"His Master's Voice" as written by and James Edward Olliges Jr....
Mohammed rolling dice with Christ at twilight
And they hear their master's voice, they run to do their chores
At master's calling.
Their job tonight, re-write the bible
For a whole new generation of non-believers.

The pastor screams out to the crowd
'There's evil that must be put down!'
And it touches the soldier boy he heeds his master's voice
His life is calling.
Sweet soldier boy, the speaker is bleeding
He hears his master's voice do you hear your master's voice?
Calling like the lady siren's call.

Sweet soldier quiet- just staring at the ceiling
And he hears his master's voice he hears the call to war
The siren's singing.
Out on the line- there's something that strikes his side
And he sees his inner child he hears his mother's voice
Softly calling.
Spirit soldiers mother hovers she holds up a paper cup
And the sound of life and love fills her ear.

You're only gonna hear what you want to hear
Do you hear your master's voice now?

Mohammed and Christ speak twice as nice
But the one that I like best he sings inside my chest
I hear my master's voice now
Calling out, calling out, calling out calling out

Lyrics submitted by Phonixfire

"His Master's Voice" as written by James Edward Olliges Jr


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His Master's Voice song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentLyrically this is one of the most important songs written in our time.
    Johnboy9875on December 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Opinionfor all those stating that this is such an influential/important song, I'd like to hear what you think the song is actually about instead of just saying how you feel about it. last i checked this is songmeanings.com, not allmusic.com.
    aaron22on July 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe message is beautiful. Plainly stated : don't follow what other people tell you no matter if it's religion or government, make your own decisions for yourself. Listen to your heart. Song obviously goes into more detail than that, but you can figure it out.

    Saw Jim James at Newport Folk Festival this past weekend and he was incredible. played this song solo and at the time I had never heard it before. It is easily one of my favorites now.

    shannonhoonon August 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the Rolling Stone review of this album that says this "isn't a concept album, but strong themes course through it." So many big ideas in this album it's unbelievable. Seeing Monsters on Halloween in Louisville (Yim Yames' homecoming), my excitement is uncontainable.
    turnmyheadintosoundon October 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgreed, let delusion be extinguished!
    Glorfindelon December 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohnboy is absolutely right.
    Flamingo*on February 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the most influential and important songs, lyrically (and vocally - WOW) of our generation. People need to wake the hell up.
    serinedreamon March 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe "Calling Out" at the end is my new mantra
    LikeAMetaphoron April 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is my favorite monsters of folk song, so beautiful. i agree that it's lyrics are one of the most important ones written in our time too, so wonderful and simple yet sends out the message i think they're trying to say.
    gentlebirdon May 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationShannon gave a nice ball-park explanation. I like it.

    The artist is telling the listener to follow their heart. Hear and listen to your own master's voice. Don't be influenced by what others believe or what someone told you was true when you were a child.

    To me the artist is putting a childish description on some prodigious religious characters (Mohammed and Christ) i.e. "rolling dice" and "they run to do their chores". I don't think he is putting them down or making fun of them or belittling them. I believe he's trying to paint them in a different light than some people would, for the benefit of the listener. When some people think of Christ and Mohammed they think I better follow and believe for he that doesn't suffers the consequences. The artist is describing them as children to more or less relax the listener. We all tend to listen better and retain more when we are relaxed.

    He then describes their master telling them to "Re-write the bible for a generation of non believers". I personally believe this is a very important line. I believe the bible and Christ are fictional, created to give birth to and inspire hope. I believe we as human beings "hear what we want to hear" and have forgotten the most important lesson of the bible (have hope and love one another). The artist is saying the master believes he needs to try something new and that the old bible is not working and should be re-written.

    The second and third verses are a case in point explanation of how not finding your own belief (master's voice) could end badly. The verses tell a story of a boy listening to a pastor and the boy hearing and being influenced by the pastor's master's voice. The boy then believes it to be his own and follows it witch eventually costs the boy his life.

    The artist says "You're only gonna hear what you want to hear" and asks the listener "do you hear your masters voice now?".
    What this verse means to me is people will interpret religions, beliefs, and creeds any way they choose. They hear what they want to hear and act accordingly. The artist just gave an example of how listening to someone else's master's voice and not there own cost them their life. If everybody hears what they want anyway, shouldn't we take the time and find out what WE really find to be important and meaningful to ourselves (our own master's voice) and listen and stick to that? It may be Christ's or Mohammed's words that we find as our master's voice, but learn that for yourself. Don't come to that conclusion because of what someone else believes or because that's what was taught when you were a child.

    The last verse is the artist admitting that he finds Mohammed and Christ agreeable but he still is an individual and has his own beliefs.The artist master's voice just might be Mohammed or Christ, but in the spirit of finding what's important to yourself the artist leaves the identity of his master's voice undisclosed.

    Great song from a great album. Maybe I'm over thinking it, I tend to do that.
    If I have offended any one I apologize.

    Cheers, Duder
    duderron September 15, 2012   Link

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