Released as the third single off the Frogstomp album.
According to Daniel Johns the songs meaning is, “It’s about an execution I saw on telly… I got this video of an execution, and I just saw it, and I was watching it one night, and I had a dream about it, and I woke up and thought, ‘Oh yeah, that’s pretty cool’, and I wrote a song about it.”
This song is the only Frogstomp song that the band still played live in the years prior to the bands “indefinite hibernation” in 2011.
“Israel’s Son” is one of four songs on the album written solely by Johns.
The song caused controversy when a murder trial happened in January 1996 when Brian Bassett, aged 16 and his friend Nicholaus McDonald, aged 18 of McCleary, Washington, US, claimed the pair listened to “Israel’s Son” from Frogstomp, which contributed to the murders of Bassett’s parents and a younger brother on August, 10, 1995.
McDonald’s lawyer cited the lyrics “‘Hate is what I feel for you/I want you to know that I want you dead’” which were “almost a script. They’re relevant to everything that happened”. The band’s manager, John Watson, was quoted when he made this statement on behalf of the band, Silverchair:
“Silverchair do not, have not, and never would condone violence of any sort. The band is appalled by this horrific crime and they hope that justice will prevail in prosecuting whoever is responsible for it. The band extends its sincere sympathies to the families and friends of the victims in this case. Silverchair absolutely rejects any allegation that their song is in any way responsible for the actions of the alleged murders. It is a matter of public record that the song in question, Israel’s Son, was inspired by a television documentary about wartime atrocities. Israel’s Son was never intended to provoke violence and cannot be interpreted by any reasonable person as doing so. In fact, the song seeks to criticise violence and war by portraying them in all their horror.”
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