What does Soldier, Poet, King mean?

The Oh Hellos: Soldier, Poet, King Meaning

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Album cover for Soldier, Poet, King album cover

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 !⃝

    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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    Oct 14th 2021 !⃝

    This song is a reference to King David who was known as a solider because he defeated Goliath, a poet because of his Psalms, and was known as the anointed (with oil) one, (Messiah means "anointed one" in Hebrew) because he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to become King. (Christ being seen as the successor of David in terms of Messiahship.) In the song these titles are used to justify violence, all in the name of the Lord.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 16th 2023 !⃝

    It’s about Jesus AKA the king’s second coming

    This is just my opinion I have no grasp on the actual meaning

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 10th 2024 !⃝

    The song is about the prophecies and testimonies surrounding Jesus; both those fulfilled and those to come.

    "...He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of His lips" — Isaiah 11:4, a prophecy of Jesus' first coming.

    Which of course, he did.

    "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34, this quote from Jesus himself describes not a literal sword, but one that represents the division of those belonging to the kingdom of Jesus, and those who do not.

    "...From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty." — Revelation 19:15, a prophecy of Christ's second coming.

    "And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” — Matthew 27:29, an account of Jesus right before his crucifixion.

    "And Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the Tent, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, Long live king Solomon." 1 Kings 1:39, an account of King Solomon, 'David's boy' being anointed king.

    Anointing was the practicing of the pouring or smearing of oil on the 'Anointed One', or 'Messiah', or 'Christ' — all synonyms.

    "Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” — John 12:3-8, an account of the anointing of Jesus in obscurity. Though he was from the line of David, and an actual heir to the throne, his kingdom was of course that of heaven.

    Its a great song!

  5. anonymous
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    Nov 4th 2023 !⃝

    I believe the song is about Jesus Christ Himself. Tearing cities down, weapon being His word, and ESPECIALLY "His brow is laid in thorn. Smeared in oil like David's boy." The song seems to be about the prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus!

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 2nd 2023 !⃝

    I think this song tells the story of taking over a city. First the soldiers come fight and "tear your city down." There comes a brief pause in lyrics after the soldier and then comes the poet who uses words, which is represented by "he will slay you with his tongue," to observe this new settlement. There is a longer pause in lyrics which represents the the time passing as the poet tells the king of this new place and the city is rebuilt. Then comes the king to see and rule his new city.

  7. anonymous
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    May 31st 2023 !⃝

    I think The Soldier represents time, "he will tear your city down", invoking the idea that nothing material lasts forever, not your possessions, city or nation.

    The Poet represents love, "he will slay you with his tongue", love is powerful, powerful enough that if one is so loved, they can affect many things/people with words alone, albeit this power is easily lost when abused.

    The King represents God, "who's brow is laid in thorn, smeared in oil like David's boy", plain references to Jesus Christ who was made to wear a crown of thorns during his crucifixion. Oil is used to anoint kings upon their coronation, Jesus was also a descendant of King David.

  8. anonymous
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    May 12th 2023 !⃝

    I think that it means there are three and sometimes more ways for a situation to be dealt with. One, by force. Two, by talking yourself out of it, and three by being independent and/or yourself.

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 20th 2023 !⃝

    I first thought it was a prophecy.

    Like from DnD or maybe Deltarune or something.

    Course when I head the "full" song it just gave more questions that answers.

    So I don't know for sure.
    I'm just sharing my thoughts & experience.

    Now I'm thinking it might have something to do with Knights Templar.

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 10th 2023 !⃝

    My interpretation of the song is that it isn't about any historical people in the medieval times but a story about 3 people with the same beliefs and toke down a city and rebuilt it.

    The soldier. he may have led the troops or he may have been the most valuable warrior. he could have killed the opponent since he was described they are so strong by the lines 'There will come a soldier.Who carries a mighty sword'.

    The poet. he was most likely speaking to others to join the resistance hence the line 'There will come a poet. Whose weapon is His word. He will slay you with His tongue'. he could have been someone on the inside as well. If he was on the inside he could have killed the opposition from convincing the opponent to commit suicide.

    The ruler. He was the person that most likely killed the opponent. After the battle he is the one that ruled with a lot of trauma most likely from the opponent. He also is the one that led the resistance.

    Thank you for reading I am not very certain that its really like this but it's how I interpret it. Thanks again! :)

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2023 !⃝

    My interpretation is that the song is told by an older wise woman. She is sharing her wisdom upon a much younger woman. She’s telling of the 3 men you will fall in love with, the first being the soldier. Your first love, the man who would fight for you without thinking, however is too emotionally immature to truly hold a relationship and thus breaks your heart (tearing your city down). The second is the poet, the verbally abusive manipulator who made you think he was your love. He wrote to you and manipulated you with his words (slayed you with his words) and that is what ended your relationship. The third is the ruler, he is your king and you are his queen. He’s hardworking and his seen his share of hardship, however he still tears your city down, breaking down the walls you’ve built around yourself and instead creating the perfect city for you and him (your relationship).

    The biblical interpretations tend to make more sense given the context of the band however when I first listened to the song without context that is what came to my mind.

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 25th 2023 !⃝

    My interpretation of this song is that there will be a solution to your problems if you just wait and hope...

  13. anonymous
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    Jun 18th 2022 !⃝

    At first, i thought it was just a little story that the oh hellos we're just telling about themselves. But then I came to read the desc. And I find that it has many biblical meanings. like all these other comments.

    Hope this helped you understand if there are kids on the website <3

  14. anonymous
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    Apr 8th 2022 !⃝

    Look everyone else has a good handle on the meaning. I however do not.
    The song is about Godzilla. He will tear your city down. He has a mouth laser (hence his weapon is his word). His head is bedecked in thorns or spikes.
    It just hard for me to believe it is not about Godzilla.

  15. anonymous
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    Jan 24th 2022 !⃝

    basically the whole album beforehand is talking about abuse in a relationship, with an under toned idea that said person is under a sort of demonic influence. The album narrated towards the abuser, and I don't think this song is an exception to that. I definitely think it's a Biblical reference, saying that God/Jesus doesn't approve of this, and that all of this will be ended once and for all.

  16. anonymous
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    Nov 5th 2021 !⃝

    To the “there will come a ruler” part I would say considering the fact that the band is Christian and the lyrics “he will tear your city down” I think it’s saying satans city and Jesus dying on the cross tore it down

    To the “there will come a soldier” part it could be Jesus in that part as well or it could be David when he fought Goliath or something like that

    “There will come a poet” could also be Jesus or it could be John the prophet or another prophet

    “Smeared with oil like David’s boy”
    Reminds me of when Mary pooped the expensive oil on Jesus’s feet

  17. anonymous
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    Oct 3rd 2021 !⃝

    For different people listening to the song and reading the lyrics means different things. EG: religious/Christian connotations, medieval themes, Greek mythology, freedom from abuse or toxic culture, and many other reasons. You don’t have to be religious or have an opinion on the song either - you’re still valid. One example is how I like venti’s cover (from genshin impact) because they’re cute <3 - which definitely has nothing to do with religion as I myself aren’t religious. Although i do enjoy reading up on religious stories and general folklore (two not so similar things).

  18. anonymous
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    Jun 26th 2021 !⃝

    At first, I did not know that this song was so closely tied to religion. I thought that it represented the roles of the group. Like, the soldier is the person who will fight for his friends and family. The poet, will encourage and pick you up. The king, keeps order and peace among the people and keeps what ever he/she is head of well, and conected.

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