Music has a profound way of permeating hearts and piercing souls. That can be a good or bad thing depending on the message the lyrics convey. In the case of “The Master’s Call”, I say that’s a great thing.
Legendary country western singer, songwriter, actor, and NASCAR driver Marty Robbins (1925-1982) released an album back in 1959 titled “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs”, and among the tracks is “The Master’s Call”. Written by the artist himself, the ballad is a redemptive tale of an outlaw who finds God in the midst of a storm.
I recently came across a newer version of the song by Don Edwards, a New Jersey born balladeer who moved to Texas at age 16 to work in the oilfields and now lives on his ranch in Hico. According to Edwards’ website, the Grammy nominated songster continues to build a legacy that enriches our vision of the American West. That account goes on to say “in tales of the day-to-day lives and emotions of those who lived it, his ballads paint a sweeping landscape of both mind and heart, bringing to life the sights, sounds and feelings of this American contribution to culture and art. The quality of this cowboy balladeer’s music stems from the fact that he is so much more than a singer.”
Bobby Weaver of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City said Edwards is “the best purveyor of cowboy music in America today.”
Anyway, “The Master’s Call” weaves a story of an outlaw rustling cattle who is caught in a violent storm, one in which he encounters God. Here are the words contained in the final verse of the ballad:
A pardon I was granted, my sinful soul set free
No more to fear the angry waves upon life’s stormy seas
Forgiven by the love of God, a love that will remain
I learned that much and more the night the Savior called my name
In her book titled “Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music”, Alanna Nash recounts how Marty Robbins said prayer played an important role in his career. He is quoted as saying, “I started praying for this long before I ever got it, and long before I ever got into the business. Because I do believe in prayer. And I prayed for all these things, and God gave me the strength to get them. I have never set up any particular goal. Never. I just let it happen. Because I knew it was going to happen.”
Reading the lyrics of “The Master’s Call”, one can surmise that prayer and Robbins’ personal relationship with God also influenced his lyric writing and melodies as well.
All that to say this – whether you listen to the rendition of this song by Marty Robbins or Don Edwards, I urge you to find a quiet place, listen closely to the lyrics, and contemplate in your own heart the words contained within the ballad, asking yourself if you have responded appropriately to the Master’s call in your own life.
God is knocking at the door of your soul today – open it and let Him inside.
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