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Song IconSon House "John The Revelator"

About "John The Revelator"

"John the Revelator" is a traditional gospel blues call and response song. Music critic Thomas Ward describes it as "one of the most powerful songs in all of pre-war acoustic music ... [which] has been hugely influential to blues performers". American gospel-blues musician Blind Willie Johnson recorded "John the Revelator" in 1930. Subsequently, a variety of artists, including the Golden Gate Quartet, Son House, Depeche Mode, The Forest Rangers, have recorded their renditions of the song, often with variations in the verses and music.

The song's title refers to John of Patmos in his role as the author of the Book of Revelation. A portion of that book focuses on the opening of seven seals and the resulting apocalyptic events. In its various versions, the song quotes several passages from the Bible in the tradition of American spirituals.

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