About the Style
One of my favorite Michael Card songs when I was growing up was “Dragonslayer,” released in 1983 on his album Legacy.
Looking at a picture of Michael Card, you might assume that he writes calm, quiet music. While it is true that he does write some calm, quiet songs, “Dragonslayer” is not one of them.
The Last.fm wiki describes Michael Card as “a Contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist who couples folk-style melodies and instrumentation with lyrics that stem from intensive study of the Bible.”
That said, I don’t honestly know what genre “Dragonslayer” would fall into – if you know, by all means let me know. I personally would not classify it as country – at least not the type of county I am familiar with – but I do get slight “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (by Charlie Daniels) vibes at the end of “Dragonslayer” with its slightly distorted violins.
(Note that I said violins and not fiddles – there is a difference, and “Dragonslayer” does not contain any fiddles.)
It does contain a multitude of other instruments, however. It begins with a mysterious-sounding intro of what sounds like synth organ and strings. The song then ramps up, adding in piano (real piano, not synthetic keyboard), drums, and electric, bass, and (I am fairly certain) acoustic guitars.
When I was young, I longed to learn how to play this song on the piano (our primary instrument at the time). As my father correctly noted, it would be quite difficult to do it justice using only the piano!
Now I own several instruments, and I still think it would be amazing to cover “Dragonslayer.” (That, however, would require a lot of this little thing called “practice”… For now, I am content to play the song on my music player on repeat.)
About the Lyrics
I debated what season “Dragonslayer” would fall under – Christmas? Resurrection Day?
Upon consulting the lyrics, I decided that it fits best around Resurrection Day – though it actually covers not just that day, but God’s entire plan of redemption.
The initial intro begins with the wise men seeking the Christ child (Matthew 2:1-12).
Verse 1 flashes back to the garden of Eden, where the serpent/satan/the dragon attacks God’s creation by tempting His children to disobey Him (Genesis 3).
Then the chorus references God’s provision for man’s redemption through Jesus’ (the Dragonslayer’s) death. Jesus’ resurrection is indirectly referenced as well. The dragon is thus silenced, his plans are destroyed, and his anticipation of victory is crushed.
Verse 2 references Revelation 12 and 20 – the prophecy of the dragon’s final defeat and eradication.
As I mentioned earlier, I have always loved the music and the action-packed rhythm of “Dragonslayer.” Upon writing this post, though, I have gained a new appreciation for the lyrics.
It is clearly specifically based on Genesis 3:14-15:
14So the LORD God said to the serpent, … 15“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
(New International Version)
I am fascinated by how succinctly the song expounds upon how Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled, covering (as previously noted):
Man’s fall in the Garden and the rise of the dragon,
Jesus’ birth – the newborn Dragonslayer – Whose purpose God revealed to several individuals, and
The final battle, in which Jesus completely vanquishes the dragon.
Since Jesus conquered satan, through Christ, we also are victorious over the devil, as we can see in the following Scripture references:
1 Corinthians 15: 20–26, 55–57
Though we still battle the serpent (and will until the final battle referenced in Revelation 20), through Jesus we can walk in victory over him daily (Romans 7:24–25a).
Walk in your victory!
What do you think of the song “Dragonslayer”? (And what genre would you categorize it?) I’d love to know!
“Dragonslayer” Download: ChristianBook.com
Legacy Full Album Download: ChristianBook.com
Downloads and/or physical copies may also be available from your favorite online music store, at your local bookstore or thrift shop, or through your favorite online marketplace.
- Michael Card Wiki @ Last.fm: https://www.last.fm/music/Michael+Card/+wiki
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Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!