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Jesus Children Of America song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is probably his best overall vocal performance imo
    deeewoohon September 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI thought this song was about John Lennon at first, with 'Holy Roller' being a reference to Lennon's song Come Together, the 'Jesus died for you' stuff referring to the 'Beatles Bigger Than Jesus' comment that John made, the references to transcendental meditation which John had done in India in '68 and the junkie remarks which make sense considering John's heavy drug use, in particular his heroin addiction. John of course had written the song 'God' just 3 years before this song was released where he seems to put down religious and states he doesn't believe in Jesus, The Bible etc. And John had been a solider of peace and doing a lot of protesting around this time.

    But now I'm thinking it's just taking aim at people who claim to believe in Jesus but don't live their lives accordingly...the meditation part confuses me though
    acphenomon April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI don't think Stevie Wonder is saying the Holy Rollers are junkies. It seems to be two separate thoughts, but linked by one thing that a higher being is watching them so they better "tell their story fast" or else, if they lie "It will come to pass". He seems to have looked into transcendental meditation at the time and mentions it here, too, but it doesn't seem like he's pushing for one type of worship.

    With respect to Holy Roller, google search defines this as "a member of an evangelical Christian group that expresses religious fervor by frenzied excitement or trances.". This type of faith was quite popular when the song was written. Whether or not Stevie Wonder was practicing this or transcendental meditation like John Lennon when writing the song, I'm not sure – I didn't research all that in 10 minutes, but it seems as though he knew enough about it because a simple search on Google leads you to some of his history and he had been taken to a faith healer in his youth and the lyric plugs the latter, the meditation.

    Personally, I recall hearing lots of news or word-of-mouth reports about crooked evangelical preachers back in the day. It was so prevalent, there was even a movie called "Leap of Faith" with Steve Martin. And interestingly, prior to Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, in his song "Harlem" wrote about said crooked preachers.

    "Our crooked delegation
    Wants a donation
    To send the preacher to the holy land
    Hey hey lord honey don't give your money
    To that lying, cheating man.."

    So when Stevie writes "Are you hearing, praying, feeling what you say inside?...Tell me holy Holy roller ... Are you standing for everything you talk about?" I don't think he's taking a jab at a particular religious group as a whole, but taking a jab at certain lying cheating leaders who pose as something else and will have to tell their "story fast" or "it will come to pass" for them. Basically, that they would be in trouble with God.

    When you listen to this Stevie Wonder album Innervisions as a whole, you will hear a lot of anti-drug messages, or at least drug-related content put in a negative light so I understand that the "junkie" lyric is part of a recurring theme in the album.

    I do find it interesting as well that he chose to use the words "Mother Mary", if at all he was referring to the Let It Be song, I don't think so because Paul McCartney said he wrote the song about his own mother named Mary, but if he did it could link the song to the John Lennon thing like someone already mentioned previously, but I think that's a stretch. I like the idea because some of the elements are there, but doubt it. He could just be referring to the common expression Mary Mother of Jesus.
    happylittleon December 11, 2017   Link
  • -1
    My InterpretationI'm not sure at all, but I understand the song as a critique against some types of Christians, that are maybe too extreme, unrealistic or fanatic. Maybe the meditation is something he finds silly or too extreme. The "Mary looking at you" part may be a reference to more catholic beliefs or practices, but I'm not sure at all! "Are you hearing/feeling what you're praying?", "are you standing up like a soldier?" also gives me an impression that he's excaggarating (or even parodying) some ways of being a Christian, and maybe being too focused on being a perfect person. At least that's a possibility, in my opinion. Ask him!
    TommyVFon February 07, 2012   Link
  • -2
    My InterpretationThe „Holy Roler“ dear people is an old mocking name for Christians of old when they were falling down under the power of God and rolling! “Jesus People” was also a name of Hippie movement in early 1970 in which many young people were converting to Christ! And S.Wonder wrongfully accusing them all from taking “needle in the vein” as he thought that they were all taking drugs, but this clearly was not the case as many turned away from drugs when they find their joy in living Christ! I know some of this people until today. ISNT IT STRANGE THAT JUST 3 DAYS AFTER S.W.RELEASED THIS BLESPHEMEOUS BLASPHEMOUS SONG HE HAD A SERIOUS CAR ACCIDENT? AFTER WHICH HE CONFESSED THAT IT CHANGED HIM A LOT AND HE SAID "thanks to God that I'm alive." I AM 100% SURE THIS WAS THE CASE DEAR PEOPLE!
    davidosokon May 08, 2013   Link

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