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Skillet: “Monster” as Rock ‘n’ Roll Jekyll and Hyde

Annex - March, Fredric (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)_06

The figure of the monster surfaces in many ways in popular culture to serve us for good or ill. At its worst it becomes a way of conceiving of the “other” which provides us with justification for their eradication. At its best it helps us to look inside ourselves to see that many times the monster is not “out there,” but rather within, lurking just below the surface and ready to unleash its violence upon others.

One recent use of the monster figure in the latter sense comes in the form of a new song by the rock group Skillet. It is appropriately titled “Monster,” from their recent album Awake.  Every time I hear this song I think of it as a rock music version of the classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This effort by Skillet is reminiscent of a similar use of the monstrous by the group Three Days Grace with their song “Animal I Have Become,” set to the images of horror films in this video clip.

The lyrics are reproduced below and the music video can be seen here.

“MONSTER”

The secret side of me, I never let you see/I keep it caged but I can’t control it/So stay away from me, the beast is ugly/I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls/It comes awake and I can’t control it/Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head/Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key/I keep it caged but I can’t control it/’Cause if I let him out he’ll tear me up, break me down/Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin/I must confess that I feel like a monster/I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun/I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It’s hiding in the dark, it’s teeth are razor sharp/There’s no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart/No one can hear me scream, maybe it’s just a dream/Maybe it’s inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I’ve gotta lose control, he something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

© EMI APRIL MUSIC CANADA LTD; LANDRUM PUBLISHING; NOODLES FOR EVERYONE; PHOTON MUSIC; WARNER-TAMERLANE PUBLISHING CORP

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