The Oh Hellos: Soldier, Poet, King Meaning
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Soldier, Poet, King Lyrics
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...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Apr 8th report
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.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous 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.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 17th 2021 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.
anonymous Jan 24th report
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.
anonymous Nov 5th 2021 report
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
anonymous Oct 14th 2021 report
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.
anonymous Oct 3rd 2021 report
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).
anonymous Jun 26th 2021 report
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.
anonymous May 11th 2021 report
I think it's about Jesus, and the hopes the people had as he came. So Jesus should be their "Soldier and Poet". The "King, or Ruler", is also about him, but after he was killed. "His brow is laid in thorn", is also a reference to the crown made out of thorns.
(Sorry for my English I'm german :D)
anonymous Mar 30th 2021 report
This is a wild on but to take a city you need sorldiers to tear it down then you need someone like a poet to show the people their rulers were wrong then you need a knew ruler to keep the peace and insure the city prospers
The song is addressed to the devil, and is about the coming of Jesus Christ into the world under the titles of Soldier, Poet, and King.
Christ is a soldier, as He is the combater of and victor over Satan's dominion over humanity, "your city", that is, sin, death, and evil. "He carries a mighty sword", which is figurative of His dying for and redeeming humanity as God and man.
He is described as a Poet, as He whose Word slays Satan and sin in hearts. This is in reference to Hebrews 4:12 - "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
He is a King, since He was crowned with thorns in His Passion, taking upon Himself the punishment due to humanity for their sin out of love for them, thus winning over the hearts of men to be their King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14). He is "smeared with oil like David's boy", as the Christ, the son of David, is the Anointed of God, and is the Savior of the human race.
anonymous Feb 19th 2021 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.
anonymous Jan 27th 2021 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.
anonymous Dec 10th 2020 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
anonymous Nov 18th 2020 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!
anonymous Sep 8th 2020 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
anonymous 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.
anonymous 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.
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