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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...   

song for theme #17A: Bitterness & Vengeance

“When Justice is Finally Done” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” by Patrick Gilmore 


An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth

Revenge!  Revenge!

Smite your enemy, cutting guilt loose1

Revenge!  Revenge!

Feeling victim is mighty bad stew

Rise up and hurt whoever hurt you

And you’ll feel good when justice2 is finally done!


You’ve been hurt, your life a waste

Revenge!  Revenge!

Your honor trashed, don’t lose face3

Revenge!  Revenge!

The law’s no help, so retaliate

Channel your anger, direct your hate

And we’ll feel good when justice is finally done!



If you’re Hamlet4 in life’s play

Revenge!  Revenge!

You must make your father’s killer pay

Revenge!  Revenge!

A painful death, you’ll plan it out

You’ll enjoy the deed, you’ve no doubt

And we’ll feel good when justice is finally done!


The Hebrew God said “Vengeance is mine!”5

Revenge!  Revenge!

“You get what you deserve,” Hindus sigh

Revenge!  Revenge!

If the verdict is God’s hellfires

Or what life’s bad karma requires6

We’ll all feel good when justice is finally done!



1—Or ignoring reservations you have about revenge based on the dictates of your conscience

2— Justice refers to implementing what is just, defined in various ways as being reasonable, proper, lawful, right, fair, deserved,

       merited, etc. For some, justice is intimately connected with fairness, a connection with three dimensions: equal treatment, the

       degree to which exercising freedom and liberty is to be allowed, and reward for contributing to the common good. There are

       many different types of justice, including cosmic (or divine) justice, distributive justice, restorative justice, retributive justice,

       transformative justice, etc.

3— The word honor can be linked to one’s reputation, public esteem, keeping one’s word, or ethicsor it can also be tied to

       vengeance. In this traditional sense, honor can be thought of as the desire to publicly avenge insults or right wrongs.  It can be

       particularly valued in societies or subcultures that are otherwise beyond the reach of practically effective law enforcement. 

       Even in modern settings with well-developed criminal justice systems, turning off the powerful lust for revenge emotion can

       be difficult if not impossible for many individuals.  So the need to seek revenge is often linked to “saving face” and what the

       victim or family member feels needs to be done to recover from shame, humiliation, trashing of “honor”, etc. Where poor

       people are involved consider what Mexican American Rafael Chacon (1833-1925) said, “I am poor. My only inheritance is

       my honor.”

4—Hamlet, the main character in Shakespeare’s 1601 play, agonizes over whether to seek revenge and kill. 

5—Refers to Yahweh, the ancient Hebrew vindictive God of the Bible’s Old Testament.

6—The Eastern notion of a law of karma, as in "If you give nothing but bad to the world that’s what you’ll receive back, if not in

     this life, then in the next” provides another route to cosmic or divine justice.      

Comment: If you’ve been victimized, this theme can promote your acquiring still more unwanted emotional baggageespecially as your struggle for justice goes on and on (see note 4 of the theme #17B). But it also provides an action-based alternative to your continuing to wallow helplessly in the mud of injustice. And give you the focus, and drive the resolve to overcome some or all of the emotionally devastating feelings associated with victimization. In this way it provides armor to steel you against continually reliving the pain of hurt, loss, shame, etc. The contrast between themes #17A&#17B response to victimization is stunning: the former can often be hate driven, the latter by forgiving leniency that many see as foreign to human nature.

                     back to theme #17A

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!