The Court of the Crimson King

by Ian McDonald and Peter Sinfield   1969

The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change,
The tournaments begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue
For the court of the Crimson King.

The keeper of the city keys
Put shutters on the dreams.
I wait outside the pilgrim’s door
With insufficient schemes.
The black chants the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the Crimson King.

The gardener plants an evergreen
Whilst trampling on a flower.
I chase the wind of a prism ship
To taste the sweet and sour.
The pattern juggler lifts his hand,
The orchestra begin
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the court of the Crimson King.

On soft gray mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke.
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play
But gentle pulls the strings,
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the Crimson King.

[Suggested by Timothy Lane] __________________________________________________
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One Response to The Court of the Crimson King

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I decided to suggest this for two reasons. One is that there are some nicely weird phrases (such as the “insufficient schemes” of the second stanza). The other is that I plundered it for the Crimson King (Barack Obama), the Black Queen (Michelle Obama), the Fire Witch (Hillary Clinton), the Pattern Juggler (Tax-cheat Timmy Geithner, and now probably Jack Lew or Jane Yellen or both), and the Yellow Jester (Joe Biden). Incidentally, S. M. Stirling makes references to some of these in his novel In the Courts of the Crimson Kings.)

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