What Does Mary On A Cross Mean?

what does mary on a cross mean

Released on April 10, 2013, as part of Ghost’s second studio album, “Infestissumam,” the controversial song “Mary on a Cross” has stirred debates and discussions since its inception. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz, the album gained critical acclaim for its innovative sound and ambitious themes, with “Mary on a Cross” emerging as a standout track.

Diving Into Ghost’s Discography

Ghost, the Swedish rock band, is renowned for blending elements of metal, pop, and rock music into a unique and theatrical style. Their willingness to push boundaries and challenge conventional ideas about music and art is exemplified in the daring approach of “Mary on a Cross.”

Analyzing the Lyrics: Key Themes and Imagery

Religious Symbolism

At the core of “Mary on a Cross” lies a powerful exploration of religious iconography and symbolism. The song vividly describes the crucifixion of a woman, intertwining references to the Virgin Mary and other religious figures, creating intense and visceral imagery.

Violence and Oppression

The theme of violence and oppression permeates the lyrics, portraying the woman’s crucifixion as a stark reminder of the brutality in the world. The line “she’s not alone in this macabre scene” suggests a broader context of societal victimization.

Mystery and Intrigue

Adding a layer of suspense, the lyrics introduce an element of mystery and intrigue. References to an unknown perpetrator in the woman’s death contribute to the narrative’s uncertainty.

Deciphering Possible Interpretations

Forbidden Love Story

One interpretation suggests “Mary on a Cross” narrates a tale of forbidden love. The woman’s crucifixion becomes a metaphor for societal and religious pressures accompanying unconventional romantic feelings.

Struggle Between Good and Evil

Another perspective unveils the theme of the struggle between good and evil, with the woman embodying both divine and sinister aspects. The duality mirrors the character of Papa Emeritus, Ghost’s enigmatic leader.

Critique of Religious Dogma

The song can be seen as a critique of religious dogma, highlighting the dangers of extremism and manipulation. Dark and macabre imagery serves as a commentary on the historical oppression of women by organized religion.

The Role of Religion in Ghost’s Music

Ghost consistently incorporates religious imagery and themes in their music, exploring spirituality, death, and the occult. “Mary on a Cross” stands out as a provocative example, challenging conventional ideas about religion and spirituality.

Delving into the Music Video

The music video complements the song with live footage and surreal imagery. It boldly critiques organized religion through the portrayal of a burning crucifix and unsettling religious symbolism.


“Mary on a Cross” remains a defining moment in Ghost’s career, showcasing their ability to challenge convention and push boundaries. With a blend of metal, pop, and rock, Ghost captivates audiences worldwide. Explore their discography to form your interpretations of their art, where powerful vocals, intricate instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyrics await your discovery.


Q1: What is the background of the song “Mary on a Cross”?

A1: “Mary on a Cross” is a controversial song by the Swedish rock band Ghost. It was released on April 10, 2013, as part of their second studio album, “Infestissumam.” The album received critical acclaim for its innovative sound and ambitious themes, with the song serving as a standout track.

Q2: Why is “Mary on a Cross” considered controversial?

A2: The song delves into religious iconography and symbolism, particularly exploring the crucifixion of a woman with references to the Virgin Mary. Its provocative approach to religious themes has sparked debates and discussions, making it a controversial piece in Ghost’s discography.

Q3: What are the key themes in the lyrics of “Mary on a Cross”?

A3: The lyrics revolve around religious symbolism, violence, and oppression. The song vividly describes the crucifixion, intertwining references to angels and saints. There’s an element of mystery and intrigue, with an unknown perpetrator mentioned, adding suspense to the narrative.

Q4: How does “Mary on a Cross” fit into Ghost’s overall narrative?

A4: The song holds a significant place in Ghost’s overarching narrative, which revolves around a group of Nameless Ghouls serving an enigmatic leader, Papa Emeritus. It contributes to the band’s exploration of spirituality, death, and the occult, showcasing their willingness to tackle controversial subject matter.

Q5: What are the possible interpretations of “Mary on a Cross”?

A5: Interpretations vary, with one perspective viewing it as a forbidden love story, another as a struggle between good and evil, and yet another as a critique of religious dogma. The song’s boldness and willingness to tackle controversial subjects make its meaning open to personal interpretation.

Q6: How does the music video contribute to the song’s meaning?

A6: The music video features live footage and surreal imagery, including a burning crucifix and religious symbolism. It complements the song’s critique of organized religion, adding visual elements that enhance the overall meaning and create a sense of unease.

Q7: What is the enduring appeal of Ghost’s music?

A7: Ghost’s music captivates audiences with its blend of metal, pop, and rock, coupled with theatrical and mysterious visuals. Their ability to push boundaries and challenge conventional ideas about music and art has earned them critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.

Q8: Where can I explore more of Ghost’s music?

A8: To delve further into Ghost’s music, explore their discography, which offers a rich tapestry of powerful vocals, intricate instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyrics. Their unique blend of genres ensures a captivating musical journey.

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