds an altar and sacrifices one of each pair of the "clean" animals. YHWH thinks it smells so good that he decides he won't kill all living creatures ever again, no matter how evil they may be. Look it up. Genesis 6-8
5. How to Get a Head
Sung by the daughter of Herodias
King Herod marries his brother's wife, Herodias. John the Baptist tells Herodias it is wrong. She doesn't like being told she is wrong. At Herod's birthday banquet, Herodias' young daughter spins into the room and dances so sensually that the tipsy king can't resist her. He swears to give her anything she wants. The girl, drunk with the first feelings of her sexual power, has no idea what to wish for so she asks her mom. Mom sarcastically suggests the head of John. That sounds like an outrageous request so she says, "I want the head of John the Baptist on a dish." The king is distressed, but he gave his oath in front of all his guests. So John's head is cut off, placed on a dish and given to the girl. Though the Bible never gives the name of the young lady who dances, other sources say her name is Salome and that she does this thing with seven veils that is dynamite. Look it up. Mark 6:17-29
6. Cain and Abel
Sung by Cain, son of Adam
Cain and Abel are brothers, two of the many children of Adam and Eve. Cain is a farmer and Abel is a herdsman. When they make their sacrifices to YHWH, He only accepts Abel's meat offering, rejecting the grain of Cain. Well, Cain makes a meat offering by then killing Abel. Cain is upset about it but YHWH is so impressed that He puts a mark on Cain to protect him from anyone who might try to avenge Abel's death. Cain goes off, gets married, and becomes a successful businessman. Look it up. Genesis 4
7. Mr. Misery
Sung by Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah
Jeremiah is the most unhappy man in the Bible. He spends a couple of books of the Bible being a complete downer. Look it up if you need dreary reading. Jeremiah, Lamentations
8. Tent Peg in the Temple
Sung by Jael, wife of Heber
YHWH has sold the Israelites to Jabin, the Canaanite king. The commander of his forces is Sisera, who oppressed the Israelites for twenty years with his large army. YHWH feels it is time for the Israelites to be victorious so they attack Sisera and his army. Sisera jumps off his chariot and seeks to hide in the house of Jael, whom he believes to be neutral in the battle. Jael invites him in and covers him with a rug. When he falls asleep, she takes a tent peg and a hammer and drives the peg into his skull. King Jabin is defeated and grants the Israelites peace for forty years. Predictably enough, then gets angry again and delivers them to the Midianites. Look it up. Judges 4-5
9. God's Magic Finger
Sung by King Belshazzar, son of King Nebuchadnezzar
King Belshazzar is throwing a bash for his closest thousand friends, and thinks he can impress the guys by drinking from the gold cups that were stolen from the sanctuary at Jerusalem by his father, King Nebuchadnezzar. This turns out to be a bad idea because a human finger suddenly appears and writes on the plaster of the wall, "Mene mene tekel u-pharsin." Daniel is called in to interpret the mysterious words. He tells the king that his father was crazy and that the message means the reign of his bloodline is over. That night Belshazzar dies. Look it up. Daniel 5
10. Spilling the Seed
Sung by Onan, son of Judah
Tamar is married to Judah's oldest son, but he dies without giving her a male child to inherit the estate. Law requires that Judah's second-oldest son, Onan, try to give her a son. Since Onan is next in line to inherit the estate, you can understand why he doesn't want to impregnate Tamar, even if she is pretty hot. So, at the first feeling of orgasm, Onan pulls his penis out of her and ejaculates on the ground. YHWH kills Onan. Tamar later disguises herself as a prostitute and seduces Judah, the father. She has twin sons and takes over everything. Look it up. Genesis 38
11. Dinah and the Unclean Skin
Sung by Dinah, daughter of Jacob
Jacob's daughter, Dinah, gets raped by the prince of the city of Shechem. Maybe it wasn't really rape because the couple sticks together and decides to be married. But Jacob's sons insist that the prince can't marry their sister unless he and every man in the town is circumcised, not something the sane men would ever agree to do. The prince forces everyone to be circumcised anyway and while he and his citizens are recovering from the unpleasant experience, Jacob's sons sneak into town and kill them all, including the prince. Then they steal all the town's goods and enslave all the women. Dinah ends up with no husband and a bad reputation. Death would be preferred. Look it up. Genesis 34
12. Bathsheba Bathes
Sung by David, son of Jesse
King David sees Bathsheba bathing and decides that he must have her. No problem. Her husband is in David's army and is fighting far away. David thinks it improper to be dallying with a married woman so he plots to make the husband's position in the army so vulnerable that he is unlikely to survive. Then it is in YHWH's hands. YHWH buys in and kills the husband but tempers his action by killing the first born of David and Bathsheba. Look it up. 2 Samuel 11
13. Bridegroom of Blood
Sung by Moses and his wife, Zipporah
YHWH orders a stuttering Moses to go to Egypt to free the Israelites. Along the way, as Moses sleeps next to his wife and baby son, suddenly YHWH attacks Moses and tries to kill him. The Bible does not explain why. His wife thinks quickly and decides that the best thing to do is to take a sharp piece of flint and cut off the tip of the baby's penis and wipe the blood on the legs of YHWH or Moses (the Bible isn't very clear on this point.) Then she calmly states, "Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me." YHWH leaves. Look it up. Exodus 4:24-26
14. Hanging by his Hair
Sung by Absalom, son of David
King David is driven out of Jerusalem by his son, Absalom. As a show of his power (and maybe a touch of exhibitionism) Absalom goes up on the roof of the palace and has elaborate sexual intercourse with his father's numerous concubines in sight of all of Israel. When a battle brews with his father, Absalom makes the mistake of riding his mule under an oak tree and gets his head stuck in the tree branch. He is hanging in mid air by his hair when David's men find, torture, and kill him. Look it up. 2 Samuel 13:20-30, 16:20-22, 18:9-15
15. The Seven Ugly Cows
Sung by Joseph, son of Jacob
Joseph, sold into slavery, is made the personal servant of the Egyptian Pharaoh. His striking good looks are noticed by the Pharaoh's wife and she makes sexual advances. Joseph knows not to screw up his easy life at the palace, so he rejects her. This doesn't sit very well with her, so she cries to her husband that Joseph tried to rape her. Joseph gets tossed in jail where he meets two eunuchs and successfully interprets their dreams. The eunuchs tell the Pharaoh that Joseph can interpret dreams and the Pharaoh asks Joseph to interpret a wild one about seven ugly cows and evil ears of corn. Joseph interprets and is rewarded by becoming the second most powerful man in Egypt. There is no mention of what happened to the Pharaoh's wife. Look it up. Genesis 39-41
16. Burn Baby Burn
Sung by the daughter of Jephthah, the Gileadite
Jephthah is a general who depends upon the favor of YHWH to win. He vows to the Hebrew God that if He will let him win this war, he will sacrifice the first creature that comes out of his house to greet his return. Since Jephthah lives just with his only child, a daughter, it isn't much of a surprise that it is she who greets him that day. He blames her for being the first creature he saw. She takes the news rather well and heads off for the country with her friends for two months before coming home to be slaughtered by her daddy. Look it up. Judges 11:31-40
17. KILL HIM!
Sung by Abraham, son of Terah

YHWH says to Abraham, "kill me a son." Abraham seems undisturbed by the fact that YHWH wants his only child dead. Though he argued mightily to save Lot from the destruction of Sodom, he now accepts that God has spoken while leading young Isaac to the designated sacrificial spot. By the way, at the last moment, YHWH says, "just kidding," and father and son ritually slaughter a ram caught in a nearby bush before going home. Look it up. Genesis 22
18. I Hate Heaven
Sung by The Dark Bride
Also known as The Song of Songs, this short book of the Bible is one terrific erotic love poem. What could be more curious in a book that denounces sexuality so strongly? Look it up. The Song of Solomon
19. Judas Saves
Sung by Judas Iscariot
According to the New Testament, God has sent Jesus to earth to spread word of the power of love. Unfortunately for Jesus, he also has to die for the sins of man. Though not stated, the implication is that God not only needs Jesus, the teacher, but also Judas, the hit man. Judas hears the calling and realizes the request is too important to refuse. He must betray Jesus for the salvation of mankind. Jesus is fully aware of the entire plan God has laid out and, perhaps, feels sympathy for Judas. Judas betrays Jesus by kissing him -- one final intimate moment in recognition of their love and pact to save mankind. Look it up. Mark 14:17-46
20. Revelation
Revelation seems to end the Bible mainly because it would be rather anticlimactic without a big finale. The Seven Seals, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Final Judgment, the war in heaven, the battle of Armageddon, it's all here. For questions about the end of the world, note that only 144,000 people are "saved" and they are all Hebrew men who have not had sex with women. Actually, everybody dies and no one goes to heaven. They are resurrected at some point in time and the saved ones stay on the earth in a place named New Jerusalem. The others end up in the sulfur lake. Don't worry if it doesn't make much sense. Revelation is the writing of a maniac: deranged, surreal, and potentially dangerous. Look it up. Revelation of John 4-22
Enter the name for this tabbed section: lyrics
In the Beginning
Genesis 1-3
Instrumental

Fire Fall
Genesis 19
I'm just an old man, how could I understand
I'm just an old man, how could I understand
I remember danger when the strangers came -- they knew my name
They seemed to know my neighbors so I gave them safety in my home
Then there was a pounding sound, and screaming voices all around
I offered them my daughters then a light came from the strangers' skin
They said we had to go away, my wife was worried they... they... they...
I'm just an old man, how could I understand
Fire fell from the sky!
Tears fell from my eyes!
She turned to stone like a bone,
or maybe salt had hardened on her
I was lonely for my wife
It only happened once or twice
I'm just an old man who just can't stand his memories

They Are The Meat
Ezekiel 4:4-15, 8-11
I was lifted up high
To a hole in the sky
Where God told me to dig
I found figures of pigs
He put his butchers to work
With a competent clerk
Executing those who
Had abandoned the truth
Then four faces appeared
Around the sides of sphere
Spinning over a throne
Made of amber and bone
The ball was covered with eyes
And as it started to rise
God commanded the clerk
To take me back to the dirt
With words harder than stone
His voice followed me home
It said He was coming to eat
My cousins who were his meat

Melancholy Clumps
Genesis 6-8
Like a message from the dead
The raven circles overhead
Its shadow seems to softly hold
The sickly scent of sour souls
And says this ship will be the home
Of melancholy clumps of bone

How To Get A Head
Mark 6:17-29
There were guys! watching my body
There were guys! watching my breasts
There were guys! Watching my body
I was excited and losing my breath
Why did I? listen to Mama
Why did I? listen to her
Why did I? listen to Mama
A head was only a word
Why do I? look like a woman
Why do I? feel like a girl
Why do I? look like a woman
I think about how his hair curled
It's a head! without a body
It's a head! without a neck
It's a head! without a body
I didn't know what to expect
The neckless head is always falling
Every time I close my eyes
And think about his empty eyeballs
Strangely staring at the sky
Unoccupied by life but calling
To the tears they cannot cry

Cain and Abel
Genesis 4
Blood drowns the ground
Blood drowns the ground
Yes, blood drowns the ground, 'cause
You didn't need me
The wind blew his hair as I looked up to see
The shadows of birds as they flew over me
Standing in silence, I watched how the blood
Turned into a puddle of crimson and mud
Like the dirt by the river my brother was cold
But the sunset was scarlet and purple and gold
I needed you
I needed you
Yes, I needed you, but
You didn't need me
Now I must wander away
Now I must wander away
Now I must wander far away
But when he looked up at me
And cried
I wasn't thinking, not thinking that soon
I will be alone

Mr. Misery
Jeremiah, Lamentations
They call me Mister Misery
They laugh and dump decay on me
He let them throw me in a pit
Full of angry spite and spit
With wasted flesh and broken bones
God has left me all alone
He made me Mister Misery
I don't know why He's mad at me
He made me Mister Misery
I don't know why He's mad at me
He hates my hands, He hates my skin
He hates the smell upon my chin
But He still shines His light on me
With love disguised as agony
I beg for pain but not for death
His hatred fills my emptiness

Tent Peg in the Temple
Judges 4-5
He's dead and naked
I'm naked, too
He's dead and naked
But he's still wearing his shoes
Once there was an ugly woman
Who was told to tell the truth
and So she said we needed fighters
Who were mean but mainly lighter
Than the metal war machinery
That was used to make us scream
and So we gathered up an army
That was thin, but then a storm be-
gan and it was really raining
Like some swollen lakes were draining
Into thunderclouds and breaking
As our enemies were waking
They were stuck like legless bugs there
In a mucky mire of mud where
They were stabbed and left to squirm
Like lost and lonely wiggle worms
He's dead and naked
I'm naked, too
He's dead and naked
But he's still wearing his shoes
Cautiously their leader ran
Until he saw me and my hand
Inviting him to come inside
My tent where he could safely hide
He was shivering and wet
And so I said that I would get
Some clothes but then his tender eyes
Reached out and made me recognize
This vile and evil enemy
As someone soft and even sweet
Confused, I said he needed rest
But then somehow we were undressed
I said I heard someone outside
And rolled him in a rug and cried
I drove a tent stake in his head
And continued crying... as he bled

God's Magic Finger
Daniel 5
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song
It was a finger instead of a singer
It didn't stay too long
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song
It was a finger instead of a singer
It didn't stay too long
When I was having a party and wanted to hear a song
A disconnected finger appeared where it didn't belong
It floated above the floor and wrote something on the wall
No one could read the writing so someone was called
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song
It was a finger instead of a singer
It didn't stay too long
He said my father was crazy with fingernails like claws
And that he ate grass with asses, then he paused
Then when he continued, he mumbled about his God
He said my days were numbered, so I started to nod
It's late now and I'm alone, still thinking about what I saw
Something woke me up, a strange noise out in the hall
I hear it again
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song
It was a finger instead of a singer
It didn't stay too long
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song
It was a finger instead of a singer
It was a finger instead of a song...

Spilling the Seed
Genesis 38
She smiles at me
and I see
milk in her breasts
She smiles at me
and I see
heat on her breath
She smiles at me
and I see
sadness and death
My brother's dead
so she said
I am a weed
My brother's dead
so she said
you know my need
My brother's dead
so she said
I need your seed
But then again
can it end
with smiling eyes
But then again
can it end
with me inside
But then again
can it end
without a lie
I spilled the seed
on her knee
and on the ground
I spilled the seed
on her knee
as we laid down
I spilled the seed
on her knee
and then she frowned
A bittersweet
memory
sticks in my soul
A bittersweet
memory
won't let me go
A bittersweet
memory
is just a hole

Dinah And The Unclean Skin
Genesis 34
He murdered me
He murdered me
He took his tongue and touched it
And murdered me
I'm an old and lonely woman
Hating every other human
Nothing but my bitter-
ness surrounds me
He murdered me
He made me lay
He murdered me
Down and display
He murdered me
My milky way
He murdered me
And kissed it
I'm an old and lonely woman
Hating every other human
Nothing but my bitter-
ness surrounds me
He came asking for my hand
And was given this demand
"You and all the other men
must remove the unclean skin
From his penis", so they did
Then went to their beds and bled
Where my brothers cut their throats
Many empty nights ago
I am still that little girl
In the dark and dirty world
That was built so solidly around me

Bathsheba Bathes
2 Samuel 11
Out in the openness of night
She bathes before my sucking sight
Fingers of fire so soft and slow
Make her amber body glow
He takes what he wants
With smiling lies
He takes what he wants
And someone dies
Like caution to the newly blind
Her image never leaves my mind
I have to hear her as she cries
Underneath my buning eyes
Her husband is fighting far away
In my army so they'll say
I took his honor with his wife
So he must lose it with his life
A king is noble, strong and right
With appetites to match his might
With gore and glory in his bed
His penis rules a rancid head

Bridegroom of Blood
Exodus 4:24-26
I'm t-tired and d-dirty and old
L-like m-mildew covered with m-mold
S-something is shining at m-me
L-L-like a l-ight nobody c-c-can ss-ee
M-My heart is t-turning t-to stone
Inside a s-sack f-full of b-bones
S-Something is sh-sh-shining at m-me...
N-No! Not m-m-me!
N-No! N-n-not m-m-me!
A t-tree s-surrounded b-by f-flame
C-Called to m-me by b-my name
And m-made m-me promise to lead
The n-needy out of their n-need
Our little baby
He's c-c-crying
Our little baby
He's c-c-crying
Our little baby
He's c-c-crying
A lonely lingering bark
Awakened me in the dark
And as i silently stared
A figure formed in the air
With teeth intending to eat
My husband who was asleep
He was tiny and weak
With eyes so tender and sweat
And as he laid in my arms
So safe from hunger and harm
I took the edge of a rock
And sliced the skin from his cock
Yes, I sliced the skin from his cock

Hanging By His Hair
2 Samuel 13:20-30, 16:20-22, 18:9-15
Helpless and hanging around
Inches away from the ground
Where I'm gonna be found
By my father
It's kinda cloudy and gray
Soon they'll be coming my way
Maybe it's better this way
For my father
In front of his family and friends
I killed my brother and then
I tried to do it again
To my father
Soon I'm gonna be dead
But I slept in his bed
With his women and said
Fuck you father
I never thought that I would be
Discovered in a hardwood tree
Hanging by my hair above
A matching pair of turtle doves

The Seven Ugly Cows
Genesis 39-41
He sees branches
Bearing blossoms
He sees baskets
Birds and possums
He sees oceans
Belching bossies
Someone's head is on a stick
Pecked by blue birds that are sick
Black bovine enemies eat
Fat friends that have become meat
Fowl fat free kernels of corn
Eat their own as they are born
The king's dream screams to be heard
But all I could say were these words:
A mad mouth feeds only on greed
Wise eyes see nothing but need

Burn Baby Burn
Judges 11:31-40
I'm gonna die with no tears in my eyes 'cause
God digs my Daddy!
I'm gonna die with no tears in my eyes 'cause
God digs my Daddy!
God digs my Daddy!
God digs my Daddy!
His enemies died when he lifted his knife and said
Please let me win and I'll send you a life
So soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy
I'm ready to die but it seems to be odd
That bleeding is better than breathing to God
But soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy
God digs my Daddy!
Soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy
God digs my Daddy!
Soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy
Soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy
Soon I will be burning for my,
Soon I will be burning for my Daddy

KILL HIM
Genesis 22
First He told me to get a goat and
Cut it down the center and then
He said to find a turtle dove,
a ram and maybe two more hens
after they were cut in half
he made me put them on the ground
A torch appeared without a sound
And then He told me, "Kill him! Kill him!"
Then He sent some angels to me
Saying I would have a son
I thought this was a strange arrangement
So He told me, "Kill him! Kill him!"
God said kill him
God said kill him
Blood is thick but
God is thicker
I am sick but
He is sicker
God says, "Die!"
So I must kill him, but
Why does God want
To kill children?
Then he made me cut my penis
And then the manhood of my sons
When I said I can't believe it
Again He told me, "Kill him! Kill him!"

I Hate Heaven
Song of Solomon
I hate heaven! I hate it! I hate it!
I hate heaven! I hate it! I hate it!
My lover calls my teeth an invitation to my soul
But he does not understand the depth of my black hole
Fed by brothers basking in the season of the sick
My love is like a deadly poison lying on my lips
I feel the darkness of the doorway into my mothers room
Every time they beat my body underneath the moon.
I hate heaven! I hate it! I hate it!
I hate heaven! I hate it! I hate it!

Judas Saves
Mark 14:17-46
I hear a voice
I hear a voice
Calling calling calling me
With a voice inside my head
He spoke to me and softly said
Perfection ends when life begins
But it can come back again
I hear a voice
I hear a voice
Calling calling calling me
Then He said if I could hide
My faith inside my broken pride
He would find complete success
Where innocence embraces death
I hear
a voice
I hear
a voice
Calling
calling
calling me
Now it
is so clear
He must
appear
To be
betrayed
So we can
be saved
No one
can see
Clearly
but me
I know
I must
answer the call
I know
I must
answer the call
I know
I must
answer the call
I know
I must
answer the call

Revelation
Revelation 4-22
Instrumental
Enter the name for this tabbed section: additional notes
WORMWOOD
In Wormwood: a collection of curious Bible stories, The Residents explore the dark side of the Christian Holy Book with songs based on twenty of its most disturbing tales.
In the press release which announced the release of the album, The Residents explain that they are not interested in criticizing or attacking the Bible, but rather in reminding listeners that it is not all Love Thy Neighbor and uplifting morality. It is important to remember, when zealous, self-appointed arbiters of morality use the Bible to attack those they disapprove of on moral grounds that they are using a book which features tales of human sacrifice, incest, mass murder, torture, and various other anti-social activities.
Most of the songs are from the Old Testament, with its short-tempered and vindictive (god) visiting all sorts of unpleasantness on the Israelites and their neighbors. Three tracks, How to Get a Head, Judas Saves and Revelation, are from the New Testament.
Judas Saves explores a Biblical issue which I've often been interested in: the fact that without Judas Iscariot turning Jesus over to the Romans in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus would not have died on the cross and mankind would not have been saved. Judas's betrayal was ordained -- and required -- by God's plan, and his reward for having had to perform the greatest act of betrayal in the Christian mythos is the greatest punishment: according to Dante's Inferno (Canto 34), Judas has spent the past two thousand years being chewed on by Lucifer in the center of the lowest circle of Hell, the home of the sinners who were Treacherous to Their Masters, Judecca (which was also named for Judas).
In October, 1998, Wormwood became the subject of The Residents' second series of Halloween concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco. Most of the album was performed (the songs Spilling the Seed and The Seven Ugly Cows were left out) in a highly successful live production. This live show was expanded with extra songs and new arrangements into a successful tour in 1999.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: illustrations


WORMWOOD
THE WORMWOOD ILLUSTRATIONS BY LEIGH BARBIER

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BURN BABY BURN / DINAH
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HOW TO GET A HEAD / KILL HIM
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GOD'S MAGIC FINGER / MR. MISERY
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SEVEN UGLY COWS / SPILLING THE SEED
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TENT PEG IN THE TEMPLE / THEY ARE THE MEAT