[as written on 81512]
When asked what my favorite Muse song is, I’d have to say it’s New Born, though Knights of Cydonia rivals it. However, while the song’s music as a whole perhaps is a little better than New Born’s music as a whole song in all it’s parts, for me in rating each song I’m biased against KOC for the lyrics. Matt Bellamy was at least at one point a seeming atheist in real life, though that perspective rarely comes out in his songs (and often you’d get the opposite reaction from his lyrics), but this is one of the few songs where it does come out. Which is unfortunate because it’s possibly their best song musically. The one time he bashes God is in the one song that’s best musically! Why pick that song to offend people?
Connecting the Lyrics with the Art:
The more I thought about the lyrics, the more it appears to be not only a random, weird nod to Atheism, but in fact an atheist anthem of sorts. The song itself has no mention or reference to either knights or Cydonia, except for the sound of horse galloping in the beginning referencing the knights riding on horses, and the sound of laser guns indicating that these are science fiction/future/space knights. What is Cydonia? It’s the area on Mars in which the “Face on Mars” was found in old photographs taken of the Martian surface, thus “Knights of Cydonia” apparently refers to Martian knights, or knights from the supposed Martian civilization in Cydonia (by whom the Face on Mars was constructed, perhaps in their humanoid likeness). The cover of the album “Black Holes and Revelations” shows 4 men sitting at a table in the red Cydonian desert (it’s not Earth because planet Earth is seen at a distance in the background) with horses on the table, linking them to the Knights of Cydonia (in which the song opens up with horse sounds). Why four knights? It’s an obvious link to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the biblical Book of Revelation (perhaps why Muse chose “Revelations” in the album name).
So how does this connect with lyrics? The lyrics in the song are minimal for a Muse song, but they suggest alot: “Come ride with me through the veins of history. I’ll show you a god who falls asleep on the job. How can we win when fools can be kings? Don’t waste time or time will waste you.”
Paraphrased it says this: “Look at the same history I’m looking at. With all the wars, natural disasters, and plagues in history, there’s no way there could really be a loving God involved with Earth. Therefore we’re on our own, and there’s no fate involved in who becomes a ruler; we’re at the mercy of these tyrants who are elected by chance and happenstance. We must not waste any time, but make things right before it’s too late. It’s only a matter of time before they ruin the Earth.”
How in the world does this statement at all relate to 4 Martian Knights? Because there’s no God, so life on Earth must have originated from a superior alien civilization on Mars, aka, “Panspermia”, another interest of Matt Bellamy’s lyrics (as seen in such songs as “Exegenesis: Cross-Pollination”). This is a serious proposition suggested by such leading atheists as Richard Dawkins, so it’s not that radical.
[But this is where it gets radical (maybe too radical for Muse): perhaps the lyrics and cover art are suggesting that these Knights of Cydonia, after planting life on Earth, are now in fact running all the politics of the world, establishing rulers as their puppets, from behind the scenes. So electing rulers is really out of our control and we must rise up and take the power back before it’s too late. Also if there’s no God, then the Book of Revelation isn’t supernatural and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse that St. John saw are more realistically 4 aliens (a common theory among skeptics, who say the same thing regarding the 4 angels in wheels in Ezekiel’s prophecy).]
Therefore, after establishing an Atheistic worldview, the songs ends with a chorus of people chanting this anthem:
“No one’s gonna take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive.”
Paraphrased, this is essentially saying: “There’s no God, so it’s all up to us. We must take everything into our own hands. We must resist these authorities, to the point of death. We will take control and make the world the place it’s supposed to be.” And then it closes the song with an evolutionary reference to “Survival of the Fittest”: “You and I must fight to survive.”
Sounds a little to me like, “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14). It’s an Atheist Anthem.
It’s Influence on my Song-writing:
Even though this song seems to have an evil message (if you believe Christianity is the truth, and songs like this steer people away from God’s truth and towards Atheism), it’s so tempting to listen to because the music is absolutely incredible. So people like me end up listening to it and enjoying it, even though we know it is displeasing to God and it advances Atheism (aka, one of Satan’s most successful attacks on Christianity). And what better way for Satan to keep people from going to Heaven, than softening the heart of the average person to the ridiculous, impossible worldview of Atheism, indeed making it look cool and suddenly popular. And softening the Christian’s disgust towards atheism. All through the vehicle of the most amazing, catchy music the world has to offer today. “Though I don’t agree with an atheist, I’ll listen to him speak over and over again because his speech is so attractive and amazing.”
It just goes to show once again how powerful music is, even to the supernatural level. And what Satan uses for evil, God can use for good. I don’t know if Muse is actively trying to make people into atheists, agnostics, or deists, but they are. Even if their motives aren’t mission-minded, Satan’s sure are. And so Muse inspires me to likewise make the best music the world has to offer, but to include in the vehicle of irresistible songs a God-glorifying message of truth that wages war against Satan’s army of songs. For if I, as a devout Christian who’s aware of how the supernatural works, am even willing to keep listening to this Atheist Anthem (which I can acknowledge firsthand has caused me for a moment to question God’s existence in a world of pain and suffering), how much more will the average person (with no conviction) be likely to listen to it and be persuaded away from God (being undeducated in apologetics)?
And on the opposite side of the spectrum, if I, as a devout Christian following a universal moral standard, go against my convictions of pleasing God to listen to a song for the sake of the flesh’s entertainment, than how much more would an audience with no moral standard, numbed to convictions, be willing to listen to an incredible song, even though it throws in a random, weird nod to Christianity, or even a Christian anthem?