Meaning of Mary on a cross by Ghost & The Story Behind

The Swedish rock music band Ghost sounds in the genre of heavy metal and, like most other bands of this genre, uses occult & satanic symbols. Thus, most of the band’s compositions are various variations on the theme of defilement, denunciation or variations on the theme of perversion of Christian concepts. This is what Ghost does in the song Mary on a cross.

“Mary on a cross” is a play on words that you don’t see. Of course, there is somehow an illogical Christian connotation in the whole story that makes it not Christian. And when you look at the rest of the song, you realize it’s sung about grass.

What is the song “Mary on a cross” about?

Hello, Ghost’s song “Mary on a cross” is gaining popularity on TikTok right now. But everyone seems to be arguing about the meaning…

I interpreted as Holy or Bloddy Mary, Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland, née Mary Stuart… and the line “go down just like holy Mary” refers to her execution. She was also very Catholic, so I can explain crosswise.

In “go down just like holy Mary,” it could also be in a sexual sense. It makes sense to me, but it also doesn’t make sense.

Cult symbolism.
Basically, analyzing a critique of Catholicism or Orthodoxy from an occult and satanic perspective would require quite a detailed study, which is of course difficult in the context of a separate article and a parsing of a separate composition.

Therefore, it is probably worth making only a preliminary observation that while the band members are clearly trying to introduce distortions and desecrate spiritual symbols and meanings, we should also not forget that within the occult idea itself and in general, when viewed from the outside, this practice of criticism can be not only destructive, but also constructive.

In fact, there is logic in this assertion, since a radical neglect of spiritual values can force us to rethink them and serve as a kind of impetus for the development of religious meanings themselves. All in all, it’s not about the concept that “it’s not all that obvious” – after all, Ghost is quite openly occultist as the audience reads their scriptural move (and quite convincingly so) – but about the principle possibility of better understanding the conceptual foundations of this kind of work.

It should be noted that there is no direct mockery of Christian symbolism in this composition. The lyrical hero describes his beloved, comparing her to the Virgin Mary. Naturally, from the point of view of religion such a comparison looks very blasphemous. But from the artistic position such comparisons can be perceived as a way of interpreting and applying symbolism.

It is worth noting that in many European and South American countries the Virgin Mary is almost an essential element of their religion. Apparently, if we look at the mass development of the cult.

It should be noted, however, that the image in this composition is quite deliberately distorted. The line “Mary on the Cross” can be perceived as Mary on the Cross, that is, crucified, although it is well known that such an image is not used in traditional iconography and contradicts the canon. In addition, Mary on the Cross can also be read as Mary on the Cross, since in English the word cross is used both to represent a cross, including a cross for crucifixion, and to refer to a cross.

This variation is important to point out the underlying symbolism of the cross in occultism, where it has a variety of meanings, from the center of the world and the intersection of different realities to the mystical space for performing occult rites. As for the rest, we can at least note the abundance of different beliefs and patterns associated with the cross in virtually all the world’s cultures.

In any case, in the first chapter of the composition we see an account of the life story of the lyrical hero and probably of his own experiences. Of course, this symbolism can be worked out separately, but outwardly the story somewhat resembles lines from the songs of modern trendy rappers (women, cars and glamour) or a story about the cool life of cool rockers.

Meaning of Mary on a cross by Ghost

Moreover, the story often resembles a confession and even becomes a kind of lament, in which the lyrical hero confesses to the listener how difficult it was to settle down in this world and eventually decided to stay in another. Here are examples from the lyrics of the song.


«But through all the sorrow
We’ve been riding high»,

A reference to a certain frustration in the world as well as a mystical emotion may be used here.


«We were scanning the cities
Rocking to pay their dues
But besides all the glamor
All we got was bruised»

In this place there is a certain degree of the lamentation already mentioned. Otherwise, the lines seem almost completely meaningless. The word contribution probably looks interesting; in a more precise sense, it could be a contribution, such as payment for the right to be a member of an organization, a contribution to an organization, such as an organizational contribution. Various other meanings and connotations are permissible here. For example, we are talking about a more global meaning, where everyone in a city has to pay to belong to an organization. This can mean different metaphors for belonging to a community and for the overall structure of our society.

It is also interesting to note that the word “rock” can be interpreted not only as “rocking,” but also as “rolling a rock off a cliff” or “throwing a rock. There is a kind of fatalism in this image, a movement doomed to failure by external circumstances.

In addition, the word dues is consonant with the word deus, by which we can mean deity. Thus, the lines refer to paying some deities or playing with destiny in order to pay off these deities.


«We were searching for reasons
To play by the rules
But we quickly found out
It was just for fools»

This detail is generally reminiscent of the protests of puberty, when a certain hero realizes that he is certainly smarter than everyone else, and, after reading Zeland or Papias, for example, realizes that he can control reality and ignore stupid Muggles.

Fantasy Cocktail.
Finally, consider the lyrics of the chorus, in the introduction of which the lyrical hero decisively declares that he is not going to let his lover, his partner or anyone else go, moreover, he wants to tickle her from the inside (an obvious allusion to the act of penetration with the sexual organ), and sees nothing wrong with it at all. By the way, the album, which includes this track, has a very funny title Seven inches of satanic panic, or 7 inches, which is probably also a reference to the penis, which, besides its solid size, has some mysterious powers.

Of course, the imagery suggesting, so to speak, the tickling of the one who in the image of the Virgin Mary appears from within also refers to a variant of defilement. It is worth noting that inverse symbolization can also be common in Satanism, when a member of the female sex wants to enter into an intimate relationship with Jesus. Implicit in this case is the comparison of the chosen one or girlfriend to a chaste virgin, who (the chosen one) is also, so to speak, cool, but has a nice optional tingle inside. But perhaps the lyrical hero also perceives the chaste one he wishes to seduce.


«Mary on a, Mary on a cross
Not just another bloody Mary
Mary on a, Mary on a…»

A curious play on words, comparing the image of the crucified Virgin Mary (a perverse image in itself) to a common alcoholic beverage. Nevertheless, harsher tones might well have been used here, referring to some common dead Marys. Also interesting is the last line, which sounds similar to the persistent expression carry on, which means to do something further, to go on somewhere ( on a global scale) and has other similar connotations.

We raced together through dark avenues, But apart from stardom all we got was the blues.
A classic vanitas theme. All the distractions of the world are hollow. A rugged religious prelude.

But through all the sadness we were on high, And the truth is, I never let you go, never let you go.
And now a vulgar pledge of fidelity, Would it be a love song?

We scanned the cities, Going for big profits, But besides all the glamour, All we got was bruises.
Returning to theme 1, the world is suffering. A religious motif again.

But through all the sadness we were on high, And the truth is, I had to let you go, let you go.
Though he promised her eternal fidelity, the lover must leave the beloved. A tragic love song. Something has gone wrong in a world of misery.

You go down just like Holy Mary Mary on a, Mary on a, Mary on a cross Not just another Bloody Mary Mary on a, Mary on a, Mary on a cross.

The beloved is associated with the suffering figure of the crucified. She is exalted, she is not just one of the many broken, mutilated figures (the Bloody Marys), but a saint in her suffering. Religious motifs, but in a non-Christian context.

If you choose to run away with me, I’ll tickle you from within, And I see nothing wrong with that We looked for reasons to play by the rules, But we quickly discovered That’s only for fools. And after all the sorrows We’ll be on high, And the truth is I’ll never let you go, never let you go.
Oh, yes. Now this is a love song, after all. After a lover has been beaten but still loved, things take a turn for the better. The couple tried to adjust to a world of evil, but failed because it was a fool’s errand, and after all the sorrows, they found each other again. Because he exalted her in his love.

After that, only the refrain.

Behind the story of Mary on a cross by Ghost

Conclusion: the typical love song of American mainstream culture. Love itself is sung as a message of salvation. The quasi-religious exaltation of the beloved leads to union (which is why American men have to get down on their knees when marriage is proposed, which seems a little strange to any normal person).

Christian conclusion: Bad text. Wrong approach. It is not man’s love that saves, but God’s love. No man can save another man, even if he wants to. He can only prepare the ground and then hope in God. And if God decides against it, he will have to live with it.

Personal conclusion: kitsch, but if you like the music, you can ignore the lyrics. Besides, men need love just as much as women do, and this is completely ignored in songs like this. It’s always the man who has to love and save. Unfair.

Saint or also Bloody Mary is the Scottish queen Mary Stuart, born Mary Stuart.
Bloody Mary was not Mary Stuart, but Mary I of England, who was called “Catholic” by supporters and “bloody” by opponents, although the two names are closely related.

Most Englishmen were glad that after her came Elizabeth I, a queen who was less harsh on foreigners. But given the threat posed by Catholics (including assassination attempts), she could not afford any modern tolerance.

The drink is also named after her, because of its “blood-red” color.

Saint Mary is, of course, the Virgin Mary.

And it is with her that “Mary on a cross” is compared, which refers to similarly pronounced marijuana, as others have said (I wouldn’t know otherwise).

Hopefully, I’ve helped you figure out the meaning of “Mary on a Cross” as well as understanding its lyrics. If you have a different opinion of the song, write your version in the comments.

Lyrics Mary on a cross by Ghost

We were speeding together
Down the dark avenues
But besides all the stardom
All we got was blues

But through all the sorrow
We were riding high
And the truth of the matter is
I never let you go, let you go

We were scanning the cities
Walking to greater dues
But besides all the glamour
All we got was bruised
But through all the sorrow

We were riding high
And the truth of the matter is
I had to let you go, let you go
You go down just like Holy Mary
Mary on a, Mary on a cross
Not just another Bloody Mary
Mary on a, Mary on a cross

If you choose to run away with me
I will tickle you internally
And I see nothing wrong with that
We were searching for reasons
To play by the rules
But we quickly found

It was just for fools
And after all the sorrow
We’ll be riding high
And the truth of the matter is
I’ll never let you go, let you go

You go down just like Holy Mary
Mary on a, Mary on a cross
Not just another Bloody Mary
Mary on a, Mary on a
You go down just like Holy Mary

Mary on a, Mary on a cross
Your beauty never ever scared me
Mary on a, Mary on a cross
If you choose to run away with me
I will tickle you internally
And I see nothing wrong with that

Nothing wrong with that
(Mary on a, Mary on a cross)
Nothing wrong with that
(Mary on a, Mary on a cross)
Mary on a, Mary on a cross


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