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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sound Files Of "John The Revelator" by Blind Willie Johnson & by Son House

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features a 1930 sound file of "John The Revelator" that was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson and his first wife Willie B. Harris. This post also features a 1965 sound file of "John The Revelator" that was recorded by Son House. In addition, this post includes information about the meaning of that old time African American Gospel song.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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EXPLANATION OF THE SONG "JOHN THE REVELATOR"
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Revelator_(song)
" "John the Revelator" is a traditional Gospel blues call and response song.[1] In the chorus, John of Patmos, the traditional author of the Book of Revelation, is writing "the book of the seven seals." At the time of the song's composition (and in modern times), John of Patmos was generally considered the same person as John the Apostle and John the Evangelist.

The song was recorded on April 20, 1930 in Atlanta, Georgia by Blind Willie Johnson and is included in the Anthology of American Folk Music.[1][2][3] In this version Johnson's first wife Willie B. Harris performs the response parts of the song.[4] The Golden Gate Quartet performed and recorded the song a cappella in the 1930s.[5] Son House also recorded several a cappella versions in the 1960s."
-snip-
The beginning lyrics of this song as sung Blind Willie Johnson & his first wife and by Son House are given below the featured sound files.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEANING OF THE TERM "A BOOK OF THE SEVEN SEALS"
The song "John The Revelator" focuses on John writing the book of Revelations. In that song, that last book in the New Testament is referred to as "a book (or the book) of the seven seals". Here's ome information about the term "book of the seven seals":
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_seals
"The Seven Seals is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that refers to seven symbolic seals that secure the book or scroll, that John of Patmos saw in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. The opening of the seals of the Apocalyptic document occurs in Revelation Chapters 5-8. In John's vision, the only one worthy to open the book is referred to as both the "Lion of Judah" and the "Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes"."

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FEATURED VIDEOS

Example #1: Blind Willie Johnson - John the Revelator



velotronic, Uploaded on Mar 2, 2011
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Here's the beginning of "John The Revelator" (as recorded by Blind Willie Johnson & Willie B. Harris.)

[call] Well who's that writin'?
[response] John the Revelator[6]
Who's that writin'? John the Revelator
Who's that writin'? John the Revelator
A book of the seven seals[7]
-snip-
Additional lyrics for this version of "John The Revelator" are found on that song's Wikipedia page whose link is given above.

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Example #2: Son House - John The Revelator -Version Estudio



dhamago,Uploaded on Aug 7, 2008

Son House - John The Revelator -Version EstudiO
-snip-
Here's the beginning of "John The Revelator" (as recorded by Son House)
[call] Who's that writin'?
[response] John the Revelator[6]
Tell me who's that writin'?
John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin'?
John the Revelator
Wrote the book of the seven seals[7]
-snip-
Additional lyrics for this version of "John The Revelator" are found on that song's Wikipedia page whose link is given above.

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RELATED LINKS
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/04/carolina-chocolate-drops-read-em-john.html for the related song "Read 'Em John"

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Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5825 for a discussion about the song "John The Revelator" which includes several versions of this song's lyrics.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to Blind Willie Johnson & Willie B. Harris, and Son House for recording this song. My thanks also to the producers and the publishers of these sound files on YouTube .

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

2 comments:

  1. From my childhood, I remembered this song as I prepared to lead
    a study of Chapter 9 in the Book of Revelations at my church. I find it very interesting to hear it again and listen to the lyrics and learn the history of the song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, V Phillips.

      I didn't know about this song when I was a child. I'm glad I learned about it via the internet.

      Delete