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Dave Matthews and the apocalypse.

A professor at Washington and Lee University by the name of Eduardo Velázquez, in his recent book A Consumer’s Guide to the Apocalypse — in my incomplete reading, a rip-roaring adventure in polemics and philosophy, bombast and humor, caricature and insight — dedicates a chapter to a careful analysis of the music and lyrics of Dave Matthews. Now for those readers over 40, Dave Matthews is the songwriter and frontman for an exceedingly successful rock band, whose albumic strategy, if you will, has largely consisted of a couple very catchy tunes supported by a mass of more complex and enterprising material, much of which is uneven but the great peaks of which have formed the soundtrack for a generation of young men and women.

Let us grant that there is a depth and desperation in Matthews’ lyrics unusual for popular music: it is to be wondered whether any scholar of this caliber has done such a thing as this: has dared or deigned to give such attention to a product of modern rock music. A serious reading of Dave Matthews? Men have given this honor to songwriters and musicians like Bob Dylan and the Beatles, whose stature is not controverted; but whether Matthews is due, much less has already received it before, I do not know.

In any case, Prof. Velázquez has now done it. His effort is, I think, a fruitful one — even though, as often happens with this sort of thing, one wonders whether the poetry is solid enough to bear the burden of content the critic assumes for it. That is, again, is Matthews’ lyrics as poetry worthy of attention? I have long loved his music, and, less often, his lyrics — a carry-over from what they call adolescence, I suppose; I have no objectivity here. But I believe it can be stated that Velázquez at least shows there is some real if uneven poetry in Matthews’ lyrics, though it is mostly of the darker, grimmer, uglier variety so favored by moderns.

And this, indeed, is Velázquez’s argument. With a lapidary elegance, verging almost on terseness, he shows Matthews’ poetry to be the ravings of an agonized nihilist. This man wants to be a simple atheist; but there cannot be a simple atheist, as there can a simple Christian — though there certainly can be a boring atheist — and thus Matthews’ simply gives voice to despair and incapacity. The atheist celebrates the emancipation of reason; but reason is never enough. His passions go somewhere, usually somewhere dark. Matthews rages against God; he cleverly falsifies Christian doctrine; he is full of denials, negations, contraries; he subverts and abuses. He does not reason or even argue. Typical of his verse is “if at all God’s gaze upon us falls / it’s with a mischievous grin” or “I told God, I’m coming to your country / I’m going to eat up your cities, / Your homes, you know”. And to this sort of invective he adds, predictably, debauchery and license. Velázquez does not dwell at length on it, but it is a fact that much of Matthews’ appeal derives from his nimble eroticism. His songs “Crash to Me” (1996) and “Crush” (1998) give ample evidence to his talent in this genre. Scripture tells us that the truth will set you free; Matthews’s lyrics provide the obverse: falsehood will enslave. Desire, passion, ambition — all those things that, unchecked, destroy liberty: these are celebrated in this music as true freedom. Velázquez simply calls him a “lunatic.”

That may be too harsh, and even the professor himself qualifies it in a vital way. But what is not too harsh, what is in fact quite correct, is the concatenation of insight that Velázquez delivers with his critique. I would summarize it thusly: (1) The man who begins with a denial of Being, passes quickly to a doubt of all being, and thus must end in a denial of reason; (2) insofar as Matthews speaks, as it were, for a generation, or at least for a certain decisive portion of a generation, he bespeaks madness. The philosophic impulses informing his position as a lyricist amount, in brief, to lunacy. One cannot commence with nature (as Matthews often does), celebrate science, culminate in denials and narrow dead-ends; and still pretend that you are a stoic old Apostle of Reason. Yet this is the very sort of false philosophy that permeates the men and women of my generation. It is our little twist on the Liberalism that is poisoning our minds.

So it no longer strikes me, as it first did, that Prof. Velázquez has chosen a distractingly bombastic title for his thin volume. He has exposed at least one thing in the popular culture, i.e., the consumer’s culture, that is freighted with apocalyptic themes and tones — apocalyptic in the popular sense of “end-of-the-world-ish,” and apocalyptic in the older sense of a stark and sudden revelation. Other chapters deal with such numbers as the film Fight Club, and Tom Wolfe’s recent book about the American university. If they are as successful in their insightful polemics as this one that I have read, it will amount to a fun and valuable book.

Comments (60)

I can't wait to hear Lydia's response to this one.

At this time of the morning, I was only reflecting that this is yet more evidence (in case I was unsure) that I am over 40. I've never heard of Dave Matthews, that I can recall.

But heck, at least the Professor concluded that he's a lunatic and a nihilist. When someone says he's a successful rock musician whose work has become the soundtrack for a generation, I would have suspected that right off the bat. It's nice to have one's pessmistic and grouchy inductions verified.

As another member of the over-40 set, I've heard of Matthews but would not recognize antyhing by him. Doesn't he play the role of the ex-con musician in the movie Because of Winn Dixie?

I have long loved his music, and, less often, his lyrics — a carry-over from what they call adolescence, I suppose; I have no objectivity here.

I confess to a similar lack of objectivity with respect to any number of bands. Iron Maiden actually quotes Chesterton in a song:

Oh God of earth and altar,
Bow down, and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die,
The walls of gold entomb us,
The sword of scorn divides,
Take not Thy thunder from us,
Take away our pride.

The Professor is too harsh, I fear. Or at least it is important to keep in mind that Matthews' speaks for a philosophy which has somehow achieved real stature in our Republic. He is not the cause of this philosophy -- men who died long ago are. For instance, Velázquez highlights a point I had noticed myself: a series of songs in the Matthews repertoire expounding that Rousseauean romance of the primitive, and the concomitant curse of the "chains" of civilization.

Iron Maiden quotes Chesterton? More importantly, Zippy likes Iron Maiden?

Huh. Learn something new every day.

Shorter Paul Cella: Dave Matthews is a liberal atheist, and I don't like him.

Paul, if you want to witness some really [REDACTED] up minds at work, just Google "Christian Thrash Metal".

[Comment Author URL removed by Administrator]

Actually, 70s and 80s metal lyrics are filled with literary/historic references. See also "Flight of Icarus," "To Tame A Land" (based on Dune), "The Trooper" (based on "Charge of the Light Brigade"), "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," &c.

Kindly refrain from profanity, DaveMatthews. Thank you.

Your summary of my essay neglects the fact, repeated several times in the post, that I do actually like Dave Matthews, and have for years.

I'm at a loss as to how setting Christian-themed lyrics to heavy metal is somehow worse (or even bad at all, in itself) than setting nihilistic, antireligious lyrics to alt-rock. The contention is mystifying.

Well, heavy metal is _ugly_, so that might be relevant. But I wouldn't be inclined to put huge weight on it.

horaceox: I am trying to interpret the equation of that list of Maiden songs - all of them - to "70's and 80's metal". I don't know of a single Maiden song about sex, drugs, or, in that climax of self-obsession, rock -n- roll. But most metal is about those things, and/or Satan, nihilism, and the lack of a father as an excuse to whine pathetically.

There isn't any excuse for some of my venial affections, of course. Though it is arguable that the Wagner I occasionally enjoy is just as subversive of Christendom as _Revelations_.

Ignoring the merits (or lack thereof) of The Dave Matthews Band, I want to comment only on the contention that the band's music formed "the soundtrack for a generation of young men and women".

I come across such statements frequently when reading commentary on pop culture (usually the commentary is some sort of conservative indictment) and while I suspect that the writer possesses some level of self-conscious knowledge that there is no such thing as the ONE single soundtrack for a generation of young men and women, the commentary still attempts to make an argument as if this were true. Perhaps in years gone by there was a single soundtrack, although I'm skeptical (there are lots of folks who just don't listen to popular music). But certainly today, with our myriad choices and genres of music, it just doesn't make sense to refer to an entire generation being influenced in some profound way by a pop song (or album). Furthermore, many folks who do listen to pop music don't pay much attention to the lyrics or give them only superficial attention. So even if there are 6 million Dave Matthews fans out there, I wonder what percentage actually have given serious thought to his lyrics?

Bottom line: Dave Matthews lyrics may or may not be the "ravings of an agonized nihilist". But they are certainly NOT the "soundtrack for a generation".

Fair enough, Mr. Singer. I should narrow the criteria give a fuller definition of terms. I speak with experience from the "generation" of middle-class inner city kids in northeast Denver who came through high school in the 1990s.

You will recall, of course, that we have a prejudice toward the particular here at WWwtW. It would not occur immediately to me, as it seems it has you, that "a generation" must mean an entire country, as opposed to an entire community.

On the other hand, there is Eminem.

Paul, last year at Q-school, as we drove in Bernadette's car from place to place, she popped in a Dave Matthews CD, determined to convince me that he was worth hearing and knowing about. (Because I didn't know who he was.) So we drove in silence and stillness a while, listening seriously. It was acoustic stuff that sounded to me like a merged mutation of Dylan and Richie Havens. I finally said to her, "Not exactly dancing music, is it?" A little later, "You know, this has been going for ten minutes and I haven't understood a single word he's said." (I being of the opinion that a soundtrack for a generation, or a community, ought to be comprehensible.) With a phony show of frustration, she takes out Dave and pops in the Eagles. All of a sudden we're both bouncing in our seats and singing along: "Lookin' for a lover who won't know another, she's so-oo hard to find -" and a little later, "I like the way you're sparkling earrings lay, against your skin so brown - " As you say, I'm a fan of the particular.

Hey, Paul - thanks for the link from Redstate! I enjoyed the article - I love Dave Matthews, his musical style is quirky and difficult to like at first, but then he really hooks you in! I like him less as a person, he always seemed like one of those terminally hip types that I find so tiresome. Loved your essay, two parts in particular: "The atheist celebrates the emancipation of reason; but reason is never enough. His passions go somewhere, usually somewhere dark."

"Scripture tells us that the truth will set you free; Matthews’s lyrics provide the obverse: falsehood will enslave. Desire, passion, ambition — all those things that, unchecked, destroy liberty: these are celebrated in this music as true freedom. " Ok, three things were especially good!

"One cannot commence with nature (as Matthews often does), celebrate science, culminate in denials and narrow dead-ends; and still pretend that you are a stoic old Apostle of Reason. Yet this is the very sort of false philosophy that permeates the men and women of my generation. It is our little twist on the Liberalism that is poisoning our minds."

Well, heavy metal is _ugly_, so that might be relevant.

Well, I might be tempted to retort that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though this would be at once both trite and false. Beauty, I should think, is analogous to the goodness of being, such that for something to be is for it to participate in some degree in beauty. Any given thing may suffer the privation of this good, along a Zeno's paradox sort of scale of infinite gradations, but were it to become absolutely ugly, it would cease to be altogether. Now, I propose this interpretation not out of a spirit of self interest, to "defend" my - ahem - venial affections - but because I believe it to be, well, true; in point of fact, so firmly am I convinced of its truth that I am even compelled to concede that the most horrid rap and hip-hop offerings, with rhythms and beats violative of every natural rhythm - and even the rhythms of industrial processes - in their irregularity and inconstancy, are not wholly void of some faint flicker of goodness. And this really is to say something, inasmuch as, in their distortion of rhythmic form - and, indeed, all of the structures of music - they are akin to so-called math metal, itself not so very different from the musical abortions of Schoenberg.

Now, I hasten to add that nothing in the vast catalogue of metal approaches the peerless artistry of Bach (even a mediocre cantata), the rapturous felicities of Mozart, the profundity of the Beethoven sonatas, or, say, the exquisite sublimities of John Browne. (Everyone reading this, I dare say, owes it to himself to listen to the samples at the link, particularly the fifth track, O Maria Salvatoris. I should also add that real metal does not involve whining about absent fathers, or any such thing. I once, while taking the Yukon out for refueling one evening and scanning through the XM channels, chanced to hear a metal song which contained the lyric, "Here I stand in all my brokenness." But metal is not about your "brokenness", how you feel about all the wrong that has come down upon you; it may concern how you respond to that sort of thing, but it is not about self-pity and whining and sniveling, and the reason for this ought to be obvious: in any aesthetic form, however privative, real virtue and manhood are not about such mewling - and metal is quite the man's world. Alas, there is much talk of Satan, and still more talk of nihilism, although it is a tortured nihilism, punctuated by episodic protests against various evils and injustices, which would be senseless if the nihilism went 'all the way down'.

As for the Wagner, well, yes: no less subversive. Perhaps still more so, because the beauty and genius are all the greater.

Maximos, so does that mean we can't just say "such-and-such is ugly" of anything that exists? I mean, say what you will about participation in being, it seems to me we have to be able to say, in the ordinary, common-sensical way, "Gosh, that's ugly."

Hey, I have an idea: _I_ won't say that heavy metal is ugly, and _you_ don't say that strip malls and Wal-Mart are ugly. :-)

Of course we can opine that some things are ugly; the reason we can do this is that colloquial and philosophical usages are different.

So, I will say, colloquially, that Wal-Marts and strip-malls are ugly, even hideously, perversely ugly, while stating, philosophically, that they are as non-beautiful as it is possible for commercial outlets to be without achieving absolute ugliness and vanishing from the earth.

Fine, then, colloquially--heavy metal is darned ugly. :-) And ugly in a particular way that, I have to admit, makes it difficult for me to see the appropriateness of its coordination with Christian lyrics. Makes me think of Fr. Neuhaus's mention of going to pro-life conferences and having to listen to people screaming, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

Lydia: metal is really a guy thing. Most of it truly is crap, I concede. But here and there it has the aggressive beauty of a well-executed fistfight. (I do think "Fight Club for Jesus" doesn't work very well though. I'd rather watch Nixon disco).

Most of it truly is crap, I concede. But here and there it has the aggressive beauty of a well-executed fistfight.

Exactly. Sometimes fisticuffs are necessary; most of the time, not so much.

Maximos owns a Yukon? God, I'd love to have one of those.

Bill, I wonder what song Bernadette played for you. She should have let you hear one of his faster, sillier, more superficial, "fun" songs. "Two Step" or "Ants Marching" or "Warehouse" maybe.

I got nothing against the Eagles, though. And I would like to hear you try to sing them.

No you wouldn't.

Bill, that Yukon is one of the most reliable and pleasurable vehicles I have ever owned/driven/experienced. Ok, yes, Lydia might have the hypocrisy watch out because I own a three-ton, earth-punishing, gas-guzzling leviathan; but after my own car accident (broadsided by a red-light runner at 45 mph), which left me with a herniated cervical disc, nerve damage, and chronic pain, I wanted something gargantuan for hauling the children around in. Besides this, it replaced a 2000 Audi A6 V8, which like every midsize and larger European sedan, was never going to return better than 18 or so mpg in suburban/urban driving - on premium fuel. The Yukon returns 13-14 mpg in the same environments, on good old regular, and so costs much less to operate. And even if it is a guilty pleasure, it is just really cool to drive.


Re Iron Maiden lyrics not being about sex, I give you (from a somewhat fading well-over-40 memory :}, so the following list is possibly incomplete):

Charlotte the Harlot
Women in Uniform
Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter (title suggests Iron Maiden's favorite topic horrible death, but lyrics are about losing virginity)

also Tull's "Crosseyed Mary" was the B-side to the Trooper single.

Indeed I can't think of any Maiden lyrics about drugs, though (no SX-style antidrug lyrics either that I can remember, though I strongly suspect that there are some).

Good catch(es) empiricus. I never owned the self-titled album, and the last one I have any notion of the content on was probably Powerslave. I was surprised, reading the Wikipedia article, about how many more albums they've produced that I've never heard of. Now that you know that I was too young for Killers and too old for Somewhere in Time you probably know when I went to high school.

a three-ton, earth-punishing, gas-guzzling leviathan

I'd drive one even if it meant a rainforest had to die.

(I got broadsided once too. Stop sign runner. Broken femur. Six months in horsepistol. Never healed right. Athletic aspirations ruined. Had to take up reading books. Should've sued the bastard.)

I'd never give you a hard time about the Yukon, Maximos. I consider it a sign of sanity, and the importance of safety is a consideration people often bring up to environmentalists who want us all to drive sun-powered U-Gos or whatever they have in mind.

Although I'm a 40-something who still follows pop music, although neither closely nor with much interest (nothing new has really caught my ear since the early 2000s Doves/Radiohead/Coldplay Brit-rock wave), I'm not a Dave Matthews fan at all, so that chapter in the Velasquez book didn't say much to me. I was, instead, disappointed by the book's dropping of a theme mentioned in the introduction, i.e., the relationship between Nominalism, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment. I was hoping that Velasquez would go somewhere with that line of thought, but he never did.

As to rock music in general, I've gradually come around to agree with such critics as Allan Bloom, Richard Weaver, and E. Michael Jones, that this type of music appeals to a lower aspect of human nature and thus should be avoided. As St. Paul says, all things may be lawful to me but not all things are expedient. This probably explains my waning interest in rock as much as anything, coupled with a change in taste over the last few years fueled by a great increase in my listening to classical music.

Bill, I hope that this won't seem at all glib, but I think I understand something of how life-altering these sort of things can be: injuries that never quite heal, a newly-restricted range of activities, odd pains, etc. This is particularly bothersome to me, since I have two young boys. So, I empathize, to the extent that this is possible.

I did sue them. I reckon that if I have to endure a headache (among other things) for the rest of my life, 24/7/365 through to the last gasp of breath, I ought to get something for it.

And, to pick up on Lydia's comments, this is why I wanted my wife and children to have a gargantuan vehicle. Why take chances?

Are you telling me the headache never goes away?

Constant, low-grade headache around the back of the head and neck; when the cervical vertebrae go out of alignment - which they do with ease, owing to the disc - nerves become pinched, and I develop migraines. Changed my life, alright.

It makes you wonder how he maintains such a cheery attitude, doesn't it?

Heh. It's a wonder I'm not a nihilist, say I.

Do you get therapy? Somebody out there's got to be able to help you.

Plenty of therapy - chiropractic, massage, traction - but nothing can induce a disc located so high in the spine to retract; the vertebrae cannot be separated to a sufficient degree. I had a second disc, down six or so vertebrae, but therapy encouraged that one to return to its natural position. I simply have to live with it and hope for the best.

Since we're on this subject, I'd say (perhaps impertinently) that the best shot I've ever heard of for a thing like that is cortico-steroid shots (if I recall correctly) directly into the affected area. This sounds dreadful to me, but I'm a coward about having anything "done" to me. And I suppose that if I were in enough pain, I'd try it. I do know that those shots at intervals have enabled an acquaintance of mine to live normally and in much less pain with what sounds like a similar problem.

BTW, Maximos, thanks for the recommendation of John Browne. I bought that CD over the weekend on your comment and after reading a great review on Classics Today. Marvellous stuff!


The cortico-steroid injections were proposed to me by a physician. I declined, inasmuch as most of my symptoms, which range from nerve abnormalities to a host of intermittent problems related to the stress on my endocrine system (imagine reading and seldom experiencing that shock of comprehension or recognition; you know that you understand, but you don't feel it; you have to relearn how to read.), are caused by the disc itself. Mitigating the pain would be fine; but pain is only about 25% of the problem.


I'm grateful that my recommendation helped someone to discover that CD. Enjoy it.


I don't know that surgery is an option; the disc is between the second and third vertebrae, as I recall. At that proximity to sensitive things, I'd be terrified of something worse.

I'm the last person to push anybody to have a medical procedure, but I'm not sure that pain is the only thing steroid shots would help. For example, if the migraines and trouble with normal focusing are the result of pressure on the spinal cord, then lowering inflammation in the area might help everything, all symptoms. Might. It's always very difficult to agree to something invasive (and getting stuck with a needle in the spine _is_ invasive, though less so than surgery) for a "might."

Well, I guess I'll have to pray for you. You understand, this takes me out of my normal routine.


Well, it isn't precisely a difficulty focusing or concentrating; it is more like a disjunction between the rational and emotive faculties of the mind. I'm not certain that a disc herniation can be reduced by such injections. That "might" is almost insuperable in my mind - "You're going to stick that needle into my neck, into my spinal column, in the vicinity of my brain stem", for a "might"?


I appreciate the disruption of your routine. It is most gracious.

You people crack me up. First... Dave Matthews is perhaps the most talented, unassuming popular musician to come out of the 1990s. Add to that the way he makes his point without insighting riots and I don't see why a comparison to Bob Dylan is too far off. Rather than "preach" to his audience about his point of view he simply lays out inteligent references that lead one to his/her own conclusion. He talks openly however about things that really matter in the world today... like poverty and war instead of obsessing over convincing people he's right all the time. For each of you who don't apreaciate this fact there are two who do. Why?...because people are listening! Live on DMB!
"On this world spinning 'round, here we are dancing on the ground, are we right-side up or upside down?"


I know this post probably isn't being kept up with any more, but I just stumbled across it. I agree that Dave Matthews' lyrics are often questioning of religion, but there are also many points in which he calls out to God for help and in praise, making the singer more agnostic than atheist. For example, in one of his most powerful songs, "Bartender", he pleads, "Bartender, please, fill my glass for me with the wine you gave Jesus that set him free after three days in the ground." He is praying to God to fill him up with Faith in Him. True, a bartender is not the prettiest way to personify the Lord, but it is something to which Matthews can relate. In the more recent "Save Me" he proclaims, "You don't have to prove a thing to me, just give me Faith make me believe, and save me." A favorite cover of his is "The Maker" written by Daniel Lanois, saying "I'm not a stranger in the arms of the Maker." He has also written one of the most beautiful Christmas songs,entitled simply "Christmas Song". An excerpt: "The people he knew were less than golden-hearted -- gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers -- like you and me". It is true that he has many songs which question religion and God himself, proclaiming in "Drive In, Drive Out" -- "I thought I'd just make up a brand new God and have a funky tea party of my own". But who honestly doesn't have frustration with organized religion sometimes. Nihilist he is, but God-less heathen he is not. As the pastor said last night at the Christmas service I attended,speaking of the church's Christmas play, "It's nice to be the Star of Bethlehem, but the donkey gets to be closer to the manger."
"We are all climbing the same mountain, we just have different paths. We yell that each other is going the wrong way, even to the point of fighting, but we are all striving for the same peak."

Sorry, just rereading my post and I thought I should mention that the He in "Christmas Song" is Jesus, to clear up any confusion.

Indeed, I doubt many come across this page anymore but it certainly intrigued me as an avid Dave Matthews fan. Good to see some are recognizing his lyrical abilities, but I fear he is only being analyzed using his darker lyrics. On a broader scope, despite his outcries against religion, there are also songs containing moral value (Seek Up). It would also be interesting to reopen this argument in light of their newest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. It has possibly some of Dave's loudest outbursts against religious doctrine in general. See Time Bomb, Squirm. Its honestly almost as if it is Dave's response to Prof. Velasquez's text.


Amazing - As I was reading through this page after stumbling upon it tonight, I was thinking, "I wonder what the analysis would be NOW, after the latest album." I've followed DMB since '97, and became a Christian in 2005. I've since gone over many of Dave's lyrics and how they relate to Christ. As Dave gets older, his belief in God seems to be getting stronger, while he continues to (as you say) cry out "against religious doctrine in general." The lyrics to Time Bomb, which the band dedicated to their lost friend Leroi Moore at last night's concert, really represent Dave's yearning to have that belief - because without it, how will he see his friend again? He specifically states, "I want to believe in Jesus."

Overall, I think that Prof Velazquez' analysis of Dave's lyrics is rather harsh, and quite ill-informed. Having been a devoted fan for over 12 years and a Christian myself, I feel Dave growing closer to God - sure, he may have been rebellious early on, but we all are. Dave is a musical genius and has produced a body of work unmatched by any artist in the last 15 - 20 years. And I thank God for the gift he has given us in Dave Matthews Band.

well, what does monkey man song mean? is he an evolutionist?

There is a book called SENSING YOUR HIDDEN PRESENCE,TOWARD INTIMACY WITH GOD' written by IGNACIO LARRANGA. who is a CAPUCHIN FRANCISCAN. He describes secularism as the worlds dark night of the soul. Everyone is going through the mass purification where all the false images of God are being exposed and destroyed.What will come forth is a purer, closer relationship with GOD. I highly recommend this book because it shows that we are closer to God than we can imagine even in our fear and doubt.

Even if Dave Matthews isn't a christian his music isn't all that unchirstian like every other popular artist!

Before we attack Dave Matthews and dub him an "atheist", I believe it's important to take a look at his history. He grew up a quaker/pacifist/anti- apartheid activist in South Africa during a time of radicalism. He basically had to flee the country to avoid a mandatory post highschool 2 year draft. His father died when he was 10. His oldest sister was murdered by her husband. This is not to say that his slandering of God is justified, but one can easily see why and how it has been altered.
Also, it is a widely known fact (by ALL dmb fans) that his lyrics are generally secondary to the music he writes. Therefore, it cannot be said that he's writing a song based on his hatred for God, but perhaps that's what he intereprets from the music.
"A Christmas Song" is a satyrical take on the story of Jesus and God. Listen to it, it may help explain things better than I can.
I have been a huge fan for over 15 years, have analyzed and interpretted his music and lyrics to the best of my ability, but I never once construed him as a hater of God. He seems to be more of a denouncer of organized religion.
Take it as you will- but before we judge try to consider some of the factors that could explain his position.

Joey, your a hippy..dave matthews is a freakin liberal, all he needs is a better understanding of the Lord..and yes leigh, he has faced some tragedies, but when there are usually two sets of footprints on the ground..(for example: dave matthews' and God's)..this means God is with him..but when he sees one set of footprints, it does not mean that God has left him it means that God is carrying him..

Wow, how quickly some jump to judge, based on one aricle by who? And yet you've never listened. I've been a Dave Matthews Band fan since 1993 and I'm listening to him right now and let me tell you it's not nihilistic. If you actually listened to all thier albums you would know that. But I'm sure it's more time efficient to just take this article word for it.

As a teenager I grew up thinking Dave Matthews Band was my outlet from being the weird undefinable kid in high school, it took me entering Community Cenacolo (http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/sisterelvira.htm) to realize our culture is overrun with superficiality and Dave Matthews unfortunately for him is a shining example of that which is false. Not knowing that Dave was an Atheist, I struggled to see why he mention God in his lyrics in such unflattering ways. If he is an Atheist, than that in itself is a falsehood he projects. Talk poorly about God in your lyrics and make money from those lyrics and then deny that God exists. I wouldn't want that on my plate when I reach the gates of Heaven....

hmmm all that interest on the dave mathew's band. I never heard of them til i read this blog so i looked them up. they're pretty good but it depends on the person on what he interprets.

Talk poorly about God in your lyrics and make money from those lyrics and then deny that God exists. I wouldn't want that on my plate when I reach the gates of Heaven Nice

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