New Lyrics: Vikings!

Before it recedes too far too fast I want to mention how Steely Dan reminded me about another show I saw not very long ago. It was a year or two ago, another one of those sultry late June evenings, I saw Keith Emerson at a theater in Tarrytown very similar to the Beacon, decedent with post-vaudevillian anachronistic art-demo splendor. Like the Steelies, I saw ELP once before, in a large outdoor summer concert setting, but this show was much smaller and more intimate.

Keith Emerson is one of my all time musical idols, and the only person I know of who ever led a rock power trio on keyboards instead of guitar. His piano playing, organ, not to mention his pioneering work in synthesizers. Wow! He put on a really good show, revisiting alot of classic ELP material, plus a good helping of newer stuff. He even had is Modular Moog all set up and used it to reproduce a few critical solos from various songs. To this day Karn Evil 9, 2nd Impression remains one of my favorite tunes to play on the piano.

Around this time we were finishing up the Buzzy Tonic record and tossing around ideas for songs for a follow-up. I thought it might be fun to an album-side-length prog epic, in the grand tradition of Tarkus, Karn Evil 9, 2112, Hemispheres, Close To The Edge or one of those. If you’re a prog fan you’ll know what I’m talking about. But what topic? I’ve always had a thing for Vikings, so the night of the concert I came home and came up with a lyric. The only problem is it pretty much turned out as a recapitulation of the plot of the classic Terry Jones movie “Erik The Viking”. Well I could do worse I suppose; at least it was suitably epic. However, the task of arranging and recording a twenty minute song was rather daunting; as much effort as four or five normal sized songs. So the odds me actually getting around to it any time soon are slim to none. I might do a demo of it someday, but meanwhile, I thought I’d share the lyric with you.



I. Overture: Looting and Pillaging



II. Freya

Young men only interested in fighting and killing
But has it always been that way?
An axe age a storm age an ice age
Brother against brother in hatred and rage
Until the world is destroyed

Look, what do you see?
I see the world, Freya
I see the world

The winter is gone, the summer has come
Yet Fenreya the Wolf still covers the sun
So the old legends are all true
Once as a child in a dream the sky was blue
It was blue

So this is Ragnorok
What must I do, Freya
What must I do?

And will the dead ever return?


III. Vikings!
(including Erik, What Are You Doing?  Thorfinn Just Said That Sven’s Grandfather Died of Old Age! and Harald the Cleric)

Erik, What Are You Doing?
Thorfinn just said that Sven’s grandfather
Died of old age!
He’ll have to kill me!  He’ll have to kill me!
No he didn’t he died in battle!
Now he must kill me!  Now he must kill me!
He died of old age!
He’ll have to kill me!  He’ll have to kill me!

No wait!
There is another way!
I’m not afraid of anything

Harald the Cleric no warrior he
Sandals treading in the snow

Harald the Cleric doesn’t believe
In violence and revenge
Asgaard or Valhalla
Cuz he believes in something else
One god or many?
What does it matter?
He seeks serenity transcendence and wisdom
Forgiveness salvation
Yet no one will listen

Harald the Cleric pilgrim missionary 
Sandals treading in the snow
He’s sure got a long way to go


The Voyage
(including Sven the Berserk vs. The Dragon of the North Sea and Thorfinn Doesn’t Know the Meaning of Fear)

Earnestly Erik with Harald the Cleric
And Leif the Lucky too
Sven the Berserk and Sven’s Berserker Dad
All join in the crew
Kietel Blacksmith, Thorfinn Skullsplitter
Even Ivar the Boneless and Snorri
Start on their quest in their open long boat
That’s the last we shall see of old Norway!

Many cold days pass on rolling waves
Puke, puke, puke, puke, puke
Pursued by Halfdan the Black –
There’s no turning back
The dragon attacks!
The long ship cracks!
Frame by frame death by drowning
On the Devil’s doorway

The dreaded black sails are drawing near
But Thorfinn doesn’t know the meaning of fear
The battle is joined and Erik brings
The magic from the daughter of the King
Now you see me now you don’t ha ha!

Thorfinn falls, Sven rages on
The day won under the sun, but now
Loki shows his face, has yet to play his hand
What does fate have in store for poor Snorri?


V. Hy-Brasil
(including The Tee-Tum Song)

Welcome, welcome we always welcome friends
Everyone is friends here in Hy-Brasil
Being nice to each other is what it’s all about.
Here in Hy-Brasil
A thousand years of peace and love
Here in Hy-Brasil

Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum
Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum
Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum

We come from a land where there is no music
Where men live and die by the axe and the sword
Where Fenreya the Wolf covers the sun
Far from Hy-Brasil

Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum
Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum

And so human blood is spilled
And the land begins to sink beneath the sea
Murder tragic disenchants the island’s magic
The end of Hy-Brasil

Stay calm, stay calm this is not happening
I repeat, this is not happening
Save yourselves! Save yourselves!
Panic mongers!  Who do they think they are?

It’s all a question of what you want to believe

Tee-tum, tee-tum, tee-tum


VI. The Horn Resounding

You do know how to play the horn d’you?

The first note to take you to Asgaard
The second note to awaken the gods
The third note to bring you home

The first note to take you to Asgaard
Over the edge of the world
Over the edge of the world

Once you’re in the spell of the horn
Hatred will destroy you
Hatred will destroy you

And she said,
You don’t have to love me
But do you believe that I love you?
Then let go, let go
Let go


VII. Bifrost Asgaard Valhalla (and Home)


Bifrost – Asgaard  – Valhalla!
Bifrost – Asgaard  – Valhalla!

The second note to awaken the gods

Bifrost – Asgaard  – Valhalla!
Bifrost – Asgaard  – Valhalla!
The gods awake!
Better look out!

Bifrost – Asgaard  – Valhalla!
Bifrost – the rainbow bridge
Asgaard  – the hall of the gods
Valhalla – the destiny of the great warriors
Yeah we’re the lucky ones!

Now Fenreya the wolf is gone
But the fate of man
Is in man’s hand

The realm of earth is not for you
You’ve crossed the rainbow bridge
And will the dead ever return?

The third note to bring you home

Harald the Cleric, blows the horn
He doesn’t believe but he wants to go home

Look, what do you see?
The sun … !

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