Master's Call
Western Music
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Western Song: The Master’s Call

The Master’s Call is a song in Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, an iconic album by Marty Robbins, first recorded and released in 1959. It was one of the most powerful tracks from the mentioned album, justifying Marty Robbin’s outstanding talent as a singer-songwriter through its vocals and instrumentation.

The song falls under the Country music genre, depicting a tale of a young man who left his home to be an outlaw. In the song, the speaker finds himself reflecting on his sinful deeds and asking for forgiveness after feeling that his end was near. Just then, a miracle happened as a lightning bolt showed the face of Jesus Christ and saved his life. In summary, the song displays an excellent depiction of faith, redemption, and devotion to God as a savior.

Robbin’s album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs holds six of his songs which members of Western Writers of America included in the Top 100 Western songs of all time. These six songs were “Big Iron,” “Cool Water,” “Billy the Kid,” “The Strawberry Roan,” “El Paso,” and “The Master’s Call.”

Popular Recordings

Several artists performed/recorded their version of the song. These artists include:

  • Pake McEntire
  • Colin thomson
  • Don Edwards
  • Frank Jansen
  • Ken Goldsmith

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs Tracklist

Here’s the complete tracklist of Marty Robbins’ 1959 album, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs:

  • Big Iron
  • Cool Water
  • Billy the Kid
  • A Hundred and Sixty Acres
  • They’re Hanging Me Tonight
  • The Strawberry Roan
  • El Paso
  • In the Valley
  • The Master’s Call
  • Running Gun
  • Little Green Valley
  • Utah Carol

Listen to The Master’s Call (Marty Robbins Version)

The Master’s Call Lyrics

When I was but a young man I was wild and full of fire
A youth within my teens but full of challenge and desire
I ran away from home and left my mother and my dad
I know it grieved them so to think their only boy was bad.

I fell in with an outlaw band their names were known quite well
How many times we robbed and plundered I could never tell
This kind of sinful livin' leads only to a fall
I learned that much and more the night I heard my Master call.

One night we rustled cattle a thousand head or so
And started them out on the trail that leads to Mexico
But a Norther started blowin' and lightning flashed about
I thought someone was callin' me I thought I heard a shout.

Then at that moment lightning struck not twenty yards from me
And left there was a giant cross where once there was a tree
And this time I knew I heard a voice a voice so sweet and strange
A voice that came from everywhere a voice that called my name.

So frightened I was thinking of sinful deeds I'd done
I failed to see the thousand head of cattle start to run
The cattle they stampeded were running all around
My pony ran but stumbled and it threw me to the ground.

I felt the end was near, that death would be the price
When a mighty bolt of lightning showed the face of Jesus Christ
And I cried oh Lord forgive me don't let it happen now
I want to live for you alone Oh God these words I vow.

My wicked past unfolded I thought of wasted years
When another bolt of lightning killed a hundred head of steers
And the others rushed on by me and I was left to live
The Master had a reason life is his to take or give.

A miracle preformed that night I wasn't meant to die
The dead ones formed a barricade least six or seven high
Right behind it there was I afraid but safe and sound
I cried and begged for mercy kneelin' there upon the ground.

A pardon I was granted my sinful soul set free
No more to fear the angry waves upon life's stormy sea
Forgiven by the love of God a love that will remain
I gave my life and soul the night the Savior called my name.

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