Don’t Fear the Reaper

April 13, 2012 Blog 4

Happy Friday the 13th! My all time favorite day and we are lucky enough (or unlucky as the case may be) to have three this year! For the first time since 1984, those three Friday the 13ths — Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13 — are exactly 13 weeks apart. (Insert psycho slashing music here!!).

In commemoration I thought this would be the perfect day to post about one of my favorite songs. As well as discuss how Friday the 13th came to get such bad press.

It’s a bad year for people who suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia — the fear of Friday the 13th.

Friday and the number 13 seem to pop up quite a lot in our history. A few memorable dates are: In Christianity, 13 people attended the Last Supper before Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ death on a Friday. A Norse myth warns of dire consequences for dining in groups of 13. Friday the 13th was the date the medieval Knights Templar were imprisoned. And, though not as historic, rapper Tupac Shakur died on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, after being gunned down Sept. 7. — Full post

 

Of course legend has it if 13 sit down at a table, one will die within the year. We all know about the 13th floor in a hotel room but most cities also do not have a 13th street or avenue. If you have 13 letters in your name you have the Devil’s Luck and so do Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theordore Bundy and Albert de Salvo.

And Loki makes thirteen

Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be “Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe,” the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.

As if to prove the point, the Bible tells us there were exactly 13 present at the Last Supper. One of the dinner guests — er, disciples — betrayed Jesus Christ, setting the stage for the Crucifixion.

Did I mention the Crucifixion took place on a Friday? — From Urban Legends

Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common. The connection between the Friday the 13th superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and in the 1989 work “Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry“. On Friday, 13 October 1307, hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested in France.

Not everyone finds this number to be unlucky however, some even worshiped it. Ancient Egyptians believe life is a quest of 12 stages, the 13th being death, the final revered stage. The Chinese also find the number 13 to be auspicious.Chinese believe the numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 to be inauspicious. Four is my lucky number however in Chinese it is nearly homophonous to the word “death”. Nokia cell phones do not have a series beginning with four and in Hong Kong all high rise buildings omit any numbers with the number four, 4, 14, 24, 34, etc.

The numbers 5 and 6 both have negative connotations in Chinese and the number 7 is considered spiritist or ghostly not technically meaning bad luck but is neutral.

So, this leads me to believe that how and where you are raised determines, first how supersititious you are and secondly, if you are superstitious you will most likely believe in the myths surrounding your geological beliefs. If you are raised to fear the number 13 for instance, you will. I still maintain it to be a fascinating number! And I refuse to stay in the house on Friday the 13th. That’s just not fun!

Listen to the song again:  Don’t fear the reaper

Lyrics: Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

Valentine is done
Here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity…Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday…Like Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday…Redefine happiness
Another 40,000 coming everyday…We can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

Love of two is one
Here but now they’re gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn’t go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared…saying don’t be afraid
Come on baby…and she had no fear
And she ran to him…then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodby…she had become like they are
She had taken his hand…she had become like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper

As a child listening to this song, the line that stuck out most to me was of course, Don’t fear the reaper. At that age, didn’t we all fear the reaper? He was more like a scary dream way back when but now that I’m older and understand more (but not much more) about life and death, I’m curious if he is scarier or not? I still absolutely love the song and thought I would share. They lyrics are still amazing today though… Is this another way of saying don’t let the good things pass you by? Or live your life as it is because all of this will pass, that is our only guarantee. One way or another, I’m going to continue to enjoy the song… and life!

Become like the seasons, wind, sun, and rain, and don’t fear the reaper.

 

 

4 Responses to “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

  1. Machiavelli Id

    The only Blue Oyster Cult song I really like, and a nice wide-ranging commentary on ye Friday 13th phenomenon. Nice work, and thanks for the “related” link!

    • Novarey

      Honestly I was just glad to find another that laughs in the face of the superstition!! 😀 And your post had me giggling all the way through!

  2. Marine Pina Urrútia

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you have done a amazing job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

    • Novarey

      Thank you so much! I’ve worked countless hours on it with my husband laughing at my obsessive need to make it perfect! 😀