Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Shout at the Devil-Motley Crue

Motley Crue is a band that has been known for their controversial lifestyles and content in their lyrics.  Each member has dealt with drug and alcohol addictions and has been in multiple conflicts with the law, which might lead a lot of people to associate them with evil.  One of their more famous songs, “Shout at the Devil,” might strengthen this association because it references the devil and the evil that many people think they promote.  Even though the lyrics mention the devil, the songs meaning is not at all praising the devil.  In fact, it is almost doing the opposite.  Both verses name off parts of everyday life where the band sees the devil’s presence.  In the first verse Vince Neil, their singer, says, “He’s the tear in your eyes being tempted by his lies.  He’s the knife in your back…He’s the razor to the knife.”  Here, Neil acknowledge that the devil is a tempter, but he is also saying that the devil is the worse part of the bad in peoples’ lives.  He is the razor, the dangerous part of the knife.  In the second verse, Neil says, “He’ll be the love in your eyes…and then have you crying for more.”  Again, he recognizes the devil as a tempter and trickster.  He says that Satan tempts people to fall in love and then leaves them feeling broken and alone when it doesn’t work out.

The chorus, however, shifts away from all the places Neil sees the devil and evil in the world and yells repeatedly “Shout.  Shout.  Shout.  Shout at the devil.”  This is the part where Neil says to “shake it off and move along.”  He says there are bad things (the devil and evil) out there, but don’t let them become a big part of your life.


2 responses

  1. I completely agree with your claim that this song is speaking against the devil instead of praising him. I’ve been a big Motley Crue fan throughout my years listening to music and I also found this out through Vince’s lyrics myself. Throughout rock n’ roll many musicians had taken the praising of the devil into their lifestyle and it sort have became part of their performance. I find it interesting that a band like Motley Crue would actually present the evils and bad morals within human themselves in one of their songs, and how the devil might even cause you to go insane. It make me respect the band even more when they come out and separate themselves from other groups during their time. I guess what I’m trying to say is Motley Crue took the opposite view of what people thought was cool from worshiping the devil to fighting him off in your own personal battle to keep yourself in check.

    May 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

  2. This is a cool choice for a blog post. I think it’s interesting how much furor and hysteria surrounded the perceived presence of Satan or the devil in 80’s pop music. Bands like Judas Priest and Motley Crue never threw their support behind praising the devil but were frequently believed to be corrosive influences. I find it odd that merely invoking the name of the devil can create hysteria around a song.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm

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