“Soldier of God” is the first song on Ken Theriot’s new album, “Outlaws and Bystanders.” The song was written by Lisa Theriot (lyrics) and Ken Theriot (music). So what is the song about?
What The Song Is About?
Lisa was doing research for a song about El Cid (that song is called “The Ride of El Cid”), and she came across the story of a character in the Poema del Cid called Don Jeronimo. Here is what Lisa wrote in the liner notes for “Outlaws and Bystanders,” along with the lyrics:
Soldier of God
(Valencia, Spain, 1099)
The story of Don Jeronimo appears in the epic Cantar de Mio Cid, also known as the Poema del Cid, the oldest preserved Castilian epic poem. It was composed around 1200. Don Jeronimo was, like Friar Tuck, not your average priest.
A cleric rode out from the lands of the East,
Too wise for a warrior, too strong for a priest,
Well-versed in letters and honored abroad,
Called Don Jeronimo, soldier of God.
“Mine is the charge to bring men to the Lord
By sermon, or psalm, or the point of a sword,
If I have my fill of the fight ere I sleep,
At the end of my living, let no Christian weep.
Chorus: I am your song, I am your word,
I am your herald when trumpets are heard;
I am your staff, I am your rod,
I am your sword as a soldier of God.”
Before a great battle he sings the High Mass,
And grants absolution, for all flesh is grass;
“The man who dies fighting his foe face-to-face
Will sleep without stain and his soul will find Grace.”
He goes to his liege when the Mass has been said,
And begs him a boon—“Let me ride at your head;
A price I would have for the bread and the wine–
Let the first blow struck in battle be mine.” CH
Saint Michael goes armored with buckler and steel,
And George with his lance brought the dragon to heel;
In Heaven above as on Earth here below,
From one hand a blessing, the other, a blow.
Perhaps in the future all hatred will cease,
And all men of God will be agents of peace,
But until the day when the Fiend walks no more
Then angels and men must make ready for war! .
words by Lisa Theriot
music by Ken and Lisa Theriot
© 2012, Raven Boy Music, ASCAP
Below is the studio version of the song:
Below is a live performance from the album release concert: