Worst year ever

(Warning: tons of dirty words for the holidays.)

The title of the Scenes From a Mutiverse cartoon on the 23rd (here), in which two (gender-marked) alien creatures reflect on the horrid year that is coming to an end and announce extraordinary resolutions for the new year: he resolves to stop storing personal possessions inside his body, she resolves to eat bees, that sort of thing. But my focus here is on his first two words: a foul oath, a compound expletive, interjection, or exclamation. Which will lead us to the excesses of punk rock in Scotland.

The strip:


Putting the rest aside, this posting is about Jesus fuck!, an all-purpose interjection that combines maximum transgression in both religion- and sex-based oaths. (It’s my expletive of last resort.)

GDoS has an entry on Jesus! (with a ton of variants, including Christ Jesus! and Jesus Christ!) and one on Jesus H. Christ! (again with a number of variants), but not one on the compound oath Jesus fuck!

Meanwhile, the oath took on musical form in the 1985 song — well, more of a full-bodied howl — “Jesus Fuck!” by (the) Jesus and Mary Chain. From Wikipedia:


The Jesus and Mary Chain [the Mary Chain for short] are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in East Kilbride in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid. After signing to independent label Creation Records, they released their first single “Upside Down” in 1984. Their debut album Psychocandy [with the previously released single “Jesus Fuck!” on it] was released to critical acclaim in 1985 on major label WEA. The band went on to release five more studio albums before disbanding in 1999. They reunited in 2007.

… Originally called The Poppy Seeds, and then Death of Joey, they initially told journalists that they had taken their eventual name from a line in a Bing Crosby film, although six months later they admitted that this was not true. Other accounts suggest that the name derived from an offer on a breakfast cereal packet, where customers could send off for a gold Jesus & Mary chain.

… Playing in front of small audiences, during early shows the Mary Chain performed very short gigs, typically fuelled by amphetamines and lasting around 20 minutes, and played with their backs to the audience, refusing to speak to them. [The group is ostentatiously working-class and pretentiously unpolished. Audience violence was commonplace.]

You can listen to the piece here:


A transcription of the words — a tapestry of Jesus, fuck, cunt, and shit, plus a few occurrences of this, is, and in — in their entirety:

– Jesus fuck, jesus fuck, jesus fuck jesus fuck jesus fuck jesus fuck
– Fuck fuck jesus fuck
– Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck in cunt cunt cunt cunt jesus fuck
– This is jesus fuck
– This is jesus fuck
– This is jesus fuck
– This is jesus fuck
– Fuck fuck fuck cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cuuuuuuunntttt (howling)
– Fuck fuck fuck fuck cunt cunt cunt cunt jesus jesus fuck – – – Jesus this is jesus fuuuuuuccck (howling)
– Shit shit fuck (howling)

[Addendum 12/28: this is a transcript of a different performance. The one in #4 is much more rudimentary.]

Howls of despair, rage, whatever. Maybe eating bees would help.

3 Responses to “Worst year ever”

  1. kenru Says:

    How come I never heard this song on the radio? Top 40 material for sure.

  2. [BLOG] Some Wednesday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky takes a look, in language and cartoons, at “Jesus […]

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