Most Meaningful Lyrics

Want to talk about or review a YES album?
This is the place.
Post Reply
User avatar
CourtoftheCrimsonKeith
Active Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:01 pm

Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114520Post CourtoftheCrimsonKeith
Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:09 am

So I just saw the 'Most Obscure Lyrics' post and thought it was an interesting idea. I get the feeling, however, that Jon's lyrics are often taken for granted. Yes, a lot of his stuff is very very obscure, but he also writes a lot of very meaningful stuff. Here's a bit 'o lyric that always gets to me. It's from the end of Awaken.

"Master of Images
Songs cast a light on you
Hark thru dark ties
That tunnel us out of sane existence
In challenge as direct
As eyes see young stars assemble

Master of Light
All pure chance
As exists cross divided
In all encircling mode
Oh closely guided plan
Awaken in our heart

Master of Soul
Set to touch
All impenetrable youth
Ask away
That thought be contact
With all that's clear
Be honest with yourself
There's no doubt no doubt"


So what do we think? Interpretations? Because I've got nothing, but that's got to mean something amazing.

the greenman
Veteran Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:08 pm
Location: On Sacred Ground

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114528Post the greenman
Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:42 am

well, I could be well of the mark here, but I've always thought (in a not very deep way, I'll admit) 'awaken' was something to do with the awakening spiritual consciousness of man (boy that sounds pretentious, just me writing it!) and with the act of creation

& maybe the 'master' (of Images, of Light, of Soul) is the 'master of the universe' - the creator.

there's 'no doubt' = certainty, = faith? I dont know.

the one thing I do know is its 'so hard to find' the meaning of what's going on in Jon's cosmic mind! I generally try not to sweat about what each word means, more the general flavour/sense of it.

I'm open to others views!

User avatar
thehallway
Charter Member
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114529Post thehallway
Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:55 am

I've read a very in-depth essay regarding this song. 'Yes, Awaken, and the progressive rock style' it was called. Though unfortunately it seems to be no longer veiwable on the website (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/di ... &aid=81721)
Anyway, the article mentioned Awaken as being a sort of description of the creation of life, and analysed the lyrics and alot of the musical motifs aswell (e.g. the "Here we be..." line that Jon sings at the end of the intro is a B note, in the key of E minor, and remains unresolved until the end of the song, which apparently ties in with the storyline of the awakening as a whole). The lyrics you mentioned are actually in E major, and from what I remember the whole "Master of images..." thing is very important in the contruction of the song, so I'm sure it is very meaningful. It's in a simlilar format to the "Workings of man..." part, only with odd timings for the chords. I am also led to believe that the quiet instrumental section in the middle of the song (with the harp) is the actual awakening itself taking place.

This is all from memory I'm afraid.
[8]

guilddigger
Starship Trooper
Posts: 4578
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2001 6:13 am
Location: Umeå, Sweden.

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114530Post guilddigger
Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:49 pm

A couple of stanzas I have always found very beautiful, and meaningful, are the closing of 'To Be Over'.

After all
Your soul will still surrender
After all
Don't doubt your part be ready to be loved

I think Jon means that we are all one soul, that life and the universe is love and that we all are part of the divine love.
"heaven is all around translated to sound" - michael hedges

fragilesi
Starship Trooper
Posts: 4523
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 3:54 am
Location: Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114545Post fragilesi
Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:10 pm

"Loneliness is a pow'r that we possess to give or take away forever."

Always strikes me as being very true.

the greenman
Veteran Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:08 pm
Location: On Sacred Ground

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114547Post the greenman
Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:42 pm

thehallway wrote:I've read a very in-depth essay regarding this song. 'Yes, Awaken, and the progressive rock style' it was called. Though unfortunately it seems to be no longer veiwable on the website (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/di ... &aid=81721)
Anyway, the article mentioned Awaken as being a sort of description of the creation of life, and analysed the lyrics and alot of the musical motifs aswell (e.g. the "Here we be..." line that Jon sings at the end of the intro is a B note, in the key of E minor, and remains unresolved until the end of the song, which apparently ties in with the storyline of the awakening as a whole). The lyrics you mentioned are actually in E major, and from what I remember the whole "Master of images..." thing is very important in the contruction of the song, so I'm sure it is very meaningful. It's in a simlilar format to the "Workings of man..." part, only with odd timings for the chords. I am also led to believe that the quiet instrumental section in the middle of the song (with the harp) is the actual awakening itself taking place.

This is all from memory I'm afraid.
from a Learned Cambridge journal, eh? I guess these days you can get a PhD in Prog. Over analysis is the death of music to me. in the Morse book (Yes stories) Jon talks about a book called 'The Singer' which had this idea of a 'star song' which is an ageless hymn, sung every now & again.

User avatar
Chris2210
Posts: 2150
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 5:00 pm
Location: Huddersfield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114548Post Chris2210
Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:08 pm

the greenman wrote: I generally try not to sweat about what each word means, more the general flavour/sense of it.

I'm open to others views!
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
This!




If you listen to Eastern Numbers on the remaster you can hear that the structure of the song was more or less worked out at that early stage - he's just singing 'phonetically' at certain sections [this being one of them from recollection]. So to some degree I think the words are there to fit the music (which as usual they do incredibly well) but there are of course ideas behind the whole thing. I do think it ruins Jon's lyrics a little bit if you try to pin them down too much - one of the beauties of their 'nebulousness' is that you can map your feelings on to them in a fairly unrestricted way. Discussing this a looooong time ago I remember Ed saying he thought the various 'Masters' referred to individual members of the band. Personally i do think it refers to 'aspects' of the divine, but it's daft to insist on such things.

That conclusive 'no doubt, no doubt' was I think there from the start - it's an almost inevitable conclusion to the section. For me personally it's a 'no doubt' that existence is real and it is wonderous. It is god in the sense that it has strucuture and significance whether there is an architect or not, 'Creator' is after all merely a human idea...
I used to be agnostic. These days I'm not so sure.

the greenman
Veteran Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:08 pm
Location: On Sacred Ground

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114553Post the greenman
Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:36 pm

Jon's own words from '88: 'i'm singing to the master of our existence & I think the lyrics are very very strong'..

User avatar
thehallway
Charter Member
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114651Post thehallway
Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:02 pm

The lyrics are strong alright, but if I'm honest my favourite part of the song is the breakdown section in the middle. It feels very calm and tranquil as opposed to something like Sound Chaser (Yes on coke ;) ) and although the church organ runs seem fairly spontaneous, apparently the whole thing was thoroughly mapped out before hand. So it builds up into this epic yet organised wall of sound, before changing into "master of images..." I think the music awakens itself during these four minutes. It explains the awakening much better than any amount of words in my opinion.
[8]

the greenman
Veteran Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:08 pm
Location: On Sacred Ground

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 114873Post the greenman
Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:57 pm

That would be a Jon thing, I think.. He has very clear visions of what he wants to achieve musically, and an incredible sense of musicality, but he's not a great musician (as he might admit) so he need this great team around him to achieve it... Wakey could come up with runs like that in his sleep.

What's amazing is how it was all done down a phone line into the studio - the swiss phone system must have been light years ahead in terms of almost 'broadband' capacity! This was '79 remember - no one had even heard of the internet then!

sorry this is supposed to be about meaningful lyrics

ok, well the Police song 'Dee do do dah' always got slammed for innane lyrics, but actually, that misses the point!

De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Their innocence will pull me through
De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Theyre meaningless and all thats true

Poets, priests and poiticians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no ones jamming their transmission
cos when their eloquence escapes you
Their logic ties you up and rapes you
De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Their innocence will pull me through
De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Theyre meaningless and all thats true

Poets, priests and poiticians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no ones jamming their transmission
cos when their eloquence escapes you
Their logic ties you up and rapes you

I love that line - Poets, priests and poiticians
Have words to thank for their positions

dead good. Bit of a master, Sting...

User avatar
Chris2210
Posts: 2150
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 5:00 pm
Location: Huddersfield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 115033Post Chris2210
Mon May 11, 2009 4:58 pm

the greenman wrote:
dead good. Bit of a master, Sting...
Ah, yeah. This is the bloke wot wrote:

Would they think that we was dumb, if we dropped the atom bomb; and

I'm an Englishman in New York, you can hear it in my accent when I talk.

I can remember the deep awe and admiration even his bandmates had of his lyrics in a Police documentary. Andy Summers on King of Pain:

"It's about pain. Apparently." [rolls eyes...]
I used to be agnostic. These days I'm not so sure.

User avatar
tardistraveler
Posts: 6904
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2003 8:17 am
Location: Nashville, TN, USA.

Re: Most Meaningful Lyrics

Post: # 115334Post tardistraveler
Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:17 pm

Dang, I missed this thread before!

I see the different "Masters" in "Awaken" as being different aspects of God/the Creator/etc. that awaken different aspects of our souls.

Yes certainly isn't the only band with meaningful lyrics - thanks for posting the Police song - I generally find their lyrics clever and intriguing as well.


Another Yes song that I find personally meaningful is Ritual - to me it speaks of the challenges we face in life, and how we can move beyond those to find the peace within. Love these lines in particular . . .

"We receive all we venture to give"

"Dreams are said to blossom courage
Constant to the soul"

"Change we must as surely time does
Changes call the course"

These almost work as mantras for me - reminders of how we must deal with things in this life, and by holding onto our dreams, we can find fulfillment.

"Hold me my love, hold me today call me round
Travel we say, wander we choose love tune
Lay upon me, hold me around lasting hours
We love when we play"

And this one is, I think, the most romantic statement I've ever heard in a Yes song short of Jon's more recent homages to his Janeee . . . lol . . . speaks to the power of love as uplifting and life-sustaining . . . beautiful . . . :D


I love Ritual . . . life IS a struggle, a fight, but by holding fast, accepting and riding with changes, finding courage to give and to love, one can "come home", to that place within that sustains throughout all.

Post Reply