“We all know that you are news - but are you king? King of the Jews?"

(Jesus Christ Superstar music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice)

What does the news word mean in this context?

This meaning:

a person or thing considered interesting enough to be reported in the news. "Chanel became the hottest news in fashion"

? or may be a kind of slang of 60th?

  • 1
    Apparently, The killing of Lucas Emmet by George Orcutt was front page news back in 1913. Regardless of whether it's adjectivally modified by something like front page, the usage has been around a long time. What do you mean by "slang of 60th"? Dec 22, 2016 at 16:22
  • @FumbleFingers hippy slang maybe
    – asianirish
    Dec 22, 2016 at 16:28
  • That's the [nineteen] sixties, not sixtieth. Though I've no doubt it was a common enough meaning in the eighteen sixties and earlier. Dec 22, 2016 at 16:52
  • "news" in this lyric could be roughly thought of as "a hot news item"
    – J.R.
    May 3, 2017 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


to make the news

means to do or be something that is worthy of being reported by an accredited news organization and usually results in people talking about the subject.

This is different than

makeup the news

which is a currently followed topic about "false" news on the internet.

In your example

We all know that you are news...

has the meaning that people have heard about Jesus and are talking about him: his teachings and his miracles

Sir Andrew might have used the phrase

We have all heard about you...

but then it would not rhyme with "Jews".


Your definition of 'news' in this context is pretty much on the mark - it's used in this context to describe someone who is famous or noteworthy in some fashion, i.e. to be famous enough to be newsworthy.

The scene in question is when Jesus is brought to Pontius Pilate after he has been betrayed by Judas.

Pilate: Who is this broken man cluttering up my hallway? Who is this unfortunate?

Soldier: Someone Christ - king of the Jews

Pilate: Oh so this is Jesus Christ, I am really quite surprised

You look so small - not a king at all

We all know that you are news - but are you king King of the Jews?

Pilate is saying that he recognises that people have heard of Jesus, and his reputation (presumably for his teachings and performing of miracles), but is questioning if he is really important enough to have earned the title 'king of the Jews'.

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