If you’ve ever noticed me occasionally dropping references to Van Halen in this blog, there’s a reason for that. At one point in my life, I actually owned every VH album that had been made up to that point. In fact, the only ones I never owned were III (because it was dreadful), Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (because I already had everything that was on it), and Best of Both Worlds (see previous reason).
One VH song, in particular, played a very prominent role in my life. “Right Now,” the very popular single with an even more popular video from the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, was actually instrumental in my deciding to become a Christian. I had been considering giving my heart to the Lord and being baptized, so when my impressionable high school brain heard the words of this song, well, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer.
That’s not the song I’m writing about here, though, although this post will discuss another song from the “Van Hagar” era. The album OU812 is not one of my favorites in the VH catalog, but it does have some bright moments, in particular the single “When It’s Love.” While most of the songs on the album are about sex, it’s opening track stands out in fairly stark contrast to the rest of the material.
“Mine All Mine” is the type of song that almost slips past a listener, if they’re not paying attention. It seems deathly serious compared to the other tracks on OU812, starting with the lyric, “Forgive me, Father/For I have sinned/I’ve been through hell and back again.” Sammy Hagar’s sort of fascination with religion would pop from time to time in the VH catalog, most notably in the song “Seventh Seal” from the album Balance. In this particular song, he’s not touting any one religion over another or even really endorsing any religion at all. He just wants people to believe in something.
I have to admit, this song has basically nothing to do with how I’ve thought about depression at any point in my life. I have been thinking about it lately, though, because the concept of grabbing onto something I can call uniquely mine is becoming more and more important to me. Something that doesn’t belong to anyone else, something I will hold onto tooth and nail. Following the crowd and the rules has led to many unhappy points. Whatever “it” is for me, I want it to be mine.