Content Analysis of Amatorisero Ede’s “The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer”

“The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer” by Amatorisero Ede is a provocative and controversial short poem that parodies the traditional Lord’s Prayer.

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay
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The Skinhead's Lord's Prayer


                                  our father
                                      who art in Valhalla
                                  harrowing be thine name


                             thine Reichdom come
                                thine ill be done on earth
                                     as it is in hell


                               give us this day
                                          our daily corpse
                              forgive us our weakness


                          as we batter all non-Aryan scum
                                  lead us into damnation
                          and deliver us unto the devil


                             for thine is the Reichdom
                                   the fire and the gory
                                         forever and ever


                                             heil-men
– Amatorisero Ede

Analysis of The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer

The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer” by Amatorisero Ede is a provocative and controversial short poem that parodies the traditional Lord’s Prayer. Ede’s poem reinterprets the Christian prayer. It is a satirical and critical commentary on extremism and hate. It portrays distorted beliefs and violent tendencies as offshoots of extremism, particularly in the context of hate groups and radical ideologies.

Read: Content Analysis of Wole Soyinka’s “Telephone Conversation”

The poem takes the familiar structure of the Lord’s Prayer and changes its words to reflect a twisted and hateful ideology. It replaces Christian elements with references to hate, violence, and a distorted sense of superiority. Ede’s parody can be seen as an ironic critique of the ideologies it portrays. It uses the structure of the Lord’s Prayer to convey a message diametrically opposed to the values and teachings of traditional Christianity. The poet substitutes Christian elements with hate-filled language, highlighting the absurdity and danger of such extremist views.

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A burning city. Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer” delves into dark themes such as violence, damnation, and the devil, which are often associated with extreme beliefs. Words like “Valhalla” and “aryan scum,” associated with Norse mythology and Nazi ideology, respectively, are used to express the beliefs of extremist views.

Here is the original Lord’s Prayer, which is part of the New Testament, which Amatorisero Ede parodied:

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. 
Amen.
An opened Bible. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Comparing the original, well-known Christian prayer and its distorted version, it is undeniable that there is a jarring contrast between the two.

Read: Analysis of Syl Cheney-Coker’s “The Breasts of the Sea”

Tone and Mood

The tone of “The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer” is dark, provocative, and satirical. The poem adopts a tone that is deliberately unsettling and offensive. It uses religious themes and sacred language in a way that mocks and perverts them.

The mood of the poem is one of discomfort and agitation. It evokes a sense of unease and disturbance due to its use of offensive and provocative diction. It creates a mood of disquiet by perverting religious themes and presenting extremist ideologies in a distorted and shocking manner.

Read: Q & A: Discuss Leopold Sedar Senghor’s “Black Woman” as a Protest Poem

Symbols

As it is hinted in the foregoing paragraph, “The Skinhead’s Lord Prayer” is furnished with a couple of symbols. “Valhalla” is, for example, a reference to Norse mythology, specifically the afterlife hall for fallen warriors in Viking belief. In this context, it symbolises an alternative and distorted version of heaven or a place where the extremist beliefs of the poem’s subject are glorified.

In addition, the term “Aryan” was infamously misappropriated by the Nazis to promote their ideology of racial supremacy. The reference to “Aryan scum” is a direct allusion to this extremist and racist belief.

Other symbols in the poem that underscore hate and extremism are “reichdom” (referring to Nazi aspirations), “damnation,” and “the devil.”

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