This Sunday, millions of Christians will observe Easter, a religious holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ and traditionally marking the end of a 40-day period of fasting and penance. But let’s be honest: for most contemporary Westerners, the things we actually associate with the Easter holiday–eggs, bunnies, etc.–have a lot less to do with Christian theology and a lot more to do with pagan notions of fecundity, procreation, and birth. In other words, most of us aren’t celebrating Easter so much as Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, sex, and fertility. So today, for all the non-churchgoers out there, we’re sharing a playlist of songs exploring the true meaning of Ishtar—or, as noted scholar of ancient spirituality DJ Assault put it, ass and titties. It’s not exactly religious music–at least in the Judeo-Christian sense–but we happen to think these things (and them thangs) are pretty sacred.
In American popular music, there’s always been a fine line between the sacred and the secular. On this episode of the Dystopian Dance Party podcast, we talk about a few of the songs for which that line is finer than most: nominally “secular” songs with the lyrical and/or stylistic underpinnings of gospel music. Just in time for Easter weekend!
As always, show notes are below, along with a Spotify playlist for those of you who want to hear the songs without our standard jibber-jabber.