When Chris Cornell sang the Ave Maria


The famous vocalist of Soundgarden and Audioslave passed away today.

Chris Cornell, the lead singer of mythical bands like Soundgarden and Audioslave died today, at 52 years of age. Although the singer considered himself to be an agnostic, his life was also defined by the traces left by a religious early youth. Cornell attended a Catholic school and, even though he never really engaged in any religious practice, one can still read in his lyrics the presence of very clear religious elements.

An article published by Catholic Link in May 2016 explains how, in spite of his own agnosticism, Cornell was not only engaged in a personal inner search for meaning and truth, but wrote lyrics that touched on his own spiritual quest, even dedicating a song to the Eucharist: “Like a Stone.” In fact, he included religious references in songs like “Black Hole Sun” (“And my youth I pray to keep/ Heaven sent hell away/No one sings like you anymore”), and even sang the Ave Maria more than once, as you can see in these two videos:

Even if the reference to the Eucharist in “Like a Stone” seems to be dim (“The sky was bruised/The wine was bled/And there you led me on”), its general religious content is strikingly evident:

On my deathbed I will pray

To the gods and the angels

Like a pagan to anyone

Who will take me to heaven

To a place I recall

I was there so long ago

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