Bluesklassieker du jour: John the Revelator

Een traditionele gospel blues, in 1930 voor het eerst op de plaat gezet door Blind Willie Johnson. Wat mij betreft is het meteen ook de definitieve uitvoering, de versies van Tom Waits en Nick Cave kunnen niet tippen aan deze oerversie (overigens verder met alle respect voor beide heren).

De titel verwijst naar Johannes van Patmos, de schrijver van het boek Openbaringen (The Book of Revelation, in het Engels).

[call] Well who’s that writin’? [response] John the Revelator
Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
A book of the seven seals[

[call] Tell me what’s John writin’? [response] Ask the Revelator
What’s John writin’? Ask the Revelator
What’s John writin’? Ask the Revelator
A book of the seven seals}

Well who art worthy, thousands cried holy
Bound for some, Son of our God
Daughter of Zion, Judah the Lion
He redeemeth, and bought us with his blood

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

John the Revelator, great advocator
Get’s ‘em on the battle of Zion
Lord, tellin’ the story, risin’ in glory
Cried, “Lord, don’t you love some I”

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

Well Moses to Moses, watchin’ the flock
Saw the bush where they had to stop
God told Moses, “Pull off your shoes”
Out of the flock, well you I choose

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

De enige die in de buurt komt van Blind Willie Johnson is Son House, die in de jaren ’60 een aantal a capella versies opnam van de song (met een gewijzigde tekst).

[call] Who’s that writin’? [response] John the Revelator
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

[call] Who’s that writin’? [response] John the Revelator
Tell me who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
Well who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
Wrote the book of the seven seals

You know God walked down in the cool of the day
Called Adam by his name
And he refused to answer
Because he’s naked and ashamed

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

You know Christ had twelve apostles
And three he led away
He said, “Watch with me one hour,
‘till I go yonder and pray.”

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

Christ came on Easter morning
Mary and Martha went down to see
He said, “Go tell my disciples
To meet me in Galilee.”

[Repeat verses 1 & 2]

Uitgelichte afbeelding: de enige bekende foto van Blind Willie Johnson – By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52229368