"John The Revelator" as written by and Martin Lee Gore....
John the Revelator
Put him in a elevator
Take him up to the highest high
Take him up to the top where the mountains stop
Let him tell his book of lies

John the Revelator
He's a smooth operator
It's time we cut him down to size
Take him by the hand
And put him on the stand
Let us hear his alibis

By claiming God as his only rock
He's stealing a god from the Israelite
Stealing a god from a Muslim, too
There is only one god through and through

Seven lies, multiplied by seven, multiplied by seven again
Seven angels with seven trumpets
Send them home on the morning train
Well who's that shouting?
John the Revelator!
All he ever gives us is pain
Well who's that shouting?
John the Revelator!
He should bow his head in shame

Bye-bye
Bye-bye
Bye-bye
Bye-bye

Seven lies, mulitplied by seven, multiplied by seven again
Seven angels with seven trumpets
Send them home on the morning train
Well who's that shouting?
John the Revelator!
All he ever gives us is pain
Well who's that shouting?
John the Revelator!
He should bow his head in shame

Bye-bye
Bye-bye
John the Revelator
Bye-bye
John the Revelator
Bye-bye
John the Revelator


Lyrics submitted by psychobain

"John the Revelator" as written by Martin Gore

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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John The Revelator song meanings
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47 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI find this song to be a condemnation of anyone who A) claims that they are the only one's with the right idea of God, and B) anyone who uses that God to achieve his own ends. The song seems to specifically target Christianity (although I think it was intended for any religion that claims to be the only truth), probably due to it's dominance in society.
    Grant the Wiseon July 29, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentJohn the Revelator was the author of the Book of Revelations in the New Testament. It was added to the canon of the New Testament, but lacks any real moral teaching, resorting to scare tactics and dogma.

    It is quite commonly disregarded in many Christian sects, however, is not openly dismissed.

    Whenever you see a movie about Satan or something, much of the reference material comes from this work that has no real relation to Jesus' time.
    ebhiroon February 23, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJohn was the disciple who apparently saw a vision of the end of the world, when Jesus comes back to judge everyone etc etc. This was published in the book of Revelations, hence the title.
    Ad_Nauseamon January 13, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentExactly Ad_Nauseam, John the apostle wrote 'The Revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant John', a book with 7 chapters. He had two visions, he saw 7 angels, each one played a trumpet (calling massive destruction to the world), anyway, there's a lot of 7s. These revelations has to be with the end of the world.

    So I suppose this song has no intend of condemn a religion.

    More like the author is calling John, the revelator, a lier, this song is a reclaim to the apostle, because he the autor wishes the end of the world soon but nothing of John's prophecy has hapenned yet.
    Unnicknamedon January 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think that the meaning of this song, at least generally, is quite clear. It is talking about the Book of Revelations of John in the Bible; my evidence for this is the use of the phrase 'John the Revelator', revelator being some sort of derivation from revelations, and the reference to "seven angels with seven trumpets", which are an important feature of the end of the world as we know it foretold in the Book of Revelations. There is also the fact that it is referred to as a "BOOK of lies" and the fact that the song seems to encompass all the Abrahammic religions ("Israelites" and "Muslim"). This is consistent with the fact that a belief in some related form of Armageddon runs through all three of these religions.

    As for Depeche Mode's take on the Book of Revelations, it seems to be quite negative. They refer to the Book as lies, they think its writer should be ashamed and they think that we need to really examine John and his teachings (probably a representation of the Christian acceptance of the Book of Revelation's teachings). I take this to mean that they think that the Book of Revelations and its teachings (which include the destruction of almost all of humanity by God) are not worthy of belief, that these teachings are inconsistent with the image of a loving god that most Christians, Muslims and Jews hold dear, and that those who believe should consider whether they really believe that God is going to destroy us all.
    elmosfire1212on December 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've been a Depeche Mode fan for a long time. I love this song. Can't get it out of my head. I don't think they are anti-Christian. They have many religious references to their music. Maybe they were brought up by staunch fundamentalist catholic parents & forced to go to fundamentalist catholic schools taught by old nuns in habits with slapping rulers. I think they just want people to think about it, that's all, and understand it can be interpreted many ways. No harm, no foul.
    VictoriaS^on April 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with Razormac. I think DM is taking the opportunity to bash those (not just Bush) who use the Bible, epecially revelations to support aggression. "All he ever gives us is pain" is a great line to implicate the poetry of revelations and the influence it has had on wars in the course of human history.
    hvacigaron July 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAt first I thought John to be science, trying to replace religions, but I now see that it is those who use religious standings to deman, and destroy others...
    interpolarityon August 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment~you know who are skilled with showing you what the Bible teaches are those Jehovah's witnesses....they really have researched a lot....I might join them one day...or not....watever~

    I was brought up as one and can honestly say that they are not skilled researchers at all; most of their doctrine is unsound and their references to other scholars are intellectually and academically dishonest.

    On a much more broader level they destroy families through their shunning of ex members and have siginificant issues with people obtaining a higher education; furthermore and more sinister than the above, their policies have allowed child abuse within their organisation to reach a pandemic proportion.

    jehovahs-witness.com

    Personally the song is about losing faith and religious intolerance.
    diamondblue1974on October 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm... I think it's fairly obviously criticising the historical/biblical figure rather than being a cloked attack on modern politicians (even if this renders the "stealing a God from the Muslim" hilariously anachronistic). There is, however, one point people haven't mentioned -

    "Bye-bye"
    Most versions of the lyrics have it as:
    "By and by"
    This seems to me to be a far more compelling rendering. The phrase "by and by" is found in only four verses of the Bible, two of which we can discard as irrelevant as they don't mean much on their own. The others:

    "But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by." It's possible that this is being seen as contradictory to the Apocalyptic "hysteria" of the Book of Revelation, which treats every war into a sign of the End Times.

    "And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist." In other words; the time of this alleged charlatan has come to be exposed. Of course, the fact that this is John the Baptist not John the Evangelist/Revelator might lead us to prefer the first interpretation.

    Any thoughts?
    SReganon November 22, 2008   Link

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