The Jezebel Spirit

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"The Jezebel Spirit"
Single by David Byrne and Brian Eno
from the album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Bryne and Eno

"The Jezebel Spirit" is the fourth song[1] from the 1981 album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by David Byrne and Brian Eno. It was released as a single the same year.


The song includes a "found sound"—an exorcism performed by an anonymous exorcist—over Afrobeat music similar to that Byrne and Eno had used in the Talking Heads album Remain in Light.[2] The exorcism was to have been a recording of Kathryn Kuhlman, but her estate prohibited the use of her voice.[3] The phrase "Jezebel spirit" is referencing a woman in the Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible. Based on stories in that chapter, Jezebel has become associated with prostitution.


While the album was generally well received by critics, the song attracted negative criticism. Jon Pareles wrote in Rolling Stone magazine that Byrne and Eno had used the exorcism for their own purposes and "trivialized the event".[4]


  1. ^ "Nonesuch - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - About this album". Nonesuch Records. 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  2. ^ Weiner, Matthew (2 June 2006). "Brian Eno/David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola (14 March 2011). Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling. Duke University Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780822348757. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  4. ^ Jon Pareles (2 April 1981). "David Byrne and Brian Eno - My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 10 February 2014.

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