Meaning of “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham

“You’re the Voice” is a 1986-released power ballad by Australian-English singer John Farnham. The lyrics of this song encourage the listener to see the sheer power he/she possess within to make his/her voice heard and speak against the ills of society. English songwriter Keith Reid (who co-wrote the song) once said it was to a certain degree also an anti-war song. It’s noteworthy that as of the time the song was written and released, the Cold War was in full swing.

In summation, the song encourages the ordinary man to make his voice heard on important social issues. It encourages confidence and courage in the ordinary man to take a stand and support the right thing.

Lyrics of "You're the Voice"

You might see yourself as an ordinary person. However, you really have nestling deep within you remarkable power to change this world. That power is asleep. Just wake it up. This basically is the long and short of “You’re the Voice”.

Facts about “You’re the Voice”

  •  This isn’t a self-penned song since Farnham didn’t write the song. Keith Reid and three other songwriters are credited with writing this song. The other songwriters are Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta and Maggie Ryder.
  • The music of “You’re the Voice” was written by Qunta, Thompson and Ryder. The trio had a challenge coming up with the lyrics so they sought the help of renowned lyricist Keith Reid. According to Reid, Chris got in touch with him and told him he didn’t know what to do with the song “lyrically”. Reid recalled Chris telling him he wanted the lyrics to be to a certain degree political. Upon listening to the music, Reid said he came up with the “let your voice be heard” theme. The rest of course was history.
  • Record producer Ross Fraser handled the track’s production.
  • On September 1, 1986, John Farnham released this song as a single. It was the first single from his twelfth studio album titled Whispering Jack.
  • The song became one of Farnham’s most successful solo singles. It reached number 1 in his home country of Australia as well as in Germany and Sweden. It entered the top 10 in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 6. In 1990, it peaked at number 82 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
  • It won the maiden ARIA Award for Single of the Year in 1987.
  • One of the highlights of “You’re the Voice” is its iconic bagpipe solo. That solo is widely considered as the greatest bagpipe solos of all time.

Did “You’re the Voice” ever win a Grammy?


Who played the bagpipe solo on “You’re the Voice”?

That solo was reportedly played by a quartet of pipers. Not much is really known about these bagpipe players.

Are there any cover versions of “You’re the Voice”?

Many! A ton of famous artists have covered this classic over the years. Some of these artists include Barbara Dickson, Alan Parsons, Celine Dion and Heart. The latter’s version of the song was released as a single in 1991. It as a massive success in the United States. It also charted in Canada and the United Kingdom.

9 Responses

  1. Edric says:

    You’re the voice and these beautiful lyrics also show our connection to Jesus Christ and God and how we can all stand up to fear and not sit in silence by being a good powerful voice together for change.

    • Lorelle says:

      Love it!!

    • Will says:

      How we should be as Brothers and Sisters in Christ standing fearless, being voices to the world of the good news of Jesus’ death and Resurrection to eternal life and his saving grace for all who call upon him in repentance and belief, and resting in His power and The Father’s power as we as believers in Jesus Christ, who is both God and the Son of God, are all Sons and Daughters of God The Father.

  2. Robert says:

    Doesn’t make sense , we are not all someone’s daughter. And we are not all someone’s son. There should definitely be an ‘ OR ‘ in there.

  3. Steve says:

    No, God doesn’t get a mention. Absolutely ridiculous. People as sovereign not an imagined being. If anything anti-war during the New Cold War fear of a nuclear war as the summary says.

  4. Scott Evans says:

    I suppose it’s open to interpretation, but it comes across to me about domestic violence and asks politicians to play a part in change.

  5. Dee10 says:

    As much as I respect everyone’s religious views here, I feel the bigger message here is for EVERYONE, not just those who have religious beliefs. I feel that the lyrics reflect the need for the Power of the People to rise above the fear of political oppression, war and famine and make themselves heard, to those who govern our Planet. US – the People, need to make those in power-aware of the consequences of their actions and exercise democratic policies.

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