I Chase The Devil – Unpacking the Spiritual Rebellion in Reggae


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Max Romeo's I Chase The Devil at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Iron Shirt and Spiritual Warfare: The Armor of Resilience
  5. Chasing the Devil: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Metaphor
  6. The Clash Against Corruption: Echoes of Rastafarian Resolve
  7. The Resonating Cry against Violence: ‘Mi sey fi lef’ ya with your bomb’
  8. Legacy of Rebellion: How ‘I Chase The Devil’ Echoes Through Time

Lyrics

Lucifer son of the mourning, I’m gonna chase you out of Earth

I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase Satan out of Earth
I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race

Satan is an evilous man
But him can’t chocks it on I-man
So when I check him my lassing hand
And if him slip, I gone with him hand

I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase Satan out of Earth
I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race, oh yeah

Him haffi drop him fork and run
Him can’t stand up to Jah Jah son
Him haffi lef’ ya with him gun
Dig off with him bomb

I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase Satan out of Earth
I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race

Satan is a evilous man
But him can’t chocks it on I-man
So when I check him my lassing hand
And if him slip, I gone with him hand

I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase Satan out of Earth
I’m gonna put on a iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race
I’m gonna send him to outa space to find another race

Move ya with your gun
Mi sey fi lef’ ya with your bomb, ooh yeah
Move ya with your gun
Mi sey fi lef’ ya with your gun

Full Lyrics

Max Romeo’s 1976 classic ‘I Chase The Devil’ is a song steeped in the rich cultural heritage of reggae music and Rastafarian philosophy. Beneath its catchy tune and hypnotic rhythm lies a bed of fervent spiritual and political symbolism that pierces the heart of any listener aware of its depth.

In our exploration of the song, we will delve into the layers of meaning veiled within the lyrics, looking at the confrontation with evil forces, the assertion of spiritual power, and the song’s impact on listeners even years after its release.

Iron Shirt and Spiritual Warfare: The Armor of Resilience

When Romeo talks about donning an ‘iron shirt’, he invokes an image that could be plucked from the ancient annals of warfare. Yet, in this context, the iron shirt acts as a metaphor for spiritual fortitude, derived from the Rastafarian faith. It becomes a shield against the ‘evilous’ ways of the devil – a devil taking the form of both a mythological entity and the personification of systemic oppression and corruption.

This battle attire symbolizes the protective power of one’s own faith and soulful resilience against external harms. In the Rastafarian view, the mightiest defense against such wickedness is rooted in one’s spiritual strength, a force that the song illustrates as invincible in the face of evil.

Chasing the Devil: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Metaphor

‘I’m gonna put on an iron shirt and chase the devil out of Earth’ – the lines repeat like a mantra, promising action against the pervasive darkness in the world. This isn’t merely a physical pursuit; it is emblematically chasing away the underpinnings of societal and inner injustices. The ‘devil’ epitomizes the ills that plague humanity: violence, materialism, greed, and corruption – the very elements against which Rastafarianism often sets itself.

The devil’s banishment to ‘outa space to find another race’ serves as both a wish to cleanse the Earth and an ironic suggestion that humanity’s adversities might just be universal. The line resonates with a hope that righteousness might triumph here, even if evil must be passed elsewhere.

The Clash Against Corruption: Echoes of Rastafarian Resolve

Romeo’s assertion that ‘Satan is an evilous man’ directly combats the personified embodiment of corruption, with ‘man’ reinforcing the tangible presence of evil in human form. The lyrics speak to an intimate struggle, a one-on-one combat, where the power of the individual, empowered by divine support, is enough to ‘chocks it on I-man’, to rise above even the most fearsome adversary.

The phrase ‘him can’t stand up to Jah Jah son’ references Rastafarian God, Jah, and speaks to the inherence of divine power within each individual. In Rastafari, everyone is seen as children of Jah, and therefore, each person is imbued with the potential to overcome ‘Babylon’ or the metaphorical representation of corrupt powers that be.

The Resonating Cry against Violence: ‘Mi sey fi lef’ ya with your bomb’

This memorable line pulls no punches in its indictment of the culture of violence. By addressing guns and bombs, Romeo targets both the literal and figurative instruments of evil used to perpetuate fear and enforce control. The directive to leave these behind follows the Rastafarian ethos of peace and love, renouncing weapons and the harm they bring.

The phrase possesses an enduring relevancy in a world where violence remains an all-too-common plight. It is a plea for disarmament and a call for the universal acknowledgment of the sanctity of life, all woven into the fabric of his song.

Legacy of Rebellion: How ‘I Chase The Devil’ Echoes Through Time

Today, ‘I Chase The Devil’ has surpassed the confines of its era and has become anthemic, sampled and remixed by artists across genres. Its message of resistance and the demand for spiritual purity in the face of societal darkness continue to resonate with audiences globally.

The song’s legacy is a testament to the enduring appeal of reggae music as a vehicle for powerful messages and the shared human quest for a world untainted by the Babylonian forces that Romeo metaphorically chases away. It is within this universal appeal that ‘I Chase The Devil’ maintains its place as an essential soundtrack for the spirit.

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