A guest blogspot by my partner, DRD
Monk is a lot like his dad in that one of his “guilty pleasures” is listening to heavy metal--particularly bands whose lyrics are not always entirely edifying. Monk’s current favorite album to listen to on the way to his hockey games is AC/DC’s Back in Black. He thinks of the title track as his team’s theme song, because they often wear black jerseys, and he like to imagine them blasting the song through the rink’s sound system during pre-game warm-ups. But he told me today that his favorite AC/DC song, which he’s had running through his head for the last couple of weeks, is “Hells Bells.”
I’m not entirely comfortable with this. I’m sure Monk likes the song partly because he thinks of hell as a curse word. I don’t think he gives much thought to the concept of hell, and AC/DC’s comically absurd glorification of it—which always put me off as a churchgoing teen. And I know he likes the ominous feel of the guitar part. He’s joked more than once about how his teacher last year always invited the kids to bring their favorite music in to be played at school, and he likes to imagine how she’d react if he’d brought “Hell’s Bells” in to be played for his third-grade class. But he thinks she probably wouldn’t do it because of the curse words.
When he mentioned that today, I seized upon the “teaching moment” as an opportunity to undo some of the damage I’ve done in introducing his nine-year-old mind to these songs. I said something like “Well, I’m sure your teacher doesn’t want to play music in class that some of the kids or their parents would find offensive. You know some of those songs really don’t have a very good message about how to live—like where ‘Hells Bells’ says, ‘If you’re into evil, you’re a friend of mine.’ ”
He says, “Yeah, I know, sometimes their lyrics aren’t so good--other than that one.”
I was a little baffled, and asked him what he meant.
He says, “Well, that song basically says what God says--that no matter what somebody’s done, even if they’ve done some really bad stuff, you should still be their friend, still love them, still stick with them.”
You gotta love a boy who hears the gospel in his AC/DC album.