Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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 (5) The Illustrated In Held 'Twas in I 1971

'Look to Your Soul' Carole M Hassan


In this final tondo in the  In Held series (there is no picture corresponding to Grand Finale, which confirms one's impression that the illustrations are primarily responses to verbal detail, not to the mood of the music itself) our protagonist -- Homo Procoliensis -- is depicted with his eyes open for the first time. Behind his forehead, a full moon, or sun, and stars confirm his enlightenment on having learnt to 'look to [his] soul'. His body grows from an apple, equipped with continents to symbolise the world, from which a great abundance of human forms is emerging; plant life too, coiling and fruiting riotously. The combination of images here suggests a Christian backdrop to the artist's interpretation of the In Held story: the only dissonant emblem perhaps being the airborne pie, just at the perimeter of the illustration, level with the young man's nose. Equally enigmatically, the young man's left arm appears to be in the helical grip of some outgrowth, almost as if the image foreshadows (or perhaps prompted?) The Worm and the Tree five or so years later. 
 

Read about the origins of this illustration | The text of the illustration (variants highlighted)

 

I know if I'd been wiser this would never have occurred
but I wallowed in my blindness so it's plain that I deserve
for the sin of self-indulgence when the truth was read quite clear
I must spend my life among'st the dead who spend their lives in fear
of a death that they're not sure of, of a life they can't control
It's [all] so simple really if you just look to your soul

Some say that I'm a wise man, some think that I'm a fool
It doesn't matter either way: I'll be a wise man's tool
[For] the lesson lies in learning and by teaching I'll be taught
for there's nothing hidden anywhere, it's all there to be sought
And so if you know anything look closely at the time
While others [who] remain untrue and don't commit that crime

 


Right, the illustration as it appears on the photocopy sent to Procol Harum in 1971


Features at 'Beyond the Pale' | Previous illustration in this series


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