Filthy 15: Black Sabbath’s “Trashed”.

There should be more songs that are against drugs and alcohol. Of course there are many songs glorifying altered states of consciousness and all night partying. A song on the other side should be glorified and held up as an example for how other artists should behave.

Yet Black Sabbath found their 1983 song “Trashed” singled out as one of the Filthy 15 for its glorification of drugs and alcohol.

Black Sabbath’s lead singer… No not that one. No, not that one either. Black Sabbath’s lead singer at the time, Ian Gillan, nearly died during a drive while under the influence outside of the recording studio. He took this guardian angel moment as inspiration and co wrote Trashed with Black Sabbath. He repeatedly thanks “Mr. Miracle”, a stand in for a higher power, for watching over him.

Ooh Mr. Miracle you saved me from some pain
I thank you Mr. Miracle I won’t get trashed again

The song becomes a tale of empty prayers. So many people have made deals with their god of choice. “Get me through this and I’ll go to church every week. I’ll be a better person. I’ll do this, that, and then some.” Yet the moment the near tragedy is over, it’s back to previous harmful ways.

And as we drank a little faster at the top of our hill
We began to roll
And as we get trashed we were laughing still
Well bless my soul

Now he feels invincible. God saved me once, he’ll save me again. While God is infinite, patience is not. Tempting fate eventually catches up to all.

This song was flagged as one of the worst by the PMRC. A tale of the dangers of alcohol, the harm in not changing your ways, a lesson against taunting God. Yet the message was not received by them. While I agree music can be interpreted in ways not intended by the artist, I draw the line on interpretations that result in censorship against said musicians. Also, stating an opinion on a work does not make it valid without defense. If I say football is about devil worship, I better be able to back it up. Saying a song from Black Sabbath is actually glorifying inebriation falls apart without back up. But no one is queuing up to defend Black Sabbath.

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