"Israel's Son" is a song by Australian rock band Silverchair, released in 1995. It was the third single released from their debut full-length album, Frogstomp, which was released earlier the same year. It was also released on their The Best of Volume 1.
|Single by Silverchair|
|from the album Frogstomp|
|Silverchair singles chronology|
Daniel Johns said about the song in an interview with Request Magazine in November 1995:
That [song] was about an execution I saw on tele. 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.
Murder trial edit
In a January 1996 murder case, the defendant counsel for Brian Bassett, 16, and Nicholaus McDonald, 18, of McCleary, Washington, claimed that 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 as stating on behalf of 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."
Prosecutors rejected the defence case and convinced the jury that the murder was committed to "steal money and belongings and run off to California."
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||12|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||39|
‡ Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
- "Fuzzed Out: Seven essential records from Australia's grunge glory days". Mixdown Magazine. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
- Stratis, Niko (14 June 2021). "In Defense Of Silverchair". Spin. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
- Johnson, Rob (November 1995). "Silverchair - Sonic Youth". Request Magazine.
- "Teen Sentenced to 65 Years for His Part in Murders". Kitsap Sun. E. W. Scripps Company (Charles D Horton III). 22 February 1996. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Attorney wants to open teen's murder trial with rock song". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. 18 January 1996. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Elliott, Paul (1997). "Roo Fighters". Kerrang!. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Australian-charts.com – Silverchair – Israel's Son". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
- "Charts.nz – Silverchair – Israel's Son". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
- "Silverchair Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2020 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.