What does Soldier, Poet, King mean?

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The Oh Hellos: Soldier, Poet, King Meaning


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Soldier, Poet, King Lyrics

There will come a soldier
Who carries a mighty sword
He will tear your city down, o lei o lai o lord
O lei, o lai, o lei, o lord
He will tear your city down, o lei o lai o lord

There will come a poet
Whose weapon is his word
He will slay...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 26th 2020 report

    Considering that the band has said that the entire album is about looking back on an abusive relationship (specifically with one's family/parents), the soldier, poet and king, respectively, represent the different ways that other people can help someone move on from such a relationship, and how effective they are.

    The "soldier" represents the people who physically remove the victim from the abuser, and take away the tangible power they have over their victim. It's worth noting that "tear your city down" is first used with the soldier, and then repeated later, because even though the soldier "tore the city down", what it represents still stands in the victim's mind.

    The "poet" represents people who help the victim get over or move past their fear of their abuser. Ridicule and dissection are the most powerful tools to combat fear with, so to make sure the victim understands that the abuser no longer holds, and realistically didn't hold, as much power over them as they claimed, "slaying them with their tongue", has more impact than anything physically tangible.

    The "ruler" is the most important: it's the more kind-hearted people who fill the void the abuser used to hold. Friends who look after people who left abusive families, new lovers after abusive exes, overall people who demonstrate to the victim how they're SUPPOSED to be treated. The line "smeared with oil like David's boy" likens the importance of this person in breaking the cycle of abuse to a king chosen by a prophet (and thus by God himself) to ensure the kingdom's health.

    Then, after the three finally come together, the city is finally torn down, the old ruler deposed, and thus, the victim free to move on with their lives, which is celebrated with the upbeat second half with joyous chants of "O lay, o lord", which could either be seen as celebrations of the new ruler, or as vicious mockery of the old one (maybe both?), as the cycle is finally broken.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 28th 2020 report

    It is assumed that the soldier is joshua, who destroyed Jericho.
    The poet is king David, the person who wrote the psalms.
    The king is Jesus.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 4th 2020 report

    As another commenter mentioned, the song is about abuse, but I think the titular soldier, poet, and king represent three methods of abuse. Specifically, I think this song was intended as a sort of twisted fable to warn listeners about the roles of an abuser, similar to the tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

    The soldier is physical abuse, and the "city" is the victim's body. The sword is a traditional symbol of aggression and willingness to engage in physical violence.

    The poet is verbal abuse, and "slay you with his tongue" refers to breaking the victim down verbally.

    The king/ruler is the least obvious one: psychological abuse. With the allusions to Biblical rulers (brow laid in thorn, smeared in oil, David's boy), this abuser may have an inflated ego or narcissistic disorder, viewing himself as a grand, important person with extreme power over the victim.

  4. anonymous
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    Feb 19th report

    Its been pretty funny for me to read that this song was intended to have such strong religious undertones because when I first heard it I thought it was a massive euphemism (which isn't uncommon in folk music)!

    I won't go into details to spare blushes but if you listen to the first two verses it doesn't take too much imagination to hear what I heard.

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 17th report

    The sword is equivalent to the word. In Ephesians it says “the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” It’s also we’ll known that He is the king of kings and wore a crown of thorns. So, Jesus is the soldier, poet, and king.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 27th report

    The song has to do with the future coming of Jesus.He is the solider, the Post, and the King. It's in revelation 19. Jesus will come on a white horse carrying a mighty sword and will tear down the nations. He is also the King of Kings.

  7. anonymous
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    Dec 10th report

    I feel like allongnwith the biblical references and interpretations in the other comments, this song might be about the three different figureheads that God sent to Israel. First, the soldier might refer to Moses, Joshua and the judges. They were the early leaders of israel and they, specifically Joshua and the judges (Gideon, Deborah, Samson), led battles against the israelite’s neighbours to defend their homeland. The poet refers to the prophets, since they were the ones sent by God to counsel the king/s of israel and its people, and some even most of the times they stood against the corruption and sinfulness of the kings by lecturing them. And of course, the ruler represents Jesus, as many, many people pointed out

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 18th report

    i belive that the song is in middle ages and is refering to religion opression and close/open mindednes. the soldier being a person who shames others with diferent religion views and fights to change others, although it might even be one who is involded with a relgion that is opressed, such as witchcraft or other religions that are shamed and opressed. the poest being a generic poet but a mighty protester fightin for equal rights or something like that for all relegions,"he will slay you with his tounge) he will hit you with a hard truth about relgion opression.
    next, the king who dosent really have power(?) or an opinion or (you know what i mean about the king). this is my opinion on the lovely song!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  9. anonymous
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    Sep 8th report

    They have confirmed that this song is about the second coming of Christ based on the writings of CS Lewis, makes me like the song a little less lol

  10. anonymous
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    Jul 24th 2020 report

    When I first saw the song, my mind immediately went to the interpretation of the three fire signs in the Greek zodiac; Aries, the solider, Sagittarius, the poet, and Leo, the King.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 9th 2020 report

    Each paragraph describes a form of abuse, or oppression: the first, represented by the mighty soldier, resembles a military oppression; the second, represented by the poet, a cultural oppression; the third and last one is the trickiest one, because it is clearly represented by Jesus, but its described as a "ruler" not a "savior" so I think it's like this to symbolize a religious oppression. That's my take!

  12. anonymous
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    May 28th 2020 report

    The Soldier is Joshua from the Bible
    The Poet is David
    You have to read the Bible to get it instead of getting full info from websites. So you wouldn't ask questions like, "WHY IS HE GONNA TEAR OUR CITY DOWN?!" or something.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Mar 17th 2020 report

    I think it refers to the trinity the soldier is Jesus who worked between people, the poet is the holy spirit who whispers in your ear and the king is God who looks after us.

  14. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2020 report

    I think it has to do with culture in the middle ages.
    A generic soldier, representing the combat skills and battles fought at the time.
    A generic poet, representing the power of literature, and how it grew fast in that time period.
    And a generic king, representing the religion of the time. The line "whose brow is laid in thorn", referring to the crown of thorns, and "David's boy", referring to Jesus.

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 24th 2019 report

    Sounds like a Religious type of references, possibly to Jesus and maybe some other prophets from the Bible.

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